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The Quarterly


Continuing Education Program Update Print E-mail
The Quarterly 2011


In this update we highlight considerations for Australian RACMA Fellows relevant to AHPRA/MBA registration renewal. These include the Recency of Practice Registration Standard, and the Continuing Professional Development Registration Standard.

We also highlight CEP participation rates, the recently approved RACMA Standards for CEP, the updated CEP Activity Table and the new RACMA Maintenance of Professional Standards (MoPS) program.

1. AHPRA/MBA Registration Deadline 30 September 2011

When renewing registration it is important for Fellows to consider the following matters in relation to "practicing" vs "non-practising" registration, recency of practice, specialist registration and CPD.

In summary:

  • Most RACMA Fellows are "Practising" by the Medical Board of Australia definition (summarised below). Fellows are advised to carefully consider these MBA standards before making any decision to re-register in a "non-practising" category.

  • Fellows who have previously registered as "non-practising" and wish to renew as "practicing" will need to attach evidence to their renewal registration (Q6) and meet the requirements of the Board's Recency of Practice Registration Standard. This Standard is also summarised below.

  • Compliance with the MBA Continuing Professional Development Registration Standard is required to register as a "practicing" medical practitioner. This can be achieved by completing the requirements of the RACMA Continuing Education Program (CEP) or Maintenance of Professional Standards (MOPS) program.

  • Some RACMA Fellows have not yet logged their CEP activities for 2010. Fellows can still log 2010 activities using the eCEP program and apply to the College for a participation certificate before the AHPRA Registration Deadline of 30 September.

  • RACMA Fellows currently holding general registration are encouraged to register as Specialists in Medical Administration. RACMA is a medical college accredited by the AMC. The Application for Specialist registration for a Medical Practitioner (currently holding general registration) is available on the AHPRA Website.

If Fellows have any queries please email Michelle Barrett, Curriculum and Training Co-ordinator at the National Office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

2. Background to AHPRA/MBA Registration Renewal Matters

2.1 The "Recency of Practice" Registration Standard

It is important to understand the AHPRA/MBA definition of "practising" as stated in the Medical Board of Australia's Recency of Practice Registration Standard.

"Practice is any role, whether remunerated or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a health practitioner in their profession. For the purposes of this registration standard, practice is not restricted to the provision of direct clinical care. It also includes using professional knowledge in a direct non-clinical relationship with clients, working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy development roles, and any other roles that impact on safe, effective delivery of services in the professionMedical practitioners with non-practising registration cannot undertake any practice as defined above. They are not permitted to prescribe or refer, regardless of whether they are being remunerated."

Fellows should note that this definition of practice is "not limited to the provision of direct clinical care" and aptly describes the activities of FRACMAs in their various roles as specialists in medical administration.

Requirements for returning to practice

"For practitioners returning to practice within their previous field, provided they have at least two years' experience prior to the absence:
  • Absence less than one year - no specific requirements to be met before recommencing practice.
  • Absence between one and three years - complete a minimum of one year's pro rata of CPD activities relevant to the intended scope of practice prior to recommencement designed to maintain and update knowledge and clinical judgement.
  • Absence greater than three years – provide a plan for professional development and for re-entry to practice to the Board for consideration. Refer also to 5(c) of the Board's 'Continuing professional development' registration standard."

2.2 The Continuing Professional Development Registration Standard

Under the National Law, which governs the operations of the National Boards and AHPRA, all registered health practitioners must undertake CPD.

The CPD requirements of the Medical Board of Australia are detailed in the Continuing Professional Development Registration Standard. In summary this standard states that:

"Medical practitioners who are engaged in any form of medical practice are required to participate regularly in continuing professional development (CPD) that is relevant to their scope of practice in order to maintain, develop, update and enhance their knowledge, skills and performance to ensure that they deliver appropriate and safe care."

"CPD must include a range of activities to meet individual learning needs including practice-based reflective elements, such as clinical audit, peer-review or performance appraisal, as well as participation in activities to enhance knowledge such as courses, conferences and online learning. CPD programs of medical colleges accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) meet these requirements. "

3. CEP Participation Rates.

The proportion of RACMA Fellows logging CEP activities for 2010 has increased to 87%. This is a significant improvement over 2009 participation rates. Reasons for the improvement include the efforts to increase participation rates by the National Office, the CEP committee and the CEP coordinators, the improved eCEP Program compiled by RACMA's Information officer Dino DeFazio, and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) Continuing Professional Development Registration Standard which makes participation in CPD a requirement for all practising doctors. I thank all who have contributed to this improvement and encourage participating Fellows to continue logging activities on the eCEP platform. Please remember to attach documentary evidence when you log your 2011 CEP activities.

The improvement is pleasing but not yet the 100% required. During 2011 we will continue to work with Fellows and Associate Fellows to further improve participation rates.

4. RACMA CPD Standards and the Revised Activity Table

The RACMA Board has recently approved the RACMA CEP Standards and an updated and extensively revised activity table. These were developed by the CEP Committee after an extensive consultation process. The two Standards are:

Standard 1 - The Peer Review and Self-Audit Standard requires a Fellow to undertake at least one peer review or activity during the triennium (2011-2013). This activity must focus on the Fellow's practice and can include clinical audit and 360 degree appraisal. A range of options are being developed by the CEP Committee's Peer Review Working Party. The College is also developing a Self-Audit and Peer Review Tool as part of the Rural Health Continuing Education Program.

Standard 2 - the CPD Activity Standard requires Fellows to achieve 50 points of CPD, aiming for 10 points per annum in each of 4 domains relating to the RACMA Competencies.

Associate Fellows are required to achieve 25 points of CPD in management related activities.These domains are:

  • Clinical Governance, Quality Improvement and Clinical Risk Management
  • Maintenance of Knowledge and Skills (College Competencies)
  • Teaching and Examination
  • Research and Publication

The RACMA CPD Standard and the revised activity table can be found here

5. The RACMA Maintenance of Professional Standards (MoPS) Program.

This Program has been established so that doctors who are not members of RACMA can comply with the MBA's CPD requirements for the maintenance of "practising" registration in medical administration. More information will be posted on the website shortly and is available in the interim from Michelle Barrett, Curriculum and Training Co-ordinator at the National Office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dr Bernard Street
Chair, CEP Committee

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