CPD activities are designed to achieve the learning outcomes.
Why is this important
CPD activities should be considered in terms of content and design. As outlined in principle 5 of the RACGP Educational Framework, activities should be founded on evidence-based best practice and contemporary educational practice to maximise opportunities for learning.
There are many CPD theories of learning but, in general, adults learn best when the content is relevant and they are actively engaged in the process. Application to practice, opportunities for feedback and interaction are important considerations in designing a CPD activity. An activity developer should have CPD experience and/or qualifications to ensure that the activity is based on contemporary educational practice.
The activity content should be relevant to Australian general practice and based on current evidence. Evidence may be in the form of resources such as reputable evidence-based references or guidelines relevant to Australian general practice. It is expected that the content will be consistent with the 2022 RACGP curriculum and syllabus for Australian general practice and that a specialist GP is involved in the design of the activity to ensure relevance to general practice.
The RACGP reviews activities, for which samples of the content are required. Samples will depend on the nature of the activity. For example, PowerPoints or access to online modules may be provided. The amount needs to be sufficient for an adequate assessment of the relevance to the learning outcomes and general practice.
CPD activities vary in type. They may be online or face to face, in the form of workshops or lectures, and may consist of an individual participant, or groups of variable size. The design should best facilitate the achievement of the learning outcomes that have been developed based on the needs assessment. For example, an update of knowledge may be undertaken online or in a lecture, while a discussion about application of knowledge to practice could take the form of case-based discussion with a colleague or group.
The activity design must be aligned to the MBA types of activities for CPD.
In some cases, an activity may be composed of a mix of MBA types; therefore, the time allocated to each type should be indicated in the program plan or activity template.
The design can be developed and recorded in a program plan or activity template. A variety of different learning strategies can be used in an activity to engage learners. Some examples are (but not limited to):
- group, pair or individual learner activities
- practical skills training
- case discussions
- panel discussions
- Q&A sessions.
Additional activities, such as reflective questions or multiple-choice questions, may be included before or on completion of an activity. These can be used to orientate learners and provide content relevant to the activity, or to allow reflection about the application of learning or for assessment.
For workshops or face-to-face activities, there are additional considerations related to the delivery of the activity. These include the use of technology (especially for remote activities), number of participants in relation to facilitators and the qualifications of any facilitators involved.
In planning an activity, consider opportunities to provide learners with feedback about their progress towards achievement of the learning outcomes. Examples of feedback activities include personal discussion, such as through pairs or groups, reflective questions or quizzes, and questions with answers.
It is recommended that all activities should consider incorporating some form of assessment. The method and timing of any assessment will vary but should be feasible and matched to the learning outcomes.
Assessment may be informal or formal. Informal assessments may be as simple as self-reflection using questions or audit results. Formal assessments might include:
- written work such as essays that are assessed
- multiple-choice or short-answer questions
- observed assessment such as oral exams, demonstration of skills, workplace-based assessment.
The form of assessment should reflect the stakes of the activity. Where activity results in the award of a certificate or qualification, the methods require a higher level of rigour in terms of assessment validity and reliability.