Annual CPD verification: your questions answered

As we proceed with 2021 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) processes, including our annual verification of CPD activities (audit), we wanted you to hear from us – what it is we really do, and to provide clarity to our members.

We advised earlier this year (CPD update here) that 2021 college operations for the ANZCA and FPM CPD program would proceed. We are preparing to conduct a 2021 annual CPD verification (audit) with selection and notification planned from September 2021.
 
We appreciate as specialists the stressful encounters you experience day to day, let alone with the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions. To support you, and to help alleviate some of the stress that may come with the CPD audit process, we have pulled together some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) - to provide as much information as possible on the process and clarify any myths. 

Our aim is to be as honest and open with you about what we do, and share what you can do today to best prepare yourself (if selected). We hope this, along with our regular updates and reminders, will alleviate any pressure members may be feeling about the upcoming CPD verification selection.

Why does the college undertake an annual verification of CPD activities (audit)?

It is a requirement of the Australian Medical Council’s accreditation of our CPD program that there is a random audit process for CPD participants. To meet this requirement, each year we select a minimum of seven per cent of participants to have their CPD records (CPD portfolio entries) verified.
 

How does the college perform in these annual CPD verifications?

We have a proud record on accuracy and completion with our annual verification results between 98.3% - 99.5% compliance over the past five years. Additionally, almost all of the very small percentage (1.7 - 0.5%) that could not be successfully verified in their year have since been supported and are now across the line.
 

I heard the college cancelled its annual verification during 2020, is that right?

Correct, we did not conduct a 2020 CPD verification due to the COVID-19 pandemic - that is CPD portfolios were not verified by the college during the 2020 calendar year. This decision aided all fellows and CPD participants during a critical time of the pandemic and maintained alignment with the regulatory bodies, Medical Board of Australia (MBA) and Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ).
 

What does it mean if I’m in the 2019-2021 or 2020-2022 triennium?

While we didn’t do a 2020 CPD verification, due to our unique triennial design, participants are selected across all three years - so this affects those whose active triennium includes 2020. Evidence for 2020 CPD activities will not be requested from selected participants during subsequent college verification selections in 2021 and 2022.  As there were no changes to annual or triennial CPD requirements - completed activities still need to be recorded, however CPD evidence for 2020 is not required.
 

How does the CPD verification process work, and when does it happen?

There are six stages to the CPD verification process run by the college’s CPD team and overseen by the ANZCA and FPM CPD Committtee – selection, notification, support reminders, submissions due, verification checks and completion. This process runs from late August to end of March annually.

1. Selection (August)

The CPD portfolio randomly selects at least seven percent of CPD participants. This means some may be re-selected from previous years and includes participants in all three years of the triennium.  All fellows, maintaining medical registration in Australia or New Zealand, may also be selected. The list for selection is generated in late August.

2. Notification (September)

Selected participants are notified from September if their records will be subject to verification. An alert will also appear on the participants CPD portfolio. Following this notification, participants will be required to ensure their CPD portfolios are updated with completed CPD activities. Documentary evidence to substantiate participation of CPD activities is required, and can be directly uploaded to the portfolio or alternatively sent to the college by email or post if unable to upload.

3. Support reminders (September – December)

Following notification, the CPD Team send support reminder emails with information to clarify what is required from selected participants. College publications (Bulletin, E-news, website, social media) are also used to promote this information. This usually includes details on specific requirements, links to available resources and helpful prompts to meet the December 31 deadline.  

4. Submission (December 31)

Selected participants have until December 31 to update their CPD portfolio with supporting evidence for their minimum CPD requirements.

5. Verification checks (January – March)

The verification checks begin in January and usually continue until the end of March. This is a detailed and immense task with approximately 50,000 pieces of evidence checked annually. After which participants are notified by email if the evidence provided has confirmed their recorded CPD activities, or further clarification of evidence is required. Successful completion will also appear in participants CPD portfolio ‘Statements and certificates’ tab.

6. Completion (March 31)

Once all the verification checks are completed, and clarification sought for any records, the CPD team finalise the results and present to the CPD Committee (and respected committees). Participants unable to demonstrate CPD compliance are reselected for CPD verification or considered under Regulation 26 – Standards of professional practice.  

How do I know I’ve uploaded the correct evidence?

The process of verification is relatively straight forward for most fellows and CPD participants. Best practice is to upload evidence as you go so that the records are already in the CPD portfolio, readily facilitating our audit, hospital records and MBA/MCNZ. Each CPD activity clearly identifies in both the CPD portfolio and CPD handbook the evidence required for that activity. Ultimately, evidence requested is to verify participation or completion.  

 

Do I need evidence for auto-populated activities?

Good news, we do not require evidence for CPD activities that auto-populate to the CPD portfolio such as ANZCA or FPM run events (e.g. ASM) or workplace-based assessments logged in the Training Portfolio System (TPS) or online learning through Networks. Once participants have confirmed the activity from their ‘pending’ folder, no additional evidence is required for verification. 
 

What support is available?

Further information on the verification of CPD activities is available:


Participants who may be concerned about meeting their CPD requirements are encouraged to connect with the CPD team to discuss their options and/or consider our special consideration process.
 
Your health is important, and sometimes we are confronted with issues that test us, please consider consulting the ANZCA Doctors Support program for support (if required).

We will continue to closely monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on participants meeting their CPD requirements. As such, there are no changes to annual or triennial CPD requirements or final submission dates (31 December) across trienniums.
 
The CPD team (Nadja and Mat) are avaialble for any questions or assistance. We are actively thinking of ways to support your professional development while upholding the high standard of our CPD program and happily welcome all enquiries.


Last updated 14:41 17.08.2021