This letter was sent by Professor Andrew Hill, Chair, Professional Standards Committee, on Wednesday 3 February, to Fellows and CPD subscribers. It provides an update on the College’s review of the CPD Program and upcoming changes.
RACS CPD Program: January – June 2021
RACS will be launching an updated annual CPD Program on 1 July 2021. As we transition towards the new program, we will have an interim CPD period in place between January - June 2021.
For CPD reporting purposes, Fellows will be asked to complete two of the following three activities during this period:
- Complete a Learning Plan (available online)
- Complete an online activity on the new 2021 CPD Program (available end of February)
- Attend the RACS Annual Scientific Congress or Specialty Society Meeting
A new online system to support this interim program will be available from Monday 8 February.
Why have these activities been chosen for the interim period?
We understand that the COVID pandemic and associated restrictions will continue to impact participation in education activities throughout 2021.
The activities identified for this interim period are easily accessible to all Fellows. They have been selected to support your understanding of the new requirements - learning plan and 2021 CPD online activity - and also reflect the importance of engaging with your peers (in person or virtually) through attendance at scientific and specialty society meetings.
RACS CPD Program: 1 July 2021
RACS will launch an updated CPD Program on 1 July 2021, supported by a new online eHub and mobile application. The requirements of the updated program reflect feedback from our members seeking more flexibility in their choice of activity and changes to CPD standards as advised by regulatory authorities in Australia and New Zealand.
The annual CPD period has been changed from a calendar year (1 January – 31 December) to 1 July – 30 June, removing the reporting timelines away from the peak holiday season.
The revised annual requirements are outlined in the table below:
|Annual Learning Plan|
|Audit||Audit of self/own practice||One (1) per annum*|
|Performance Review||a) Performance of Self
b) Performance of Others
| At least one (1) activity
At least one (1) activity
|Education Activities||At least two (2) activities - min. 40 hours per annum|
*Fellows in Australia must also participate in an Audit of Surgical Mortality (ANZASM) where required
Other key changes to the program include:
- Scope of Practice
In response to regulatory changes and feedback from Fellows that they wanted a program that was more relevant to their individual practice, CPD participation will be directed by a Fellow’s area of practice (self-determined).
At least 50 per cent of a Fellow’s CPD should relate to their area/s of practice with the remaining CPD to be determined by the Fellow.
From July 2021, RACS will increase it’s CPD verification rate from 7 per cent to 10 per cent and include:
- 5 per cent - random selection from eligible surgeons
- 5 per cent - random selection from surgeons who have never verified
Fellows will be expected to verify CPD participation across all categories with at least 50% of verified activity directly relating to their area of practice.
The revised criteria acknowledge concerns that some Fellows are verified multiple times during their career while others may never be selected.
Fellows who successfully verify their CPD will be exempt from being selected again for five years (currently three years).
- Self-Direction of Activities
To provide greater recognition of the breadth of CPD Fellows undertake, the list of education activities recognised within the program has been expanded. We will also take a flexible approach to activities recognised within the program and adjust on a regular basis.
In response to feedback that some activities can be relevant to more than one category, Fellows will also be able to self-direct where they claim CPD hours/points to maximise the amount of activity they can have recognised.
We will be providing more detailed information on the new program in the coming months and encourage you to provide your feedback which can be sent to email@example.com.
Prof Andrew Hill
Chair, Professional Standards
Telephone +61 3 9249 1282