Frequently asked questions

We've collated answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) from CPD participants.

Find answers to questions covering the updated CPD program, CPD portfolio essentials, recognised emergency response courses/workshops, information for retiring fellows, what to do if your selected for annual verification and much more.

2023 ANZCA and FPM CPD Program

Why has the ANZCA and FPM CPD Program been updated?

We have updated the CPD program to ensure fellows and other CPD participants continue to meet CPD requirements set by the Medical Board of Australia and the Medical Council of New Zealand.

How will I transition to the 2023 ANZCA and FPM CPD Program?

Seamlessly and automatically. From 1 January 2023, the online CPD portfolio will reflect the updated requirements for the 2020-2022 triennium with the dashboard showing annual, hours-based requirements.

The 2021-2023 and 2022-2024 cohorts will transition to the annual program at the start of 2024. If you're in the 2022-2024 triennium, you'll have reduced triennial requirements given the updated submission date.

Please see the transition to the 2023 CPD program page for more details.

Will I be audited during the 2023 transition year?

No. We will not undertake a verification of CPD activities (audit) in 2023. This allows fellows, other CPD participants and the CPD team to focus on transitioning to the revised regulatory requirements.

Please note that the MBA/AHPRA will also not conduct an audit of CPD activities during the 2023 transition year.

Do the college annual requirements count towards the 50 hours annually?

Yes. The hours you spend completing the emergency response, practice evaluation and cultural safety activities will count towards the 50 hours of CPD required annually. Completing your annual CPD plan and evaluation will also contribute to your 50 hours.

Please see the clinical practice type and practice without direct patient care support documents for more information. 

Do FPM fellows have to follow the 2023 CPD program?

Yes, the ANZCA and FPM CPD Program caters for both ANZCA and FPM fellows. Non-FANZCA FPM fellows may choose to do the CPD program of their primary college.
FPM fellows with medical registration in Australia must ensure their CPD activities meet the relevent specialist high-level requirements, listed on the MBA website.
FPM fellows registered in the vocational scope of pain medicine in New Zealand must ensure their CPD activities meet the requirements of the ANZCA and FPM CPD Standard. Strong FPM fellow representation on the CPD review project group and CPD Committee has ensured FPM perspectives are included in the 2023 CPD program.

Do New Zealand fellows have specific requirements?

Yes, New Zealand fellows will need to ensure they claim: 

  • One annual structured conversation.

The CPD program caters for these activities and supports New Zealand participants in meeting the 2023 CPD program requirements. Please see the annual structured conversation guidance and template form for more information. 

Does every anaesthetist and specialist pain medicine physician need to do cultural safety activities?

Yes. All colleges and CPD homes are required by the Medical Council of New Zealand and Australian Medical Council to introduce cultural safety into their CPD programs.

While work to embed cultural safety into the CPD program continues across the 2023 transition year, meeting the regulatory requirement for cultural safety is an annual requirement for the ANZCA and FPM CPD Program.

Please see our cultural safety activity guidance for tips regarding how to meet this requirement. 

How did the college develop the 2023 CPD program?

We established the CPD review project group to evaluate the 2014 CPD program and provide recommendations to meet the revised regulatory requirements. The project’s member-centric and evidence-based approach provides the opportunity for quality improvement with members’ CPD experience at its core.
In 2022, evaluation of the CPD program included:

  • Analysis of participant responses to the CPD survey.
  • Review of CPD portfolio data.
  • Literature search facilitated by the ANZCA Library.

Evaluation findings informed the CPD review – Determine the new CPD framework report, which was circulated for consultation with two initial recommendations. In response to consultation feedback, a third recommendation was developed and approved. The resulting ANZCA and FPM CPD Program framework was approved by ANZCA Council in July 2022.

The CPD review project group's work continues in 2023, with key updates provided on this webpage.

CPD Portfolio

How do I access the online CPD portfolio?

You can access the CPD portfolio directly via or using the quick links above. You can use your college ID number and password  across all college resources.

Our 5-minute support video has been designed to help with accessing and navigate your CPD portfolio for the new 2023 annual CPD program. This includes helpful details on accessing your CPD portfolio. 

Is there a CPD app available for download?

The CPD portfolio is a web-based application which is mobile responsive, meaning you can access it using the internet browser (e.g. Chrome or Safari) on your mobile devices. There is no CPD app as such, but you may be able to create a shortcut to the site depending on whether the device you are using has this capability.

Our 5-minute support video walks through how you can be save the CPD portfolio as a mobile responsive app (tile) for quick use and access.

What are pending activities?

We enter some activities automatically into your pending folder, including:


When you log into your CPD portfolio, you will find a purple button saying ‘view pending activities’ awaiting your confirmation.

Do I need to upload evidence for my CPD activities?

Uploading evidence to your CPD activities is optional, however, we do recommend uploading evidence as you enter each activity as it may save you time in the long run should you be selected as part of our annual verification of CPD activities, or as part of an external audit process.

Please note: As 2023 is a transition year to the annual CPD program, we will not be conducting a verification of CPD activities (audit) and therefore evidence is not required for 2023 activities.

What category do I add an activity under?

A detailed list of all current activities, including activity descriptions and evidence guidelines are in the CPD handbook. If you're still unsure which category an activity falls under, please contact us for assistance.

Why does my statement of participation have a ‘-’ next to it?

Your statement of participation is an annual statement confirming you have completed your CPD plan for the year and are therefore participating in the program.

The '-' means you are yet to complete your CPD plan.


Is my web browser compatible?

The CPD portfolio has been tested and is compatible with many types and versions of web browsers and online devices. However, not all browsers and versions will fully support the CPD portfolio’s functions.

If you are using a browser or browser version and are experiencing difficulties with the portfolio, for example; you may not be able to save your activities or entries for your plan and/or evaluation, please attempt to access the portfolio on a difference device or browser (e.g. Chrome or Safari).

If problems persist, please contact the CPD team.

I am new to the CPD portfolio, is there any guidance available?

Yes. We have created  support documents for the clinical practice type and for those who practice without direct patient care.

The support documents will help you become familiar with our CPD program and its requirements. The documents include a breakdown of CPD requirements, an annual CPD requirements checklist and other useful information and resources.

How can I access a record of my previous CPD cycles?

The CPD portfolio contains a record of all previous CPD cycles. You'll be able to access your certificates of compliance and statements of participation, statement summaries with your plan and evaluation, and a list of all activities entered.

You can access these records via the ‘Statements and certificates’ section of your portfolio.

How can I access a record of my current CPD cycle?

Via the portfolio dashboard (located toward the bottom of the screen under ‘Milestones’), or via the ‘Statements and Certificates’ section of the CPD portfolio

To access your statement of participation, you must complete your CPD plan.

You can access your certificate of compliance once you have met all of your annual requirements.

Other topics

How do I find a recognised emergency response workshop?

The emergency response page lists the currently recognised emergency response workshops and recognition codes. This includes online modules, such as the Bloodsafe e-Learning (external) major haemorrhage courses, and the college’s anaphylaxis module. 

Are there templates for the practice evaluation - reviewing performance activities?

You are welcome to utilise the college templates (linked in the CPD handbook). You can also create your own templates specific to your practice type. Please ensure that any templates you create meet our guidelines.

CPD requirements for PFTs

As a provisional fellow, you need to complete at least 50 hours of CPD. You can choose which activities you record to make up these hours. This may include CPD activities for areas of your training that don’t involve direct patient care.

All the CPD hours you complete during your time as a provisional fellow will go towards your first CPD year as a FANZCA. You don’t need to complete the mandatory practice evaluation activities or the emergency response activities, however you will need to do a CPD plan.
Please note: Additional CPD hours on the same pro-rata basis will be required for time spent in extended training.

What if I’m retired or working without direct patient care?

If you have retired and/or are not currently involved in direct patient care, you can apply to have your practice type transferred from clinical to practice without direct patient care.
If you are still assessing patients and/or writing prescriptions, you do not meet the requirements for this practice type, as you are still engaging in direct patient care.
For more information, please see the practice without direct patient care page and the CPD handbook.

If I practice without direct patient care, why do I still need to do 50 hours of CPD per year?

The Medical Board of Australia and Medical Council of New Zealand definitions of ‘practice’ are very broad and include any work that uses your medical skills and training, so a specialist anaesthetist or specialist pain medicine physician who works in administration, teaching or quality and safety with no direct patient care is still defined as ‘practising’ for registration purposes. The MBA and MCNZ requirements are therefore the same regardless of whether your practice involves direct patient care or not.

The ANZCA and FPM CPD Program practice without direct patient care practice type does not include the clinical-specific emergency response activity.  

If I practice without direct patient care, how can I meet the practice evaluation requirements?

The regulatory requirements mandate that CPD participants must complete 25 hours of practice evaluation activities each year, with a minimum of five hours reviewing performance and five hours measuring outcomes.

This is a new requirement for those who practice without direct patient care, so we’ve developed guidance for relevant activities. We’ve also formed a reference group to consolidate templates and resources into a toolkit to further help you meet the requirement. The toolkit will be available in the second half of 2023.

What if I can't complete my CPD requirements?

If you're unable to meet the minimum CPD requirements due to exceptional circumstances, you can apply for special consideration. The ANZCA and FPM CPD Committee chair and/or FPM CPD officer, as relevant, will assess all applications. 

Special consideration is generally looked at when you’ve had extended leave from practice, for reasons including a serious illness, loss or bereavement or parental leave. Depending on the circumstances, you could be granted an extension to complete any outstanding CPD requirements, or you may have your remaining requirements signed off.

Please update your CPD portfolio to reflect all completed activities, and provide as much information as possible to  support the decision.

Please send special consideration requests to the CPD team. If your leave from practice exceeded 52 weeks, please also review the return to anaesthesia practice page.

How does Qualified privilege/Protected quality assurance activity apply to CPD program activities?

ANZCA and FPM CPD Program activities are formative, participatory exercises; they are not summative events with a pass/fail outcome.

All information regarding performance of participants (including emergency response activities) in the CPD program is confidential and must not be disclosed to a third party without the express written permission of the participant.

The extent of recording of details or notes containing outcomes or reflective information from completed professional development activities in the portfolio, is up to individual participants in the program.

In collecting and using any information, it is the participant’s responsibility to ensure that all privacy obligations are met and any necessary consent is obtained. Participants must ensure that their institutional privacy statement is followed and that any patient/individual has consented as per the hospital or private practice policy.

For activities that relate to individual practice, we require evidence of participation only, using the forms provided in the CPD portfolio. We do not require any record of performance or feedback from facilitators, peer reviewers or course directors.

Responses to CPD plan and evaluation questions are not protected in Australia or New Zealand.

If you have any further queries about the CPD program's qualified privilege (QP) or protected quality assurance activity (PQAA) please contact the CPD team.

What CPD activities are covered by qualified privilege in Australia?

The Federal Department of Health currently grants Commonwealth Qualified Privilege (QP) to the following four practice evaluation activities:

  • Patient experience survey.
  • Multi-source feedback.
  • Peer review of practice.
  • Clinical audit of own practice or significant input into group audit of practice.

Please note that other practice evaluation activities and the entire emergency response category are no longer covered under QP. The new QP cover reflects a tightening of the regulations around granting such cover at the Department of Health.

Full details of the declaration and explanatory statement can be found here.

What CPD activities are registered as protected quality assurance activities in New Zealand?

New Zealand participants should be aware that under section 54 of the Health Practitioner Competence Assurance Act 2003, the Minister of Health can grant protection of a quality assurance activity.

The CPD practice evaluation and emergency responses categories are currently registered as a Protected Quality Assurance Activity (PQAA).

Further information

Got a question we haven't covered off in the FAQs? Our CPD team's on hand to help.

Call: +61 (0)3 9510 6299
Hours: 9am-5pm AEST/AEDT, Monday-Friday (excluding public and college holidays).

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Last updated 15:00 3.05.2023