2017 June - CPD Audit Questions and Answers

The CPD audit conducted by the Board in 2016 was the largest attempted at around 450 registrants (in previous years it has been around 150 registrants).  As a result we received many enquiries about CPD requirements and validation of points. 

What is the maximum number of points I can claim for a presentation to peers?

The Australian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) and the AVA created a CPD points allocation table many years ago and the Board uses this table to determine the number of CPD points attained by completing an activity.  If you provided a formal presentation to your peers this is defined as a structured activity and you can claim up to 4 points per hour (first presentation only).


What about a presentation to students?

The Board considers that a presentation to students (including veterinary) and others who are not qualified veterinarians is best described as a presentation to community or school and using the points allocation table would allocate up to 2 points per hour (first presentation only).


What about when there are multiple authors or presenters?

This should simply be a matter of adequately allocating the time for each individual.  For example, if you delivered a formal presentation to peers for 30 minutes and your colleague delivered the other 30 minutes you could claim up to 2 points (as above).  If two people equally contributed to an article published in a peer reviewed journal as per the points allocation table you could allocate up to 10 points for this activity (up to 20 points are available per paper).


What about a first aid course?

You must complete CPD in an area relevant to your practice of veterinary science.  A first aid course may assist veterinarians in their workplace and therefore may be relevant to a person’s practice of veterinary science.  The Board would be concerned if this was a veterinarian’s only CPD for a cycle or was repeated in future cycles.


What if as a veterinarian in clinical practice I am participating in a research project?

Participating in a research project most likely involves significant learning through reading and discussions with colleagues and these activities provide unstructured points.  For example, private reading provides 1 point (unstructured) for 2 hours and a clinical review project provides a maximum of 4 points (unstructured). 

If the research results in a publication in a peer reviewed journal up to 20 points for the paper can be shared among the authors.  For a non peer reviewed publication up to 4 points can be shared among the authors.


What about editing proceedings or refereeing papers?

Refereeing a paper for a peer reviewed journal is allocated 1 point per hour up to a maximum of 4 points per paper. If the work is editing for a paper or proceedings that are not considered peer reviewed it is not appropriate to claim structured points for this activity.


What is an accreditation scheme by examination?

In order to become an Australian Government Accredited Veterinarian (AAV) a veterinarian must successfully complete the initial Animal Health Australia Accreditation Program for Veterinarians (APAV) and successfully complete the Animal Health Australia online AAVet course.  Similarly, to become a companion animal export veterinarian you must successfully complete the APAV.

Some graduates have also completed the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE) which is effectively an accreditation scheme enabling a person to register in the US.

Completing an accreditation scheme by examination provides 4 structured points per hour of examination.


What about completion of post graduate qualifications in veterinary science?

The qualification must be relevant to your practice of veterinary science and if you successfully complete this qualification you are considered to be exempt from other CPD requirements for the 3 year cycle. You may either attempt to allocate structured and unstructured points or you can simply put the minimum requirements into your Annual Return.


What if I attend a CPD event that someone else registered for?

If another veterinarian purchased or registered for an event and you attended in the place of that person the certificate of attendance or completion may be in the other person’s name.  In this case the first veterinarian must certify that they did not attend the event and confirm that you attended in their place.  The Board may request CPD validation from the other veterinarian in such cases.  A similar approach can be taken for events with practice registration and multiple veterinarians attending an event on different days.


What about quizzes such as those in the Australian Veterinary Journal?

Successful completion of a quiz based on a presentation or journal article provides 1 point per quiz per presentation or paper.  Validation required is proof of completion and these quizzes must generally be competed online so that the mark and time of completion can be externally validated.


What happens if I lost my validation?

The Board has stated that you should keep CPD validation for at least 4 years given the CPD cycle is 3 years and the Board generally requests CPD validation after completion of the cycle and registration renewal procedures. The event organiser is usually able to provide a copy of the validation required.  In the unlikely event that you are unable to obtain any of the standard forms of validation the Board may accept a certification from a colleague who also attended the event.


Can I use my AVA Vet Ed Statement for validation?

Yes, but you need to remember two points. 

Firstly, the AVA VetEd Statement allocates points over a calendar year rather than a CPD year (April to March) so be careful to check the dates on your statement. 

Secondly, the AVA statement provides validation for AVA or VetEd events and a MyCPD category.  The latter generally includes activities that you have uploaded yourself and you need to keep your own validation for these points.


What about validation of unstructured points?

You can maintain a diary record of unstructured points in a variety of forms and the Board has a template available from its website.  From the Board’s perspective the main difference between structured points and unstructured points is that structured points can be externally validated.

Structured and unstructured activities may provide similar learning outcomes and a mixture of both will most likely ensure you achieve the learning outcomes you desire from you CPD.  As only structured points can be readily externally validated the Board has focused its audits on ensuring veterinarians attain the minimum structured points requirement.


Can I maintain my registration in NSW without meeting CPD requirements?

All registered veterinarians in NSW (including those with deemed registration) must complete 60 CPD points over a 3 year cycle with a minimum of 15 structured points.  The only exception to this requirement is veterinarians who have honorary registration with non-practising conditions (these veterinarians are exempt from CPD requirements).


What happens if I did not attain the required CPD points for the 3 year cycle?

It is vital that the points you submit in your Annual Return are the points you attained. 

If these submissions indicate that you have not completed the required CPD you will receive a letter from the Board after the registration period requesting reasons as to why this is so.  The Board appreciates that this can happen for a variety of reasons and in most cases your CPD point requirement for the next cycle will be adjusted.

The Board has developed a policy on Failure to meet CPD requirements which outlines these adjustments.

A false report of points attained or failure to be able to validate points claimed may lead to a complaint by the Board against the veterinarian.  This may lead to a finding of professional misconduct or unsatisfactory professional conduct.  In such cases the veterinarian may be fined and required to complete additional continuing professional development courses.