Why is CPD a requirement

Continuing Professional Development is one of the registration standards that, with the exception of registered students and non-practising registrants, apply to all applicants for registration and registered medical practitioners in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

CPD framework 

The refreshed CPD Program moves away from practice types determining the amount of CPD a surgeon must undertake each year. From 1 July 2021, surgeons will be asked to participate in CPD as defined by their area of practice, including technical and non-technical areas. All surgeons are required to complete the same amount of CPD as outlined by the MBA and MCNZ standards. You will self-define your area of practice and can update this at any time. The areas of practice you can select have been developed in consultation with specialty associations and societies, and we welcome your on-going feedback to ensure that these remain relevant and contemporary. If you are no longer in operative practice, you may find that most of your area of practice is defined within non-technical areas such as teaching or supervision.    

At least 50 per cent of your CPD must be relevant to your area of practice. RACS has set the rate at this level in recognition that surgeons have interests outside their main area/s of practice or may wish to participate in other CPD to support re-skilling or re-training. When you logon to the new CPD IT platform you will be asked to define your technical and non-technical (operative/non-operative) areas of practice - or confirm the existing information already held by RACS.

The CPD Program continues to be based on a continuous cycle of learning with a focus on planning, participation, measuring outcomes, reflection and change.


CPD Cycle

CPD activities

Please refer to Appendix 1 from the RACS CPD guide.

Committees (PSFSC and PSC)

The delivery of the CPD Program is overseen by the Professional Standards Committee (PSC) and the Professional Standards and Fellowship Services Committees (PSFSC). More information can be found on the PSC and PSFSC webpages. In Aotearoa New Zealand, to maintain registration specialists must meet recertification requirements set by the Te Kaunihera Rata o Aotearoa - Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ).


RACS encourages participants to provide feedback on the CPD requirements to support continuous improvement and ensure the program meets the needs of the surgical profession. You can contact us via email at [email protected] or by phone +61 3 9249 1282.