For many GPs, CPD just got a whole lot harder

Blog / For many GPs, CPD just got a whole lot harder

19 October 2023

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an integral part of a healthcare professional's journey, ensuring they stay up-to-date with the latest medical knowledge and maintain their clinical skills. Its importance to the Australian healthcare system and patient safety is underscored by the requirement that all healthcare professionals are required to undertake minimum CPD training each year to maintain their registration with AHPRA.

However, the changes introduced this year by the Medical Board of Australia (MBA), has substantially increased the time commitment required from healthcare professionals - particularly GPs - to meet their minimum CPD obligations.

In this article, we'll explore the changes in CPD requirements and discuss how CPD providers and sponsors can step in to support GPs on an ongoing basis.

Activity Before 2023 2023+
6-hour workshop 40 points 6 hours
6-hour workshop 40 points 6 hours
20 x 60min meetings 40 points 20 hours
CPR Training (mandatory) 10 points 6 hours
Total 130 points 38 hours
Minimum Requirement 130 points 150 hours
Extent to which a GP has met their 3-year CPD obligation 100% 25%

This year, the MBA introduced a blanket requirement that all medical practitioners (i.e. GPs and specialists) are required to undertake 50 hours of CPD training each year. 

Prior to this change, GPs were required to accumulate 130 “points” of CPD activity every 3 years. These points could be accumulated by engaging in either Category 1 (40 points) or Category 2 (2 points per hour) activities. A 6-hour interactive workshop, for example, could be a Category 1 activity. 

As the table below illustrates, where a GP may have previously undertaken 38 hours of CPD training to fulfil their 3-years CPD obligations, under the new system that same time commitment only accounts for 25% of their 3-year CPD requirement.

So what has changed? 

The impact of these changes has been substantial. General Practice is already under immense pressure, and the added time commitment needed to undertake CPD training is making it challenging for many GPs to meet their professional obligations. Recognising this, we are aware that the GP medical colleges (RACGP and ACRRM) are actively collaborating with their members to help them navigate the evolving CPD landscape.

What has been the impact on General Practice?

  1. Availability and Timing: Ensure that CPD opportunities are readily available and consider offering ongoing educational programs rather than one-time events.

  2. Time of Day: Schedule meetings and sessions at varying times, where practical, to accommodate GPs' diverse schedules, whether during the day, immediately after work, or later in the evening.

  3. GP-Friendly Scheduling: Consider days that suit the majority of GPs, such as mid-week sessions, weekends, and the impact of school holidays in the various Australian states and territories.

  4. Minimise Travel Requirements: Make it convenient for GPs to attend by providing easily accessible venues with public transport options, free parking, or webinars to eliminate the need for travel.

  5. Accreditation: Ensure that the CPD activities are officially accredited for CPD hours to meet the GPs' regulatory requirements.

  6. Accessibility of Content: Optimise the content of the meeting to enhance accessibility, accommodating GPs with varying learning styles and needs.

As an education provider or sponsor, what can you do?

As CPD providers and sponsors, it's crucial to recognise the needs and challenges faced by GPs and design educational opportunities that align with these changes. Here are some key considerations:

The changes introduced this year by the Medical Board of Australia to medical practitioners' minimum CPD requirements bring with them the opportunity for CPD providers and sponsors to adapt their offerings to support GPs effectively.

By prioritising accessibility and convenience, providers and sponsors can become invaluable allies in helping GPs fulfill their professional obligations and continue delivering the best possible care to their patients. In a time when General Practice faces increasing demands, flexible and supportive CPD opportunities are more important than ever.

At the end of the day...

If you'd like to have your education featured in front of Australian GPs, speak to us at Praxhub about our end-to-end CME solutions, or simply hosting your education on Praxhub.

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