Continuing professional development (CPD) Standards

Guidance to the CPD Provider Standards

Last revised: 19 Apr 2023

Guidance to the CPD Provider Standards

These standards: 

  • are used to assess, monitor and evaluate the quality of CPD providers. The Australian Medical Council CPD home Standards (2.2) require the CPD home to assess and recognise external CPD activities – these standards support meeting that standard in conjunction with the CPD Activity Standards
  • apply to all RACGP CPD providers
  • draw on the RACGP CPD Activity Standards.

This document focuses on all CPD activities that have been mapped to the relevant Criteria for Australian Medical Council Accreditation of CPD Homes as the RACGP will need to demonstrate that CPD activities from external providers meet these standards.

The CPD provider has sufficient capacity and appropriate governance structures to deliver quality education.

Why this is important

Governance relates to the provider’s structure and processes that are essential in developing and delivering quality CPD activities. The areas of governance that are relevant under this standard include those related to human and educational resources, policies, communication, privacy, conflicts and QI.


The provider needs to have adequate personnel to provide the education. This includes administrative as well as educational staff. A specialist GP also needs to be involved in the CPD activity, as outlined in the RACGP CPD Activity Standards.

The provider must also nominate at least one person to be the CPD representative (formerly Education Activity Representative or EAR) and undertake the CPD representative training. The training allows the CPD representative to act as a central point of contact and to be responsible for accrediting and evaluating the provider’s CPD approved activities. Training for CPD representatives is undertaken on successful provider approval and then as required to update skills and knowledge. 

All partnerships and representative organisations involved in the design and delivery of CPD activities need to be clearly stated and documented.

Conflicts of interest can arise in the context of sponsorship of activities or advertising of products. CPD activities should not promote goods, services, medical devices or pharmaceutical products. The RACGP Advertising and Sponsorship policy and specific CPD sponsorship guidelines are included in the CPD Provider Handbook.

GPs are encouraged to provide feedback about CPD-approved activities. Where there is concern about an activity, the provider should have a policy for managing complaints. If the activity results in certification, there should also be an appeals policy.

Records held by the provider need to be held securely to ensure privacy. A policy in relation to record storage, retention, disposal, privacy and access of records is required.

Good communication with participants is important. GPs need to know the details of the CPD activity offered, including:

  • the content and expected learning outcomes
  • any assessment, especially where this leads to certification
  • the MBA activity type, expected hours and any relevant specialist medical college requirements
  • any specific regulatory or maintenance of professional standards requirements (refer to CPD Provider Standard 2)
  • time allowance
  • costs
  • details of those involved in the development of the activity, and of presenters or facilitators, especially where there may be a perceived conflict of interest.

These details should be available on the CPD provider’s website.

QI of individual activities is outlined in the RACGP CPD Activity Standards, but the provider should have an overall policy and procedural approach to QI that includes measuring outcomes and reviewing complaints and concerns.

Evidence that could be provided in meeting this standard includes:

  • an organisational chart relevant to provision of education
  • details of the educational experience of staff
  • evidence of completion and/or intention to complete the CPD representative training
  • evidence of previous delivery of education with a minimum of 12 months of experience preferred
  • policies and procedures related to managing conflicts of interest, complaints and appeals
  • policies and procedures related to managing records
  • details of how relationships with external stakeholders are managed
  • documented processes related to communication, including website information
  • details of QI processes
  • completion of application forms that indicate the RACGP CPD Provider and CPD Activity Standards have been understood and there is agreement to comply.

The CPD provider offers quality CPD activities relevant to Australian general practice.

Why this is important

The RACGP CPD Program supports GPs in maintaining their professional knowledge and skills through their ongoing education. The RACGP requires that activities are of high quality.


The RACGP CPD Activity Standards relate to the standard of activities relevant to general practice and must be met by providers. The content of the activity must be relevant to general practice and consistent with accepted evidence-based general practice. This includes being consistent with accepted Australian general practice guidelines, RACGP policies, requirements and position statements. CPD activity content outside the scope of general practice will not be approved. Where there is uncertainty, the RACGP may conduct a review of the content of the CPD activity before it is approved. This could apply to new or emerging products and/or services. 

The MBA defines the CPD requirements of all doctors and must therefore be met by all GPs. In addition, specialist colleges may also have high-level requirements that must be met by their members.

All GPs need to meet the high-level requirements of the RACGP CPD home. This includes the need to complete a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) course at least once each triennium. CPR course content and assessment must meet the Australian Resuscitation Council guidelines.

There are some situations where GPs may provide services that require them to meet the requirements of other specialist colleges or other legislative requirements. Some examples include:

  • women’s health points as required by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • accreditation as a shared care provider with relevant health services
  • General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration (Mental Health Skills Training, Focussed Psychological Skills Training)
  • diagnostic radiology
  • medical acupuncture
  • anaesthetic skills.

The provider must assist the GP in recording their professional development by providing them with a statement of completion or attendance that details the total hours for activity completion, the MBA type of activity and any high-level requirements. The provider also needs to submit participant completion to the RACGP in a timely manner.

Evidence that could be provided in meeting this standard includes:

  • activity details and content as provided under the RACGP CPD Activity standards
  • reference to relevant current policies, guidelines, requirements and/or position statements
  • reference to the RACGP Educational Framework.

There is collaboration between the RACGP and the CPD provider to ensure quality CPD activities.

Why this is important

The Australian Medical Council may require CPD homes to assess and recognise external CPD activities, and the RACGP accreditation process ensures that this occurs. The RACGP acknowledges the important role CPD providers have in providing quality CPD activity. The role of the RACGP is to ensure activities are of high quality and to assist providers to meet the educational standards by providing support, guidance and resources.


The RACGP accreditation processes and CPD Provider Standards assist providers in developing quality education. Training for CPD representative/s is provided by the CPD program coordinators based on the CPD Activity Standards. Resources such as the CPD Provider Handbook, activity guides, templates and exemplars are also available. Accreditation allows the provider to use the relevant RACGP CPD logo and promote CPD activities to RACGP members through the CPD platform.

The RACGP has a quality assurance process that ensures CPD activities meet the CPD Activity Standards. All providers must participate at least once in a triennium in the quality assurance process. An up-to-date attendance upload and activity reporting from providers is essential to ensure current data are available for quality assurance purposes.