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Obligations for Recording of CPD

In Queensland, Section 26 of the Veterinary Surgeons Regulation 2002 provides that a veterinarian must keep a record of CPD undertaken.

The annual renewal of registration by registered veterinarians Australia wide incorporates a requirement to submit to their individual registration Board an annual return of the number of CPD units accrued for the registration year ended.

Mandatory reporting of CPD as a prerequisite of continuing registration has been introduced in some Australian registration jurisdictions.  In Queensland for the time being the undertaking of CPD is not a prerequisite for annual renewal of registration as a veterinarian.  Similarly in Queensland, evidence of CPD is not currently a prerequisite for veterinarians re-entering the profession after an extended absence.

On this page:

1. Level of Participation
2. Acceptable Learning Activities and Definition
3. Requirements and Documentation of CPD
4. Structured Activities
5. Unstructured Activities
6. Portability of CPD Units

1. Level of Participation

1.1 Registered practising veterinarians

The level of participation in CPD programmes should be sufficient to maximise the individual's competency in the chosen field of work.

1.2 Registered specialists

Registered veterinary specialists are expected to maintain a superior knowledge of current veterinary practice in their area of specialty.

1.3 Registered non-practising veterinarians

Non-practising veterinarians who intend to recommence any veterinary pursuit, whether paid or honorary, should be current and compliant       with the CPD guidelines at the commencement of that veterinary pursuit.

1.4 Retired category registrants

In Queensland, veterinarians 55 years and over, residing in Australia and who no longer gain an income by virtue of veterinary registration can retain their registration status in a 'Retired' category. There is no obligation for those registrants recognised on the Queensland Register as 'Retired' to submit an annual return of CPD units.

2. Acceptable Learning Activities and Definition

A large variety of learning activities may contribute to the professional development of an individual. The combined veterinary boards do not accredit CPD courses, conferences, workshops etc. It is important to try to define what are acceptable learning activities and to quantify these if there is to be a reasonable expectation for veterinarians to comply.

Acceptable CPD activities have been divided into two broad categories of 'structured' and 'unstructured' activities.

3. Requirements and Documentation of CPD

3.1 Requirements for CPD

CPD needs to be reasonable, achievable and useful to the veterinarian. A formal, structured one-week conference usually has a minimum of twenty hours (20) lectures. It has been determined that a basic unit, equivalent to a one hour formal structured lecture, be used as the benchmark unit of CPD against which all other types of CPD may be ranked. Over a period of three (3) years, an achievement of sixty (60) units of CPD has been determined to be a reasonable requirement, of which at least fifteen (15) units must be structured activities.

3.2 Applying CPD Points

When making decisions about how to apply CPD units the veterinarian should consider:

(a) whether the CPD resulted in the revision/retention of current knowledge and skills; and/or
(b) whether the CPD resulted in the acquisition of new knowledge and skills.

If either case is true, then units may be applied.

3.3 Documentation (evidence) of CPD

Records should show the type of activity and date undertaken, the number of hours claimed and the units that apply. A model record format is attached to this guideline. Many veterinarians would in the past have retained fully documented evidence of attendance at formal courses for taxation purposes. For the recording of both structured and unstructured units of CPD, it will be necessary for the individual to keep a formal record in a loose leaf form, in a log book or diary, or in any other easily readable stored format. This record would be supported by the retained course attendance documents.

3.4 Acquisition of recognised post-graduate qualifications in veterinary science related to the chosen field of work

The veterinarian who is currently undergoing formal post-graduate training with a view to the acquisition of a higher qualification in a chosen field of work or a related area of veterinary science is considered to be fulfilling the requirements for CPD. The study programmes for such courses usually contain formal requirements to attend lectures and conferences and to read the published literature relevant to the field of study. Such individuals would be exempt from any further requirements of CPD while undergoing such training.

4. Structured Activities

At least fifteen (15) units over each three (3) year period are required.

4.1 University CPD courses

It is not possible to fully assess the quality of formal post-graduate education courses offered by universities and post-graduate institutions worldwide. However, for the purposes of CPD all are considered to be fully acceptable and equivalent. One (1) unit may be allocated to each hour of lectures.

4.2 Courses, conferences and seminars conducted by professional veterinary associations or recognised private providers

Post-graduate courses and conferences are run on a worldwide basis by non-university providers. Such courses tend to be of a high standard and presented at a level commensurate with the contemporary requirements of the profession. They are considered to be of equal value to the formal continuing education courses offered by universities. One (1) unit may be allocated to each hour of lectures.

4.3 Presentation of scientific papers related to chosen field of work

This discipline requires considerable study and would constitute ample proof of CPD. This area is an ideal means for registered specialists to demonstrate their continuing professional development. Four (4) units may be allocated to the presentation of a one (1) hour lecture. Credit is allowed for the first presentation only.

4.4 Preparation of papers for presentation

One (1) unit has been allocated to the preparation of papers for publication.

4.5 Scientific lectures, seminars or educational programmes given by other professional groups (i.e. medical practitioners, dentists, physiotherapists etc)

Where such lectures and seminars demonstrably contain material that can assist in the professional development of the veterinarian in their field of professional activity, they are considered to be equivalent to lectures given under sections 4.1 and 4.2, above i.e. one (1) unit per lecture hour.

4.6 Distance Learning/Correspondence

Where distance learning courses offered by recognised training institutions and organisations in 4.1 and 4.2 are undertaken, one (1) unit may be allocated to each hour of active study.

4.7 Written Assessment Test

For written tests on veterinary literature articles, one (1) unit may be allocated to each successfully completed, critically assessed questionnaire.

4.8 Assessed audio/video tapes/information technology

For audio/video tapes and information technology accessed via printed or electronic medium (such as CD ROMs, the internet etc) with some form of critical assessment, used either privately by individuals or in a discussion group, one (1) unit may be allocated to each two (2) hours of participation.

4.9 Completion of Accreditation Program of Australian Veterinarians (APAV)

For veterinarians achieving APAV accreditation, one (1) unit may be allocated per chapter of the completed course.

5. Unstructured Activities

5.1 In practice training and instruction from professional colleagues and specialists.

Both the instructor and the student may receive credits. (Restricted to twenty (20) units in each three (3) years).

The most common forms of in-practice training are:

(i) The type of training given to a new graduate for the first one or two years post-graduation by more experienced members of the profession. Such training is considered essential to reinforce and enhance the basic training given to undergraduate veterinary students and to impart the additional skills peculiar to the veterinarian's chosen field of professional activity. Recent graduates should be encouraged to participate fully at conferences and seminars wherever possible. One (1) unit may be allocated to each day of in-house training.

(ii) The training given to an experienced veterinarian moving from one type of veterinary practice to another by their colleagues in the new field of work. This training is analogous to that given to new graduates and should be supplemented where possible by other more formal forms of CPD related to the new field of work. One (1) unit may be allocated to each day of structured in-house training.

(iii) The training given to veterinarians by other more experienced veterinarians – for example specialists in a particular field. This training need not necessarily be for the purposes of acquiring a higher qualification and may be for self-development only. However where utilised as part of the CPD requirement, it should be fully documented. One (1) unit may be allocated to each two (2) hours of this type of training.

(iv) Documented discussion between professional colleagues. This form of discussion could include formal case presentations, medical or surgical rounds, journal article discussions or meetings to share knowledge gained at conferences, courses, seminars or workshops as well as time spent with veterinary specialists eg in a referral situation. One (1) unit may be allocated to each two (2) hours of discussion documented.

(v) The training given to foreign graduates seeking to sit the National Veterinary Examination. One (1) unit may be allocated to each day of this type of training.

(vi) Undergraduate veterinary supervision – One (1) unit may be allocated to each day of supervision of an undergraduate veterinary student.

5.2 Reading of books and journals related to the chosen field of work

One (1) unit may be allocated to each two (2) hours of reading veterinary literature. The date, time spent and literature read should be noted in the formal CPD record.

5.3 Audio/video tapes/information technology

Non-assessed audio/videotapes and information technology access via printed or electronic medium (such as CD ROMs, the internet etc) either used privately by individuals or in a discussion group. One (1) unit may be allocated to each two (2) hours of participation.

6. Portability of CPD Units

CPD units accrued in one veterinary registration jurisdiction will be recognised in all other registration jurisdictions in Australasia providing a formal record is kept in a recognised form. The requirement for a recording period of three (3) years is uniformly implemented in all jurisdictions.

Also see:

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Introduction: Recording of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Obligations for Recording of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Sample CVE/CPD Record
CPD Unit Summary