Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia - Continuing professional development
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Continuing professional development

Download a PDF copy of the Registration Standard: Continuing professional development (59.1KB)


This registration standard sets out the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia’s (the Board) minimum requirements for continuing professional development (CPD) for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners.

This standard applies to all registered Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners except those with student or non-practising registration.

To meet this standard, you must:

  1. complete at least 20 hours of CPD each year that:
    1. seeks to improve patient outcomes and experiences
    2. draws on the best available evidence, including well-established and accepted knowledge that is supported by research where possible, to inform good practice and decision-making
    3. contributes directly to improving your competence (performance and behaviour) and keeping you up to date in your chosen scope and setting of practice
    4. builds on your existing knowledge, and
    5. includes a minimum of five hours of CPD in an interactive setting with other practitioners.
  2. maintain a portfolio that documents your learning goals and records all your planned CPD activities and your reflection on how these CPD activities are expected to improve or have improved your practice.

The Board’s Guidelines: Continuing professional development provide further information about CPD requirements.

Pro rata requirements

If you register part-way through a registration period you must complete five hours of CPD for every three months of registration remaining in the registration period.

You may not count education, training, mentoring or supervision required by the Board or a tribunal as part of CPD e.g. education required by a condition or undertaking.

The Board may grant a full or partial exemption or variation from this standard in exceptional circumstances.

The Board’s Guidelines: Continuing professional development provide further guidance.

When you apply for registration

You don’t need to meet this standard when you apply for registration in Australia for the first time as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Island Health Practitioner.

At renewal of registration

When you apply to renew your registration, you must declare whether you have complied with this standard.

During the registration period

Your compliance with this standard may be audited from time to time. It may also be checked if the Board receives a notification about you.


You must maintain records of your CPD activity for five years.

If you are audited you may be required to provide your CPD portfolio, or any other information the Board requires.

The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law) establishes possible consequences if you don’t meet this standard, including that:

  • the Board can impose a condition or conditions on your registration or can refuse an application for registration or renewal of registration, if you do not meet a requirement in an approved registration standard for the profession (sections 82, 83 and 112 of the National Law)
  • a failure to undertake the CPD required by this standard is not an offence but may be behaviour for which health, conduct or performance action may be taken by the Board (section 128 of the National Law), and
  • registration standards, codes or guidelines may be used in proceedings against you as evidence of what constitutes appropriate practice or conduct for an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Island Health Practitioner (section 41 of the National Law).
The Guidelines: Continuing professional development provide more information about how to meet this standard. You are expected to understand and apply these guidelines together with this standard.

This standard was approved by the Ministerial Council on 30 June 2019.

Registration standards are developed under section 38 of the National Law and are subject to wide-ranging consultation.

Continuing professional development (CPD) is the means by which members of the profession maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence, and develop the personal and professional qualities required throughout their professional lives.

Interactive means learning that involves a two-way flow of information and occurs with other practitioners, such as face-to-face or interactive online education.

A portfolio is a collection of information about your CPD plans, the CPD activities you have done and their impact on your practice. It can be hardcopy and/or electronic documents or a combination.

Practice means any role, whether remunerated or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a health practitioner in their profession. Practice in this context is not restricted to the provision of direct clinical care. It also includes using professional knowledge (working) in a direct non-clinical relationship with clients, working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy development roles, and any other roles that impact on the safe, effective delivery of services in the profession.

Reflection means thinking about what you do in order to improve your learning and practice.

Scope of practice means the professional role and services that an individual health practitioner is educated and competent to perform.

This standard will be reviewed from time to time as required. This will generally be at least every five years.

Last reviewed: 30 June 2019.

This standard replaces the previously published registration standard dated 1 July 2012.

Page reviewed 2/12/2019