2016 December - CPD Audit

The Board conducted its fourth audit of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points reported by veterinary practitioners this year.  Approximately 750 veterinarians have now been audited in the last four years (22% of practising veterinarians in NSW).

A stratified random sample of veterinarians is selected from our database each year with stratification based on area of employment, registration type (full, specialist, limited, honorary, deemed), year of graduation and audit history to ensure the breadth of the profession is covered.

It is important to note that failure without reasonable excuse to comply with CPD requirements is defined as unsatisfactory professional conduct (Veterinary Practice Act 2003 s 35(e1)) and failure to provide validation for CPD points claimed may lead to an allegation of a false declaration in your Annual Return and a potential breach of the Veterinary practitioners code of professional conduct (cl 17) which is defined as professional misconduct.

So, only claim what you know you can validate and if you have made a mistake in your CPD point calculations contact the Board as soon as possible.

The audit currently asks for validation of the minimum 15 structured CPD points only.

Here are some useful lessons from audits so far:

  • A small number of veterinarians could not be contacted. It is a statutory requirement that you advise the Board as soon as possible of any change to your contact details and the easiest way to do this is using your Vet Login.
  • If you have experienced health issues during the return period that may have affected your ability to practice (including the completion of required CPD points) you are required to report these concerns in your Annual Return. 
  • The CPD year runs from 1 April to 31 March so that when you are looking to renew your registration in May you should have received validation from any CPD conducted in the previous return period.
  • AVA Vet Ed Statements are an efficient and effective method for validating VetEd CPD points (The AVA MyCPD Statement  records points that will require validation).
  • CPD providers should provide validation of completion of the activity with a title for the activity, date of the activity, name of the attendee, registration number, and number of hours and number of CPD points attained.
  • Where a CPD provider has not issued a certificate of attendance the Board has accepted a payment receipt as an alternative.  The Board strongly recommends that CPD organisers either issue a certificate to attendees or maintain an attendance record to avoid problems for participants.
  • Ensure you keep records validating your CPD for at least 4 years.  The Board will audit a random sample of veterinarians each year after completion of their 3 year CPD cycle.
  • Many veterinarians reported completing significantly more CPD than the required minimum and a summary of reported CPD points is available from the Statistics section of our website.

By 2019 approximately 50% of registered veterinarians in NSW will have been audited.  As above, stratification of the population includes audit history so just because you have been audited once does not mean you will not be audited again.

Please note that veterinarians working in NSW under deemed registration (registered in Australia but outside NSW) are also required to meet CPD requirements and will be included in future audits.