The RACGP has unveiled the new triennium for general practice continuing professional development (CPD). After the well intentioned, but unsuccessful, PLAN experiment of the last triennium, it appears that they are working hard to make the new program easier for general practitioners (GPs) – and of higher quality. A big step in that direction has been to limit third-party Accredited Activity Providers to what are now called CPD Activities (formerly Category 2, 2 points per hour) - CPD Accredited Activities (formerly Category 1, 40 points per activity) must now be accredited by the RACGP.
Highlights of the RACGP CPD Triennium 2020-2022
The program is now known as the RACGP CPD Program
Quality Improvement has been dropped from the name (QI&CPD), though it remains a focus of the program.
'CPD Accredited' replaces 'Category 1' Activities AND the old formulas are gone
CPD Accredited (formerly Category 1) activities are intended to extend or introduce new knowledge and skills. Their objective requires the greatest investment of time - and in return, they also deliver the highest number of points per program (40 points).
The RACGP will now accredit these activities to ensure alignment with the new education standards - it's a strong signal that educational rigour and integrity are a priority. But while the 6-week timeframe for review and accreditation by the RACGP introduces a new barrier for implementation; other barriers have been removed. The old formulas (e.g. 6 hours, two-thirds interactive for Active Learning Modules) are gone - and in their place, an invitation to innovate. This is a bold move and will hopefully herald a more robust offering in the years ahead.
CPD Activities replace the former Category 2 Activities
CPD (formerly Category 2) Activities are designed to reinforce or update knowledge or skills. These activities must still align with the new CPD education standards but can continue to be self-approved by third-party providers. At the same time, the cap on self-reported hours has been removed, so GPs now have more flexibility and choice in how they meet their requirements.
It's about quality
Given that there is no longer a cap on how many hours GPs can self-report, and that the breadth of qualifying activities has been expanded (link) - this may be the closest the RACGP CPD Program has come to resembling specialist CPD programs. The key takeaway is that with more choice, GPs can be more discerning - so expect more variable uptake of CPD Activities with key drivers being program substance, and hopefully a strong incentive to develop high quality and innovative CPD Accredited activities.