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Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The public has the right to expect that registered veterinarians providing professional services do so in a competent and contemporary manner.  Veterinary registration boards are afforded a statutory responsibility to protect the public interest.  The boards may use two approaches to achieve this goal.  One approach is to take disciplinary action retrospectively and apply penalties befitting the level of professional misconduct proven. The second approach is to proactively establish appropriate mechanisms to encourage veterinarians to undertake a level of post graduate continuing professional development (CPD) to enable the provision of competent veterinary services.

CPD is an interactive process by which veterinarians enhance the skills and knowledge they possessed at date of graduation.  It incorporates a continuous post-graduate program of both structured and un-structured learning activities that contribute directly to the professional competence of a veterinarian. A commmitment to CPD should be consistent with the objective of protecting animal welfare, consumers, the profession and those associated with the registrant’s field of employment. CPD assists professionals in keeping up to date in their area of practice or employment with changes and new developments in the professional body of knowledge and enables professionals to maintain and improve their level of competence.

Individuals are expected to review their CPD needs regularly, and plan ahead so that they can make the most of development opportunities as they arise.  Many veterinarians choose to attend external courses to keep themselves up to date, but participating in more informal networks and in-house training is also of great value.  The opportunities offered by working on new projects, or through involvement in research should also be recognised as adding to professional development.

CPD is an important asset not only in maintaining competence but also in assisting veterinarians who are re-entering the workforce after a period of absence or are changing disciplines within the profession.  It is particularly essential for maintaining speciality competence.

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