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RANZCO prepares for CPD overhaul affecting ophthalmologists

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RANZCO is supportive of a new CPD framework affecting all Australian medical professionals and is working to ensure it is ready to implement the changes when they come into effect in January 2023.

The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) recently announced changes to the continuing professional development (CPD) registration standard, which have been approved by Australia’s health ministers.

The three core changes are the introduction of CPD Homes and Professional Development Plans (PDPs) for all doctors, and requiring doctors to do different types of CPD to improve the value of their professional development.

Dr Lawrence Lee.

RANZCO CPD Committee chair Dr Lawrence Lee confirmed to Insight this “significant change to the CPD framework” will affect ophthalmologists.

“RANZCO is supportive of the changes as they will contribute to relevant, effective and evidence-based learning practices,” he said.

“In particular, RANZCO is keen to ensure the proposed Professional Development Plan is well understood and utilised so there is a considered approach to learning, which positively affects real-world practice.”

With the new requirements to start in around 15 months, Lee said RANZCO’s CPD Committee had been working consistently over the past year to ensure the college was ready to implement the changes.

“This has included a review of how our framework is structured, points are awarded, the content available to ophthalmologists and changes to our ReD (CPD Diary) functionality,” he said.

MBA chair Dr Anne Tonkin said the changes would assure that doctors are engaging in learning that is relevant, effective and evidence-based.

“The goal is to make sure that the time doctors spend on CPD is useful and helps keep them practising at their best throughout their working lives,” Tonkin said.

She said existing CPD providers (specialist medical colleges such as RANZCO) have been moving their CPD programs towards these changes over recent years, because they reflect contemporary best practice and make CPD more valuable to doctors and their patients.

Under the changes, doctors will do 50 hours of CPD each year, made up of:

  • 25 hours active CPD – reviewing performance and measuring outcomes (doctors decide the best mix for these activities to suit their practice, with five hours minimum of each type).
  • 12.5 hours traditional learning or educational activities – reading, lectures, conferences.
  • 12.5 hours – doctors choose across the three types of CPD.

The MBA believes introducing accredited CPD Homes for all doctors will improve consistency in learning, structure, standards and educational value for doctors with all types of registration.

CPD Homes will provide a framework to foster safe practice and support doctors by coordinating programs, ensuring quality activities and keeping track of hours. Any new CPD homes will be accredited by the Australian Medical Council.

All doctors will need to make a PDP each year that targets their professional development to their learning goals and strengthens their practice. The board is not specifying what a PDP looks like or what should be in it.

“The value of a plan lies in the thinking each doctor puts into their professional development and learning needs,” Tonkin said.

“Developing a plan will help doctors think about their strengths and weaknesses, and map out learning that will help them keep their professional edge.”

The MBA’s announcement can be found here.

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