CPD exemption or variation

CPD exemption or variation

CPD exemption or variation

Regulations around exemption or variation to CPD are set by the Medical Board of Australia (MBA), as CPD is now a registration standard. The RACGP reflects the MBA’s requirements in its CPD Program, as outlined below. However, the College recommends that all practitioners who take leave from practice to maintain CPD activity, as much as possible, within the constraints of their reasons for taking leave from practice.

RACGP members may seek an exemption or variation to CPD requirements for any leave from general practice for a continuous period greater than 6 months duration, where the leave overlaps a calendar year, exemption or variation will be pro-rated for each relevant year.

Members taking leave of absence less than 6 months must complete the full annual CPD requirement. Members taking leave for a full 12 months are exempt all CPD requirements for that year. For leave beyond 12 months, CPD requirements are set by the MBA’s recency of practice registration standard as well as the MBA's re-entry to practice requirements.

Variations to CPD requirements may be considered under limited and specific circumstances when role or scope of practice changes significantly. The College provides detailed guidance on how to meet CPD requirements by role and scope of practice, and hence variations to CPD are highly exceptional, and on individual application.

Leave from practice may include, but is not limited to the following circumstances:

  • parental leave
  • carer’s leave
  • serious illness
  • cultural leave
  • personal leave or other circumstances.

Members of the RACGP seeking an exemption to their CPD requirements must advise the RACGP by completing this online form. Requests for exemption must be submitted before leave is taken so that any changes to CPD requirements can be recorded and managed in RACGP’s reporting to AHPRA. All requests for exemption will be reviewed by the CPD Operations Manager and escalated to the National Clinical Lead – CPD, where required. Applicants will receive an email confirming the arrangements. 
Exemption to CPD will be applied on a pro rata basis as per the following tables.

Duration of absence Exemption hours
6-12 months
  • two hours per month of educational activities (EA)
  • one hour per month of reviewing performance (RP)
  • one hour per month of measuring outcomes (MO)
  • professional development plan (PDP) with an optional version from six months of absence.
Over 12 months

The following table provides a breakdown of the exemption hours per activity type and remaining CPD hours required per activity type.

Duration of absence in months Exemption hours per activity Remaining CPD hours required per activity
EA RP MO EA RP and/or MO
6 12 6 6 13 13
7 14 7 7 11 11
8 16 8 8 9 9
9 18 9 9 7 7
10 20 10 10 5 5
11 22 11 11 3 3

Review and Appeal

Where an applicant for exemption or variation to CPD is dissatisfied with the outcome or decision made by the RACGP, they may apply for a review of that decision under the RACGP’s review and appeals policy. Applications for review of a decision must be made as per process outlined in this policy.

Last updated 17 January 2024