CPD overhaul will switch focus to performance reviews


A proposal by the Medical Board of Australia to overhaul the CPD system will see specialists devoting 50% of time in activities such as reviewing their performance with peers and undertaking outcome audits.

The Board recently revealed its draft revised CPD Registration standard that will require all doctors to complete a minimum of 50 hours of CPD every year, with as little as 25% involving educational activities.

The new standards will include a mix of at least 25% of CPD activities that review performance and 25% that measure outcomes.

According to a the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the changes will mean shifting from a credits based system to an hours based CPD system.

“From 2021, we expect further changes will be made to the MyCPD Framework, in line with the MBA’s Professional Performance Framework (PPF),” it says in its position statement.

The RACP says this means it will no longer be possible for specialists to meet all CPD requirements from educational activities alone.

It estimates that the 50 hours of CPD will consist of a minimum of 12.5 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME); 12.5 hours of performance review activities; 12.5 hours of activities that measure outcomes and 12.5 hours made up from any/all CPD categories

“Most Australian Fellows already undertake activities that sit under the Reviewing Performance and Measuring Outcomes categories of the MyCPD Framework. However, many do not record them in MyCPD. From 2019 these activities need to be recorded,” it says.

Specialist trainees will meet these requirements by participating in a specialist training program.

The Medical Board says the change is needed to encourage practitioners to to undertake more ‘high value’ activities other than traditional education sessions.

In its proposal it says medical colleges all currently offer or require practitioners to undertake performance review activities and/or activities to measure their outcomes, in addition to educational activities, although most allocate more points for activities with higher educational value.

“Several college programs are very close to meeting the proposed requirements, but none currently meets all requirements,” it says

The CEO of the Australian College of Dermatologists, Mr Tim Wills, said the move would create more work but would ultimately focus more on delivering better outcomes for patients.

“Our specialists already do 50 hours annually, so it’s not a new imposition and I would not characterise this as a radical change,” he told the limbic.

“The change is that half of the 50 annual hours of CPD are to be spent reflecting on practice, through self-review of outcomes in their practice or by having reviews by peers. This is an increase from what is done today and it will require more co-operative effort to do something like peer review, but once embedded and supported by College staff this should be managed without creating excess red tape.”

Asked whether he believed this could lead to doctors being performance rated, Mr Wilson said: “It’s not the aim to rate our specialists against each other. It’s about each specialist seeking to identify where they might be able to improve outcomes for their patients.

Consultation on the changes closes on 14 February 2020.

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