​Managing Professional Development as an Allied Health Professional

Vivir Healthcare

Vivir Healthcare

18 August 2023

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Allied Health Professionals must maintain a level of knowledge, education and certification to meet the requirements of an association, professional body or registration. There is a range of education and learning options to support these professional considerations.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a structured approach to managing skills and many professions require a minimum level of CPD to maintain professional registration. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) defines CPD as “how health practitioners maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence, and develop the personal and professional qualities required throughout their professional lives.”

What do I need to complete in CPD?

Each profession’s mandatory level of CPD differs – please see each discipline’s minimum mandatory requirement below.

Exercise Physiologists: Accrue 20 points Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points each calendar year, inclusive of a minimum of 15 points from the Further Education category.

Dietitians: A minimum of 30 hours of CPD each year.

Occupational Therapists: The accumulation of 20 CPD hours including 5 hours of interactive learning by the 30th of November each year is a mandatory requirement for all Occupational Therapists with general registration.

Osteopaths: a minimum of 25 hours of CPD in each annual registration period (1st of December to the 30th of November), including four hours of mandatory topics approved by the Board.

Physiotherapists:A minimum of 20 hours of CPD must be completed annually including a declaration that your CPD activity meets the requirements of the CPD standard.

Speech Pathologists: A minimum of 20 hours of learning, which includes at least 2 hours of cultural learning and 2 hours of professional support, to maintain certification.

Tips on maintaining CPD Requirements

Join your professional body: Professional Bodies such as the Australian Physiotherapy Association and Osteopathy Australia can provide the tools and resources to maintain your CPD requirements each year. With online learning, free workshops, magazines, conferences, working groups and online diaries/trackers, Professional Bodies make keeping up-to-date easy and enjoyable.

Understand your discipline’s requirements: Many disciplines have sub-requirements within the minimum number of points or units required to maintain your registration. For example, Exercise and Sports Science Australia updated their requirements in 2019 so that a minimum of 15 CPD points must be dedicated to “Further Education”. Understanding the specifics of your discipline greatly supports ensuring the CPD you complete meets the criteria and will be accepted.

Take advantage of free professional development: Many organisations and groups provide free education that can count toward your CPD requirements. Equipment and Mobility stores, companies (e.g. Nutritional Supplement providers), Local, State or Federal Government bodies, tertiary institutions, insurance organisations or not-for-profit groups advertise professional development to demonstrate the latest evidence, products and innovations relevant to your discipline. Following such groups on social media, signing up to email notifications or regularly checking their calendar is a great way to stay up to date with free professional development opportunities in your field.

Follow your interests and passion:Education is more enjoyable when you follow your passion. Many disciplines have special interest groups or advisory groups affiliated with their professional body. Becoming involved in these groups or simply attending professional development sessions that spark interest is a great way to progress your career while also following your passion.

Combine Professional Development training with a vacation or adventure: Professional Development training and conferences are held all over the world – sometimes in some unique and memorable destinations. Combining Professional Development training and conferences with an adventure is a great way to maintain your CPD requirements whilst having a memorable experience. Travelling for professional development is also a great way to improve networking in your field!

Fin an employer that provides internal professional development to its team members!

At Vivir Healthcare, we provide regular professional development to our team – across all disciplines. Furthermore, the majority of our Professional Development is recorded and uploaded to our Vivir Learning platform – so you can watch this later and in your own time.

Vivir Learning is our Learning Management System (LMS) for Vivir Healthcare's clinicians. Vivir Learning provides a modern layout, greater accessibility across devices, and an improved user experience. Vivir Learning gives easy access to our course library, webinars, and resources. It also provides a clear overview of professional development completed so you can track your PD hours/units ahead of registration time.

Apply for one of our open roles to potentially join the Vivir Healthcare team and gain access to our free Learning Management System.