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CPD for Psychologists


This summary outlines CPD activities that allow Psychologists to meet requirements of all three of the relevant bodies in Australia:
1. Psychology Board of Australia under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act,
2. Australian Psychological Society (APS), and
3. Medicare Australia CPD guidelines for psychologists.

CPD Cycle

The CPD cycle runs for 12-months, from 1 December to 30 November every year for all psychologists.

CPD Requirements

Please note that the previous Medicare CPD requirements, and cycle, which separated generalist psychologists providing FPS, and clinical psychologists has now been superseded by the following:

All registered psychologists, as well as APS Associate Member grade and above, are required to complete 30 hours of CPD activities annually. Of these 30 hours CPD:

1. At least 10 hours must be peer consultation, and
2. 10 hours of ‘active’ CPD are recommended.

Both generalist and specialist psychologists need 10 hours of FPS-related CPD activities, to enhance their skills required to deliver FPS treatments allowable under the Better Access initiative, and skills required to undertake full assessment of clients to form a diagnosis and commence treatment planning (which typically come under peer consultation and ‘active’ CPD categories).

All APS College members must include activities relevant to their specific college endorsement. Within their 30 hours CPD:

1. Psychologists with one area of practice endorsement need to complete a minimum of 16 hours CPD in their specialist area.
2. Psychologists with two areas of practice complete a minimum of 15 hours CPD within each area.
3. Psychologists with three areas of practice complete a minimum of 10 hours CPD within each area.

Relevant peer consultation hours can be included within these hours.

CPD Approval

Since AHPRA launched, professional associations like the APS are no longer permitted to determine what is appropriate CPD. Instead, CPD providers indicate appropriate CPD classification. Consequently, it is not necessary or even possible to request CPD endorsement from the APS. Several of our courses were endorsed by the APS before these changes, and we have used those endorsements as a guideline to our current classifications.

CPD Activities

CPD is divided into two categories:

1. Active CPD engages active learning through written or oral activities, designed to enhance and test learning. Examples include:
• Conducting/attending psychology workshops, seminars, lectures, courses or postgraduate education with a written test or requires in vivo role-play of skills.
• Attending a workshop that requires studying a new technique followed by trialling this technique in the workplace, and a review and evaluation of the effectiveness and implementation of that technique.
• Writing, assessing or reading and analysing: peer review psychology journal articles, papers, scholarly professional books and monographs, or research proposals and grants, followed by completing online assessment.
• Producing, reviewing and analysing: professional videos, audios, internet resources or scientific posters.
• Giving an oral presentation or tutorial to a peers on a new topic in psychology.
• Providing peer consultation to others.
• Completing online training programs.

2. Peer consultation includes individual or peer supervision, involving a critically reflective focus on the members’ own practice. Psychologists undertaking peer or group supervision can only count that portion of hours addressing their own practice. Examples include:
• Participation in-group or one-on-one discussion about practice issues – face to face or via teleconference/video conferencing.
• Professional supervision and mentoring.
• Contacting a professional advisory service or seeking other performance reviews/advice relevant to aspects of practice. For example advice regarding writing skills.

CPD Documentation

Psychologists are required to keep a CPD portfolio to submit to the Board if they are audited. A CPD portfolio should include the following elements:

1. Learning plan.
This identifies areas relevant to current and future: improvement of skills and knowledge, learning needs and goals.

2 & 3. CPD activity log & peer consultation log.
These contain dates and relevant details of CPD activity undertaken. Online logging of CPD ensures most of the information required by the Board and Medicare will be recorded and available if auditing occurs. Go to www.psychology.org.au/cpd/ for instructions.

4 & 5. Peer consultation journal & professional development journal.
For each CPD activity claimed, written reflection should include details of content, what was learnt, and reflection on how it relates to your learning plan and practice. These journals too need to be logged online so it is available for auditing.

6. Other evidence of CPD includes:
• Certificates of attendance/completion.
• Receipts.
• Reading list.
• Degree certificates or academic transcripts for postgraduate study.
• Plans and progress reports for professional supervision and mentoring.

Medicare providers have 2 months after close of the annual cycle (30 November) to log their CPD. After that, the APS will notify Medicare of those providers who have met the Clinical Psychology CPD requirements. Providers who are removed from the approved Medicare provider list can be placed back on the list once they meet CPD requirements for the previous cycle (16 hours) and log these. This must be done within 3 months of being removed. Providers will still be required to meet the full requirements for the new cycle by the end of that cycle.

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 years.