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:

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:

 Category   Standard   Minimum Requirement
 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.

  • Verification

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 protected]. 

Yours sincerely

Prof Andrew Hill
Chair, Professional Standards

Fellowship Engagement
Professional Standards 

Telephone +61 3 9249 1282
[email protected]