Impact of CPD

How Does CPD Impact on the Practice of Health Practitioners?

CPD ensures that health practitioners are constantly and consistently improving their professional practice. Without the regulation of health practitioners, many negative outcomes would arise, the main being malpractice due to lack of knowledge on new practice techniques, new technologies and more.

The argument can be made that with new practice techniques and technology that the sector will naturally develop awareness and understanding of these innovations. However, without a sense of urgency or requirement, it naturally decreases motivation towards actively acquiring these new skills.

To see the impact of CPD on health practitioners we should refer to the table below, here we see the total number of registered practicing health practitioners relative to their board and minimum CPD requirements per registration period. The total CPD hours for all registration boards combined equates to 19,524,170 hours of CPD completed within one registration period. To make this figure easier to understand, this roughly equates to 2.5 years worth of learning with the intended outcomes of improved patient care within one year.

Professional BoardNo. Registered Practicing PractitionersMin. CPD Hours RequiredTotal Hours of CPD (per year)
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia403,53220 hours8,070,640 hours
Chiropractic Board of Australia5,22625 hours130,650 hours
Dental Board of Australia23,20560 hours (3 years)464,100 hours (1 year)
Medical Board of Australia116,95850 hours5,847,900 hours
Optometry Board of Australia5,71080 hours (2 years)228,400 hours (1 year)
Osteopathy Board of Australia2,54625 hours63,650 hours
Pharmacy Board of Australia30,89040 credits/hours1,235,600 hours
Physiotherapy Board of Australia32,69420 hours653,880 hours
Podiatry Board of Australia5,25120 hours105,020 hours
Psychology Board of Australia36,34630 hours1,090,380 hours
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners708Min 10 hours per year, 60 hours over 3 years. Average = 20 hours1,4160 hours
Chinese Medicine Board of Australia4,61820 hours92,360 hours
Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia16,49060 hours (3 years)329,800 hours (1 year)
Occupational Therapy Board of Australia21,96530 hours658,950 hours
Paramedicines Board of Australia17,95630 hours538,680 hours
Total724,09519,524,170 hours

How Does CPD Impact on the Patients?

CPD positively impacts patients through upholding professional standards and continuous improvement in the way health practitioners undertake their practice. It is evident through the sheer number of CPD hours accumulated by the healthcare sector that it will only improve patient care.

This is not to say that there are not areas to improve in terms of CPD. All health practitioners should aim to get the most out of their CPD for their own, and for their patients’ betterment.

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your CPD!

Diversity of education

You can acquire CPD from a wide range of sources and activities, many of which are free. Be sure to diversify your CPD portfolio whilst upholding your requirements.

Source CPD from credible providers

Try to ensure the CPD you’re receiving comes from credible providers. Ways you can determine if a provider is credible is:

  • The provider cites sources of information
  • The information the provider cites is relevant and up-to-date
  • The provider is aware of your CPD requirements
  • The provider is supported by relevant boards or professional associations

Spread out your CPD

Don’t leave your CPD to the last minute. It’s best to spread out your CPD activities across the entire registration period to remove stress come registration renewal and ensure you effectively absorb the information you learn.

Document your CPD ASAP

Similar to the point above, it’s best to document and evaluate your CPD as soon after you complete it as possible. This ensures your reflection is accurate as the information is top-of-mind and allows for a deeper critical analysis of the outcome.

Use an online CPD Portfolio

An online portfolio will make it easy to uphold your CPD requirements by having a record of your CPD activities for every registration year. Some portfolios allow you to record written reflections and relate your learning to your context of practice and even your registration standards. The Ausmed App is the perfect tool to help with this.