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College Preparing Members for Revised CPD Registration Standards for New Zealand and Australia

RACMA Fellows and Associate Fellows are being reassured it will not be difficult to complete Continuing Professional Development under the new changes being implemented by the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA).

While many were initially worried the revised standards would make CPD an onerous task for Medical Administrators, RACMA Lead Fellow Dr Greg Watters said with hindsight it was because it was all new to everyone.

“At first we wondered how, as Medical Administrators, we were going to meet the new requirements, but we have now had time to process the changes and break them down to fully understand what needs to be done and it will not be that difficult,” Dr Watters said.

“The College must provide a variety of CPD activities and resources for Members. Rather than relying on education and teaching as the main source of CPD, the emphasis is now on performance review, reflection on practice and measurement of outcomes through audit.

“The College has to provide resources to help with this and while it will take some work to get the resources available for Members, the aim is to develop resources to make it easy to perform and record CPD.

“As Medical Administrators we will be able to do our CPD; it won’t be a problem.”

The College’s new suite of resources for CPD is intended to include:

  • Templates
  • Education materials on how to perform audits
  • Education material on what should be in an annual conversation
  • Workshops
  • Webinars

MyRACMA will also be updated in readiness to accommodate the changes for Members and a new CPD handbook will be published in time.

The College has hosted information sessions in New Zealand and will do the same across all of Australia’s jurisdictions, to ensure Members are well-prepared when the revised standards take effect.

RACMA CPD Lead Fellow Dr Greg Watters said the response and participation from New Zealand Fellows and Associates was remarkable.

“We took them through each category of CPD, they gave us their opinions on the resources needed from the College and we listened,” Dr Watters said.

“We talked at length about a number of concerns and in the end the Members were happy with what we will develop to help and they are comfortable they will be able to achieve their CPD without too much trouble.”

For Fellows registered in New Zealand the new requirements, which start 1 July this year, are:

  • Reviewing and reflecting on practice
  • Measuring and improving outcomes
  • Educational activities

In addition to the three categories above, these activities must be underpinned by:

  • Annual conversation
  • Professional Development Plan
  • Cultural safety and a focus on health equity

The New Zealand workshops discussed how the College would develop a way for Members to have regular practice review, as well as what methods of self-evaluation and reflection could be used.

“We talked at length about how to have an annual conversation,” Dr Watters said.

“An annual review with an employee would be considered a conversation and the MCNZ has put forward things they want in that conversation. We are aiming to provide a template to Members so if there is a problem with that conversation the template is there to use”

Another key area covered was audits and measuring outcome.

“This was initially a major problem for New Zealand Members as they were worried about what sort of audits they could do,” Dr Watters said.

“There is some reference to audits in the CPD handbook, but we do need to develop possible topics for audit and provide resources to aid Members to complete them.”

New Zealand Members provided feedback that the current handbook was too heavily focussed on Medical Administration-specific CPD and did not acknowledge the variety of activities Members performed and the fact CPD comes in a multitude of forms.

Professional Development Plans were also raised as a concern for New Zealand Members and Dr Watters said the College would also expand the current number of templates available for these.

In Australia under the changes set for January 2023, doctors will do 50 hours 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.

Workshops and information sessions for Australian jurisdictions are planned to be rolled out in May and June to fully explain the changes to Members and, as in New Zealand, provide the opportunity for questions and feedback on what resources will be needed.

“We want to make sure Members fully understand what’s happening,” Dr Watters said.

“We need a consensus on what they would like in terms of resources so we can then determine what to do and how to do it.”

Once the feedback is collated, the resources will be developed to meet Member requirements and then communicated to the Jurisdictional Committees before being made available to Members.

Dr Watters said the New Zealand resources would be developed first given the imminent timeline for that jurisdiction.

Detailed information regarding the changes for Australian practitioners can be found on the Medical Board of Australia’s website, while a summary of the Medical Council of New Zealand re-registration standards can be found on their website.

If you have any questions regarding College CPD or the new changes please email cpd@racma.edu.au

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