Continual learning in any field is important, however when it comes to science-based professions it is even more critical to keep abreast of new developments. Veterinarians are no exception, and in fact a certain amount of Continued Professional Development (CPD) is required in order to maintain your working registration here in Australia.
This CPD can be recorded via a range of formal and informal avenues, from attending conferences to completing approve courses, among many other things.
What is CPD?
To practice as a veterinarian in Australia, you need to be registered with the relevant board in your state as recognised by the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council. In order to maintain registration, vets need to complete a certain amount of CPD – which is essentially a formalised recording of additional experience and training you undertake as a vet.
How much CPD is required?
Although the number of CPD points required to maintain registration varies from state to state, the Australian Veterinary Association notes that on average across the country vets are required to maintain 60 points of CPD over a rolling three-year period. In most states, at least 15 of these points must be considered ‘structured CPD points’.
Structured CPD points are allocated to activities which can be externally validated such as attendance at conferences and workshops, completion of courses and authoring or refereeing of peer reviewed articles. Unstructured CPD points are allocated to activities such as private reading, clinical rounds, mentoring and unassessed computer-based courses.
So how exactly do points accrue? In many cases, points accrue according to the number of hours spent undertaking CPD. For example, if you’re running a formal presentation for your peers on a subject, you can accrue four points per one hour of presenting. Conferences and seminars generally accrue points at a rate of one point per hour, while workshops and wet labs (such as many of the courses on offer via VetPrac) accrue points at a rate of two points per hour, in some states. Examples of unstructured activities that accrue points include mentoring undergraduate students – which accrue at a rate of one point per day – and private reading, which is awarded one point per two hours. There is a long list of CPD activities, and a great table that shows many good examples can be found on the Australian Veterinary Association website.
Gain critical skills and CPD points with VetPrac
Time is precious, so when you are accruing your required CPD points, it is important to make sure they count and actually provide you with valuable learning that can positively impact your day-to-day work. Improving your knowledge base and upskilling in a practical sense are important aspects of being a veterinarian, as new research is constantly bringing new techniques and approaches to light.
At VetPrac, we offer a range of courses and workshops for veterinarians, covering everything from equine neurology to hip and hind limb problems in dogs. Our courses range from in-person workshops to online seminars, and all count towards structured CPD. If you’re looking to expand your professional horizons, click here to see what workshops are currently available.