The Difference Between Mandatory Training and CPD

Last Updated: 17 April 2023

Welcome to the CPD Guide! This article is the seventh installation of a series of articles that explain every element of CPD including the CPD period, general CPD requirements, and audits.

What is ‘professional development’?

Professional development – or sometimes known as 'CPD' – refers to learning activities that relate to a person’s professional role, and that provide support to that person so they can provide the best version of their practice possible. Healthcare is not the only industry that requires practitioners complete professional development; for example, lawyers must complete their own mandated professional development.

In healthcare, each National Board will set the requirements for CPD for that particular group of registered health practitioners. However, you can undertake professional development beyond your CPD requirements: for example, you can continue to perform educational activities even after you’ve reached the minimum number of hours or points you need to be compliant.

What is ‘mandatory training’?

Mandatory training refers to compulsory training that is dictated by your organisation. It must be completed for you to continue performing tasks relevant to the training while in your role.

The goal of mandatory training is to align staff with relevant laws that are external to an organisation, and policies and procedures that are internal and relevant to an organisation.

Mandatory training can include daily safety topics such as fire safety and evacuation strategies, but it can also include organisation-specific topics that are designed to onboard you into the organisation’s way of doing things. For example, your organisation could assign you mandated training on how to use their central management system so that by the end of the training, you’d be able to use their systems effectively.

To learn more about mandatory training, have a look here: Guide to Mandatory Training - Ausmed

Is mandatory training part of your CPD?

Mandatory training is different to CPD because mandatory training requirements for registered health professionals do not fall under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law in force in each state and territory.

However, you may choose to document and reflect upon mandatory training as a way to include it in your CPD requirement. You can really only do this if the mandatory training that you completed meets one of your relevant learning needs, is relevant to your context of practice and contains new learning. For example, this means you cannot complete the fire safety mandatory training module and attribute it to your CPD requirements if you have no current learning need related to fire safety.

What happens if you don’t complete your mandatory training?

If you neglect to complete your mandatory training, your organisation may bar you from completing duties related to the mandatory training until you complete it. For example, if the mandatory training is related to obtaining consent to treatment from patients, you will not be permitted to interact with new patients regarding consent to treatment until you complete the mandatory training.

You may be barred from completing tasks related to the incomplete mandatory training for both safety and legal reasons, on behalf of you, your patients and your organisation.

What next?

Once you’ve read this article on professional development and mandatory training, return to the CPD Guide to find out more about your required professional development. We recommend reading ‘How do you reflect effectively?’ next.

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