1. Who can participate in the RACS Program?
Fellows of RACS, SIMG's on a pathway to FRACS, SIMG/Consultants working in surgery, PGY3+ practitioners working in surgically affiliated field (i.e., surgical assistants, proceduralists). Participants do not have to be a FRACS to participate.
2. How do I join the RACS CPD program?
Please follow instructions below on how to join.
1. Click on the subscriptions link
2. Sign in using your my.surgeons.org account or if you don't have an account 'Sign Up'
3. Click on subscribe button for CPD Program Enrolment 2023 (MOPS/PGY3+)
4. Check your details and update (if necessary)
5. Enter your details including your Medical ID registration then validate
6. Add to cart
7. Pay subscription
3. How much does it cost to join?
SIMG/Consultants working in surgery - AUD $3575 NZ $4000
PGY3+ practitioners working in a surgical affiliated field (ie., surgical assistants, proceduralists) - an introductory fee $500 (subject to change)
4. How is the CPD requirement defined for participants?
The CPD program requirements are aligned to the regulatory standards in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. Participants in the RACS program are asked to define their area of practice each year and participate in activities relevant to their scope.
5. What defines an Area of Practice?
Participants define their own Area of Practice against a list of developed in consultation. This includes area specific to a practitioner's specialty and the other relating to areas relevant to all specialties (i.e., communication etc).
At least 50% of CPD activity must relate to a participant's current Area of Practice. The remaining 50% of CPD activities can relate to an Area of Practice or other interests such as pursuing re-skilling or re-training opportunities. Area of Practice can be adjusted at any time throughout the CPD year by the participant.
6. How much CPD do participants need to complete?
Fellows of RACS, SIMG/Consultants working as a surgeon
• Complete at least one (1) Learning Plan per annum
• Complete at least two (2) education activities, minimum 40 points/hours per annum
• Complete at least one (1) audit of self/own practice
• Complete ANZASM surgical case forms as required
• Complete a minimum 15 points/hours per annum of Performance Review activity including at least one (1) ‘Performance of Self’ activity and one (1) Performance of Others activity
PGY3+ practitioners working in a surgically affiliated field (I.e., surgical assistants, proceduralists) have the same requirements as Fellows of RACS, SIMG/Consultants working as a surgeon except for Education Activities where they are required to complete minimum 20 points/hours (not 40 points/hours).
SIMGS on a Pathway to FRACS should contact the SIMG department for further information on their requirements.
7. Does RACS provide content for CPD?
In addition to professional development courses, RACS provides the following activities to support CPD participation and compliance:
• A Professional Development Plan template, which once complete automatically logs compliance with this requirement (included in fee)
• A Morbidity Audit and Logbook tool (MALT) (included in fee)
• Access to a Multisource Feedback Tool via CFEP Surveys (at cost)
• RACS Library Access (included in fee)
8. What is the timeline for completing CPD?
The RACS Program is an annual program implemented across a calendar year (1 January - 31 December). Participants are expected to have their CPD submitted by no later than 28 February.
9. What is the process for determining that a participant meets the
Participants self-report their activities throughout the year. If not selected to verify (see question 11), once the minimum requirement has been met, a participant can finalise their CPD and access their certificate. Those selected to verify must upload evidence of participation before being able to finalise.
10. What are other approved programs?
Fellows of RACS in orthopaedics can elect to participate in the AOA or NZOA CPD Programs, which are recognised by RACS as comparable. Fellows choosing this option can notify the College either online or via email of their participation in an alternative program.
11. What is verification?Each year 10% of CPD participants are selected to verify their CPD activity. The verification process requires participants to submit supporting documentation for their activities to a level sufficient to meet the minimum requirements in each category. Participants will also need to demonstrate that the activities are relevant to their self-defined Area of Practice.
Participants selected for verification will be notified at least 6 weeks before the end of the CPD period.
12. Where do I record my CPD activities and where is my data stored?
The RACS CPD Platform has been developed on a Microsoft D365 Platform.
The system is protected by firewall technology and RACS undertakes regular security tests to ensure its systems are safe from hacking. The daily back-up is held on dedicated software located in Australia.
13. Why do I need to identify competencies to my activities?
The RACS Surgical Competence and Performance Guide outlines the ten (10) competencies and associated behavioural markers. Participants are provided with a graphical display that shows their participation in CPD activity against the ten (10) competencies. The inclusion of the surgical competencies in the CPD program supports planning and reflection on participation in activities across the spectrum of a surgeon's practice.
14. What is a structured conversation and how do I complete it?
A structured conversation is undertaken with a peer, colleague or employer about the doctor’s clinical practice. The intent of this activity is to provide time for the doctor to reflect on their development needs, their goals for learning and professional activities and their intentions for the next year. Doctors are encouraged to use the information they have obtained undertaking activities across the three types of CPD to inform this conversation.
The RACS CPD Program requires participants to undertake a structured conversation with a peer. This is a mandatory requirement for Aotearoa New Zealand participants under their learning plan and is an optional activity for Australian participants.
15. What is a CPD Plan?
A CPD plan (also known as a personal or professional development plan) is a learning tool that supports planning of professional development goals and reflection on activities undertaken in pursuit of these goals. A CPD plan should be written at the start of the CPD year and surgeons should seek out activities and education that are reflective of their learning goals set. At the end of the year, surgeons are asked review their CPD participation throughout the year and how this has helped to meet their learning goals. Surgeons in Aotearoa New Zealand must also undertake a structured conversation as part of the learning plan cycle, with more information available on the MCNZ website.
16. Can I complete CPD activities with other educational providers?
While RACS offers a range of high quality CPD activities, participants can complete professional development through a variety of providers including work-based learning.
17. What if I need to apply for an exemption?
You can apply for an exemption either online through your CPD dashboard or contact the CPD team. All applications are and assessed confidentially.
18. What additional support to participants does RACS offer?
In addition to guides, professional development and standards, RACS offers support to participants to complete their CPD via:
• Executive Director for Surgical Affairs (EDSA) in Australia and Surgical Advisors in Aotearoa New Zealand - available for advice and support on request
• Clinical Director (SIMG) - available to support SIMG’s on a pathway to FRACS
• Audit Assistance
o Peer review of audit
o Peer review of medico legal reports via the RACS medico legal section
o Peer review of locum logbooks facilitate via the EDSA
o Advice on ANZASM participation via the Clinical Director, Research and Audit
• Access to support for re-entry and re-skilling program
• RACS Fellows and SIMGs can access the RACS Support Program
19. Where can I find RACS policies for the CPD program?
20. How does RACS Communicate to CPD participants?
RACS provides regular updates on the CPD Program via the following:RACS will also provide access to CPD newsletters on the website.
• ‘Fax Mentis’ Newsletter
• CPD Newsletter (Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand)
• Direct Communication (Email, SMS)
• Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
21. How can I access my certificate or transcript?
You can download your annual compliance certificate or transcript through the CPD dashboard or contact the CPD team for support.
22. How do I can contact CPD support?