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What does the MBA’s Professional Performance Framework mean for continuing professional development?


Paul Hayes


29/11/2017 12:14:49 PM

The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) has announced a new performance framework designed to ensure doctors across the country provide patients with safe and competent care.

The PLAN – planning learning and need – quality improvement activity helps the RACGP to provide profession-led continuous professional development. Image: String Theory
The PLAN – planning learning and need – quality improvement activity helps the RACGP to provide profession-led continuous professional development. Image: String Theory

The Professional Performance Framework (the framework) has been developed in order to ‘ensure that all registered medical practitioners practise competently and ethically throughout their working lives’. It is described as ‘a continuation of what is already in place, not a departure from it’.
 
‘Nothing is going to change tomorrow for individual doctors,’ Dr Joanna Flynn, MBA Chair, said. ‘We will be consulting widely and seeking expert advice on many elements of the framework.
 
‘We have designed a framework that will justify and strengthen the trust that the Australian community has in their doctors. It is focussed on patient safety and will support doctors to provide high quality care throughout their working lives.’
 
The framework consists of five pillars:

  • Strengthened continuing professional development (CPD) requirements
  • Active assurance of safe practice
  • Strengthened assessment and management of medical practitioners with multiple substantiated complaints
  • Guidance to support practitioners
  • Collaborations to foster a culture of medicine that is focused on patient safety, based on respect and encourages doctors to take care of their own health and wellbeing
‘When it comes to continuous professional development, an enhanced, comprehensive, reflective and contextual profession-lead program is what makes a difference to practitioners and patients,’ RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel said in a letter to members sent this morning.
 
‘That’s why, despite all criticism, the RACGP carefully designed PLAN and proactively made PLAN available to all RACGP members early this year. This was not an easy decision but, in hindsight, the right decision.’
 
The new framework essentially replaces ‘revalidation’, with the Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on revalidation heeding recommendations from the profession.
 
‘I am delighted to advise that the EAG took the RACGP’s grave concerns regarding revalidation into consideration,’ Dr Seidel said.
 
The EAG has recommended an integrated approach that will help improve public safety, and identify and manage risk in setting by:
  • maintaining and enhancing the performance of all doctors practising in Australia through efficient, effective, contemporary, evidence-based CPD relevant to their scope of practice
  • proactively identifying doctors who are either performing poorly or are at risk of performing poorly, assessing their performance and if necessary, supporting their remediation. The EAG identified that age, professional isolation and multiple complaints are all risk factors for poor performance.
While the RACGP has largely welcomed the new framework, it is concerned about potentially discriminatory practises in determining competency, specifically the plan that will require doctors aged 70 or older to undergo regular health checks.
 
‘The RACGP will continue to advocate strongly against any discriminatory profiling of GPs. Our members dedicate their lives to general practice and the Australian community and do not deserve to be subjected to any form of discriminatory screening,’ Dr Seidel said in this morning’s letter.
 
‘The RACGP will urge any health checks of GPs to be carefully trialled, appraised and evaluated before a potential compulsory roll out.’



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