CPD quality assurance and compliance framework

CPD quality assurance and compliance framework

CPD quality assurance and compliance framework

Conduct of CPD quality assurance assessment

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) undertakes regular monthly quality assurance assessment (QAA) of continuing professional development (CPD) activities to ensure compliance and to initiate quality improvement.

QAA is an audit function applied to a minimum of 5% of general practitioners' (GP) CPD activities under the Australian Medical Council guidelines for CPD homes and CPD provider activities, promotional materials and administrative requirements.

QAA of a CPD activity may be undertaken to ensure alignment to RACGP CPD Activity Standards and the CPD Provider Agreement, to review the appropriateness of activity hours assigned to a CPD provider activity or GP’s records, to review evidence of CPD provided by a GP and to review information received through feedback or if requested by the RACGP.

Conduct of the QAA for GP CPD activities

The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) requires CPD homes to audit 5% of GPs’ CPD records. The RACGP conducts regular targeted QAA/audit of GPs logging self-recorded CPD of 20 hours or more for a single activity at a time, as well as a random selection of CPD records. In this process, the provision of supporting activity documentation or evidence aligning with hours logged may be requested.

The audit process is being conducted to identify that:

  • hours applied to CPD activities are aligned with the MBA and RACGP CPD standards
  • there is no duplication of CPD activities
  • hours applied to CPD activities via Quick Log or GP-led forms have sufficient information or evidence for the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) auditing requirements (see ‘Evidence guidelines’ below).

Prompting a GP QAA

QAA will be undertaken on a minimum of 5% of GPs’ CPD activities, including:

  • self-recorded CPD activities of 20 hours or more for a single activity at a time
  • self-recorded CPD activities that include all the MBA CPD activity types for a single activity outside of the RACGP CPD activity guide
  • random selection.

Evidence guidelines

Evidence of participation in a CPD activity may include, but is not limited to:
  • a statement or email of completion/attendance
  • completed CPD activity templates (eg audit or mini-audit template, practice meeting agenda and minutes, etc)
  • committee or other relevant meetings’ agenda, minutes or outcomes
  • a copy of session materials (ie program/agenda)
  • a copy of your own notes or reflection on a CPD activity that can be photographed or captured as a screenshot and uploaded as evidence
  • a web address or URL and title of a journal article or other appropriate resource relevant to your scope of practice
  • a title and details or screenshot of the podcast, webcast or webinar you attended.
Evidence of your annual CPD activities must be retained for three years. See evidence guide here.

Conflict of interest

The conduct of audits will be aligned with the RACGP Conflict of Interest policy.

QAA process

The following steps outline the RACGP process for conducting a GP QAA and requirements for compliance during and after.

1. Method used to conduct a GP QAA

The RACGP CPD Program Coordinator or nominated staff member is provided with a list of GP names/IDs to commence the QAA.

An RACGP CPD staff member checks a GP member’s account and reviews CPD entries on their CPD history.

Where evidence has not been provided or more information is required, the nominated RACGP staff member emails the GP to:

  • advise them that the audit is being conducted
  • detail the further information required, where applicable
  • advise them that the request must be actioned within 10 working days
  • advise them what the consequences are if the request is not actioned (eg deletion or adjustment of CPD activity type[s] and/or hour[s])
  • advise them that they will be notified when the audit is complete within 30 days.

2. The GP QAA review

The RACGP Program Coordinator or nominated staff member will review CPD activity/ies to ensure that the activity meets the MBA activity requirements and that the activity types and hours are consistent with the supporting documentation or evidence provided. Where required, the CPD activity may be referred to senior CPD program staff, National Clinical Lead – CPD and medical educator(s) or subject matter expert(s).

3. Outcome of a GP QAA

Following a QAA, the RACGP CPD nominated staff member will notify the GP of the outcome in writing.

No action required – The GP activity/ies is/are consistent with the MBA CPD requirements and no further action is required.

Recommendations for improvement – Recommendations for correction or improvement of the CPD activity will be actioned by the RACGP nominated staff within 10 working days of written notification, or by agreement.

4. Non-participation in the GP QAA process

QAA is an important part of the RACGP’s obligations as an accredited CPD home and GPs are expected to cooperatively participate in the QAA process. As your CPD home, we will take reasonable steps to work with every GP to clearly outline any actions needed as part of the QAA process. Should a GP not cooperate with the QAA process (eg by failing to provide sufficient information or evidence upon request and within the specified period or by not complying with a request to meet or to implement the QAA recommendations), the RACGP reserves the right to report this to Ahpra.

5. Appealing a decision

GPs can request a review of the outcome aligned with the RACGP complaints process.

Quality improvement

Deidentified trends and data will be reviewed on a quarterly basis and results used for continuous quality improvement of the CPD Program.