Important changes to the RACS CPD Program in 2021

CPD road map

Important changes to the RACS CPD Program in 2021

Exciting changes are coming to RACS in 2021, with a new and personalised CPD Program and online Portfolio. The ‘CPD Roadmap’ provides a high-level overview of the key changes for 2020/2021. Keep an eye out for further announcements about the 2021 CPD Program early in the new year.

RACS ASC Microlearning activities

2020 CPD update

We understand that while COVID-19 will impact each surgeon differently, the restriction on participation and access to continuing professional development (CPD) events will affect everyone.

After careful consideration, the Executive of the Professional Development and Standards Board determined that the CPD year will remain at 1 January to 31 December 2020. Activities should be entered into CPD Online by no later than 28 February 2021. 

RACS Fellows and surgeons participating in the CPD program have consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to participation and compliance - we will not be undertaking verification of CPD activities for 2020.

In recognition of the impact the 2020 year has had on so many of us, the following adjustments to CPD requirements have been made:

  • Up to 10 points can be claimed for COVID activities in Category 2: Clinical Governance. This will meet the full requirement for this category in 2020.
  • An additional 10 points can be claimed for General Activities in Category 3: Maintenance of Knowledge and Skills. This increases the annual threshold to 30 points and recognises the significant reading and research activities many surgeons have undertaken this year.
  • To assist in meeting the Category 4: Reflective Practice requirement, an online activity is now available

You can view a list of activities on the College Calendar.

The revised RACS CPD Framework is scheduled for launch in July 2021 and we look forward to communicating further changes to you throughout the year.

Where can I get help?

The CPD team are available Monday to Friday 9.00am-5.00pm (AEST) and can be contacted at +61 3 9249 1282 or


Microlearning activities

Microlearning activities are bite sized, interactive learning opportunities, which are easily accessible via mobile phone, tablet or computer. They capture key messages and focus on the immediate information with links to gain a deeper understanding if required.  These activities count towards Category 3 CPD points. 

We value your feedback, please take a moment complete this brief microlearning evaluation.

How to access your CPD in the RACS Portfolio

  • CPD approved logoStep 1: Sign into the RACS Portfolio
  • Step 2: Click on RACS Portfolio > My CPD
  • Step 3: Confirm your Practice Type is correct
  • Step 4: Review your requirements and add activities (you can add supporting documents to any activity)
  • Step 5: Once you have entered the requirements for each category submit your CPD via the 'Finalise my CPD' button

Note: RACS activities, ANZASM activities and RACS approved activities are automatically uploaded to your CPD and verified for you.




All Fellows in active practice of any kind are required to participate in the CPD program.

New Fellows who are admitted to the College after 30 October are exempt from participating in the CPD program for that year. Other grounds for exemption may include:

  • Ill health
  • Family leave or other personal reasons
  • Other special circumstances

In line with changes to regulatory requirements, Fellows undertaking post-specialty training are not eligible for an exemption from the CPD program.

Fellows residing overseas are required to have completed the Operating With Respect (OWR) requirement and upload evidence of participation in either a program in the country in which they practice or comply with RACS requirements.

Fellows must apply for an exemption in writing, stating one of the above grounds.

What is reflective practice?

Reflective practice is the capacity to reflect on action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning.  In its simplest form it involves thinking about, or reflecting on, what you do.  It is closely linked to the concept of learning from experience. Reflective practice requires a conscience effort to think about events, and develop insights into them.  Reflective practice is a process by which you, pause and think about your practice, consciously analyse your decision making and draw on a theory to relate it to what you did (or didn't do) in practice.

Reflective practice in continuous learning includes:

At least one activity from reflective practice must be completed by 31 December to meet 2020 CPD requirements.

CPD Program Guide

The CPD Program Guide (PDF 706.18KB) is a valuable resource for Fellows. The guide defines program requirements by practice types, details the range of activities available for Fellows to achieve their annual requirements, and includes frequently asked questions.