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CPD for Physiotherapists


This summary outlines CPD activities that allow the requirements of the Physiotherapy Board of Australia to be met. The standards discussed are in accordance with the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act.

CPD cycle

The CPD cycle runs for 12-months for all physiotherapists. Every year when a physiotherapist renews their registration, they are required to make a declaration. Physiotherapists are required to notify the board to show that they have undertaken sufficient CPD to maintain competence throughout the past 12 months, and that they are committed to undertaking sufficient CPD throughout the next 12 months.

CPD Requirements

All practicing physiotherapists must complete a minimum of 20 hours of CPD annually per registration year. Of these 20 CPD hours, learning can occur though a variety of:

1. Formal learning activities, and/or
2. Non-formal and incidental learning activities.

Additional Considerations
• These guidelines exclude students or physiotherapists who have non-practicing registration.
• Physiotherapists who are registered partway through a registration period must complete 5 hours of CPD for every three months of registration.

CPD Activities

CPD is divided into two categories:

1. Formal learning activities. Examples include:
• Completing tertiary and/or accredited courses.
• Work based learning contracts.
• Attending conferences, forums and seminars.
• Undertaking research and presentation of work.
• Completing courses leading to degree, high degree and research degree.
• Online learning – interactive discussion and chat rooms.
• In-service education programs.
• Making presentations.
• Videoconferencing.

2. Non-formal and incidental learning activities. Examples include:
• Reflecting on experience in day to day activities.
• Reading books, journals, internet research.
• Secondment and/or contact with other professionals.
• Quality assurance activities, such as accreditation.
• Participation in committees, discussion with colleagues, or information sharing at meetings

Physiotherapists learn best when they are motivated and CPD is highly self directed, based on a personal learning plan and is built on existing knowledge and experience. Also, when CPD linked to learning and practice, includes an evaluation of the effect of learning on practice and a review of their learning plan.

CPD Documentation

Physiotherapist are required to keep a personal CPD portfolio to submit to the Board incase auditing is required. Many professional associations provide personal portfolios to plan, record and evaluate CPD activities systematically. You can use any portfolio template which meets the below criteria, or you can download a template from Physiotherapy Board of Australia.

A CPD portfolio should include the following elements:

1. Personal collection of evidence of ongoing development.
2. A record of reflection and evaluation of non-formal and incidental learning.
3. A record of attendance at formal learning activities.
4. Important supporting documents which can include:
• Certificates of attendance/completion.
• Receipts.
• Reading list.
• Degree certificates or academic transcripts for postgraduate study.
• Plans and progress reports for professional supervision and mentoring.

For more information about these CPD guidelines click here.
Date of Issue: 1st July 2010
Last reviewed: 1st December 2015
These guidelines will be reviewed every 3-4 years.