Guidance to CPD Activity Standard 1
CPD activities are based on identified needs relevant to general practice.
Why this is important
The needs assessment summarises data about the CPD needs of GPs to guide the development of CPD activities. It should provide the evidence of need for the CPD activity and relevance to Australian general practice and the MBA CPD regulatory requirements.
The RACGP CPD Program activities are designed for GPs; therefore, it is important that GPs are involved in identifying their own needs and those of their peers. GPs’ perspectives and involvement are paramount in informing the needs assessment.
The needs assessment helps to ensure the education is relevant in terms of meeting gaps in previous CPD activities. This includes new and emerging topics relevant to general practice, such as legislative changes or new guidelines. To ensure that the learning is relevant to GPs, the content should refer to the 2022 RACGP curriculum and syllabus for Australian general practice and be reviewed by a specialist GP.
All medical practitioners need to meet the MBA registration standard: Continuing professional development (effective from 1 January 2023). Therefore, CPD activity planning should consider how the activity will fit within the types of CPD outlined in that standard and this should be reflected in the needs assessment.
Several other sources can be used to provide information about CPD needs. These include (but are not limited to):
- Australian national or state/territory government health data, legislation or initiatives
- National Health Priority Areas
- RACGP Educational Framework
- RACGP publications
- data or information from Primary Health Networks
- peak bodies and other relevant medical specialties.
- Previously published surveys or literature
When developing an activity, CPD providers are encouraged to conduct their own research into GP CPD needs. This might involve seeking the views of GPs using questionnaires or focus groups or from evaluation data from a previous CPD activity.
As well as being involved in assessing learning needs, a specialist GP is also required in further planning, development and evaluation of an activity (Standard 3). This is to ensure that the activity is relevant and applicable to general practice.
The Australian Medical Council expects that CPD facilitates the development of medical practitioners across the breadth of practice and is not confined to narrow scopes. The areas specifically identified are:
- culturally safe practice in providing healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- the role of doctors in addressing health inequities as they work within the health system
- professionalism and ethical practice.
These areas should be embedded in professional development activities where possible.