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The Importance of Professional Development as a GP

March 5, 2021

General Practitioners not only work in a high-risk professional setting, with constant advances and improvements in technology, medications, and care methods, they are also required to know more than ever before. While the concept of continued professional development (CPD) is not new, governments and health departments across Australia now recommend a more formal approach. RuralMedEd promotes rural and remote health practice through training, research and collaboration with government and strategic health agencies. From advanced life support courses to KFP online courses, we are committed to supporting rural doctors in their work and learning. Read on to learn more about CPD and why it’s so important.

What is CPD?

Continuing professional development (CPD) is a mandatory process in which healthcare professionals maintain, improve and broaden their technical skills, knowledge, understanding, problem-solving and performance throughout their professional careers. GPs must undertake a minimum number of CPD hours that are directly relevant to their context of practice. CPD is often described as a four-step process, these steps include:

  • Identifying learning needs
  • Developing a learning plan
  • Engaging in relevant education
  • Documenting and evaluating learning outcomes

What Are the Benefits of CPD?

Completing CPD activities, such as the advanced life support courses offered by RuralMedEd, will ensure that the quality of care and the depth of knowledge continue to grow and expand over time. CPD:

  • Allows individuals to continually upskill.
  • Stops qualifications from becoming outdated.
  • Allows individuals to identify any knowledge gaps.
  • Increases overall competency, and shows a clear commitment to self-development and professionalism.

How Much CPD Is Required?

The CPD registration standard requires a self-directed program of 50 hours of CPD to be completed each year.

What is Considered CPD?

There is a wide range of activities that could be considered as CPD. Some example may include:

  • Postgraduate studies which are of relevance to your context of practice
  • Writing or reviewing educational materials, journal articles or books
  • Presenting at an in-service or workshop
  • Attending conferences, workshops and seminars
  • Having an article published in a peer-reviewed journal
  • Attending or listening to lectures
  • Acting as a preceptor, mentor or tutor
  • Developing policy, protocols and guidelines
  • Participating in clinical audits, critical incident monitoring, case reviews or clinical meetings

How do I record and manage my CPD?

For any activities to count towards mandatory CPD requirements, formal reflection and documentation must be undertaken and provided. This is to prove the knowledge is applicable and practical in relation to the professional practice of the individual. Random CPD audits are conducted to determine if health professionals are complying with their requirements. It is recommended to utilise an online portfolio to record and document your CPD activities.

While graduation from your tertiary studies and starting your career as a healthcare professional is an incredible milestone, the journey of learning has only just begun – your continuing professional development and learning will be ongoing throughout your career. For more information or to enrol in courses that meet QI&CPD/PDP requirements, get in touch with RuralMedEd today. Download a prospectus now, contact us online or call (07) 4638 7999 today.

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