RACGP seeking GP views on controversial CPD changes

Doug Hendrie

13/01/2020 3:59:44 PM

President Dr Harry Nespolon has written to all members, asking them to consider providing feedback to the MBA’s proposed changes.

Dr Harry Nespolon
RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon.

Member feedback through a short online questionnaire will be used to inform the RACGP’s formal response to the changes.
The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) last year proposed a major shake-up of the continuing professional development (CPD) system, which would see a new target of 50 hours per year.
That would replace the current points-based triennium system, where GPs can complete their CPD at any time over the three years through their college.
The 50-hour target would represent a substantial increase for many GPs. Of these hours, at least 12.5 would be focused on ‘measuring outcomes’ and another 12.5 on reviewing performance.
The proposal triggered significant concern among GPs.
In a letter to members, RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon outlines the fact he is concerned the changes would have a ‘substantial impact’ on GPs by reducing their clinical time.
‘[T]he inclusion of performance assessment and measurement of outcomes would have a substantial impact and the time requirement is seen as a further unwarranted imposition on GPs’ valuable clinical time,’ he wrote.  
‘To ensure the CPD system is designed by, and for, GPs, the RACGP is preparing a response to the MBA’s proposed revision.’
The MBA is also proposing the creation of CPD homes outside of the current structure.
‘While creating options for GPs as consumers is commendable, the ramifications of a wide choice of CPD homes outweighs the benefits,’ Dr Nespolon wrote. ‘One of the ramifications is the potential to weaken the overall structure of CPD.
‘The risk of fragmenting responsibility will lead to diminished integrity, control and quality outcomes.’
The proposed changes come as the RACGP enters the new triennium with what Dr Nespolon dubbed a ‘vastly improved’ streamlined CPD recording system that allows GPs to record their activities during daily clinical practice.
‘Looking ahead to the new triennium, we’ve adopted a collaborative approach with members and CPD education providers in order to limit disruption and make the entire experience easier,’ he recently wrote in newsGP.
‘The last thing we as a college want to do is increase the workload for our members, as we are acutely aware of the substantial demands already placed on your time every day.
‘The RACGP has one of the best, and most respected, CPD requirements in the world. We are working to seamlessly transition to a revised CPD system that is even simpler, stronger and more adaptable, without member impediment.
‘Medicine has a culture of continuous self-improvement and I expect that to remain the case, regardless of the changes proposed by the MBA.’
Responses to the RACGP questionnaire need to be received by 31 January to allow the submission to be finalised.

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Dr Yasar Abbas   14/01/2020 6:48:25 AM

Not all changes are that good and welcoming. If the current system of CPD is working then why to impose all together a new system, we can work together and improve the one we already have. Problem starts when non medical people shape the polices for medics, and set unrealistic goals and imagine they are doing the best for this world.

Dr Channappa Jayadev   14/01/2020 9:49:13 AM

Current continuing professional education program is time tested, doctors are used to it and enjoy participating in the program along with colleagues.
I do not see any benefit in changing apart from interfering with clinical time for the benefits of the community.

Dr Channappa Jayadev   14/01/2020 9:50:18 AM

Please do not change the current CPD program.

Dr Channappa Jayadev   14/01/2020 9:53:30 AM

Medical profession is doing a great service to the community which has led to it being considered as a noble profession. Please keep it that way.

Dr Channappa Jayadev   14/01/2020 9:54:23 AM

RACGP ,is doing a great job. Keep it up.

Dr Channappa Jayadev   14/01/2020 10:39:21 AM

Current CPD program is time tested, doctors are used to it, attending seminars , interacting with colleagues.
This is a a very useful program admintered by RACGP.
Please do not change it.

Dr Channappa Jayadev   14/01/2020 10:40:34 AM

Keep it up RACGP

Dr Rosein Saweris   14/01/2020 10:58:13 AM

Please do not change the current CPD system if it ain’t broken don’t fix it!

Dr Sherif Francis   14/01/2020 1:16:07 PM

No need for Change, this is ridiculous, some people always feel the need to keep changing stuff for no good reason. Please stop burdening us GPs with more red tape. We are carrying so much already and our times are stretched. Leave us our time to care for our patients. They need it.

Dr Peter Ryder   14/01/2020 1:51:56 PM

This is just the Medical board pushing in and expanding its bureaucracy into areas where it is not wanted or needed. Bureaucracy just tends to self inflate for no reason. It is the job of the professional colleges to set and maintain clinical standards. It is the job of the Medical board to simply maintain the register of those doctors who have met the education standards of their professional colleges, and to deal with doctors who significantly breach ethical or technical standards. They are not a professional college. They have NO role in our CPD , and should be told to shove off and do their appointed job.

Dr Gregory Parkin-Smith   14/01/2020 2:03:57 PM

Thoughts and Insights - Lawton S, Wimpenny P (2003) make a few good points about CPD: (a) Sadler-Smith et al (2000) identify three key types: the `maintenance role' that fosters the notions of lifelong learning, the `survival role' that requires practitioners to demonstrate their ongoing competence, and the `mobility role' that aims to increase a person's employability; (b) while promoting the maintenance role, would appear to be focused on a survival role, where non-adherence to CPD means removal of the individual's registration and ability to practise; (c) competence may be viewed as context-specific (Waddell 2001) and so may ultimately rest with individuals or their employer. If effectiveness is to rest at the individual professional level then the need for a profession-wide mandatory scheme should be questioned. An individual, locally developed system where effectiveness could be more readily assessed would be more appropriate (Hicks and Hennessy 2001); (d) although ideal position on a CPD framework may be a balance between the positions and approaches, that is, at the intersection of the approaches/methods. However, this might not represent the needs of the individual or their practice; (e) despite the range of possible CPD activities, it is useful to address the issue of the impact of CPD on practice. In a meta-analysis of 34 studies Waddell (1993) showed that CPE does have a positive effect on practice, but does not explain why this might be so. Waddell agrees that it is difficult to measure effectiveness because of the lack of experimental control and the multifactorial nature of CPD; (f) here needs to be a stronger partnership between individuals' needs, the context in which they work, the nature of the CPD undertaken, and the professional body to which they belong. It is at this interface that effectiveness needs to be examined.

A.Prof Christopher David Hogan   14/01/2020 3:21:13 PM

RACGP has one of the best CPD programs in Australia. The other specialist colleges- not so much.
This is a clumsy attempt at false equality to bring the other colleges up to standard but it punishes RACGP/ACRRM for their efficiency

Dr Melinda Joy Dalman   15/01/2020 12:29:58 PM

Stop messing around with my ability to seek out my weaknesses and address them efficiently! I’d rather actually LEARN than jump through hoops. More red tape is just going to irritate me without helping me. I like the current system. If they want us to do more, set the points number higher. That wouldn’t bother me. But I’m a forty five year old doc with 22y in practice. I’m across this. Let me direct my own learning. Don’t treat me like an undergrad who has to be spoon fed.

Dr Tawhid Mohamed Sayed Hassanien   15/01/2020 2:22:46 PM

I understand that the medical board has broad overview of overseeing the medical standards. The specificities lies with the medical colleges. They have the expert and inside knowledge to devise the best possible CPD for their members. last year I was sent random assessment by the board to assess my CPD. it took me few months to make them aware of the difference between CPD and GP training programs. CPD are devised by GPs for GPs . One last remark if the medical board main function is to protect the public from doctors , why is it not funded by public rather than doctors?

Dr Graham William S Cato OAM   15/01/2020 5:47:34 PM

I am absolutely staggered by this proposal.I jiggered I must have misunderstood--how does any GP have 50hrs to spare during each year??!!What is the likely positive effects on patient care??what are the likely effects on better practise??What are the likely effects of improving GP management, etc.??
I can raise many more questions and I am more than happy to assist RACP to manage this.

Dr Deon Hoffman   18/01/2020 8:37:50 AM

How does the medical board get GP’s to spend 30 hours a year on CPD?

The start of by saying you will spend 50 hours....


Dr Colin David Coward   18/01/2020 8:40:59 AM

Show us the evidence that
A) the current system is failing
B) the proposals will ‘work’ (see C)
C) what are the end points being measured?
D) not blindly following the U.K.

Dr Colin David Coward   18/01/2020 8:57:15 AM

Is BLS going to be made yearly like the U.K. too??
.....Because all those botched resuscitations...???🥱

Dr Colin David Coward   18/01/2020 9:05:38 AM

Every time someone is killed in a car accident there should be a national review of driving standards. A proposal should be made for all drivers to retake their driving test every 5 years. This would keep the public safe and lower deaths from dangerous driving. Ridiculous? The same logic is being imposed on this profession. The reason the driving doesn’t happen is because it would be a vote loser, cost too much and would be against the proposers personal interests.... hmmm

Dr Roderick Graham Bain OAM   18/01/2020 12:00:53 PM

As a non-clinical medical practitioner on various boards and review committees pertaining to veterans and defence community members, this new proposal is a cause for considerable alarm. Sadly it has the potential to cause my departure and that of similar colleagues, and thus cause considerable, unnecessary stress.

Dr Naveed Shaukat   19/01/2020 12:42:30 AM

50 Hours of unpaid labour to please the lord...How about thousands of hours of Post Grad Studies and Research work and practice. Oh I forgot to mention the College exam one of most expensive exams on the planet. You learn on the job everyday something. Stick to current CPD system.

Dr Shyamala Hiriyanna   19/01/2020 11:26:49 AM

Please do not change anything. Things are good as is.Doctors are aware that we need CME to practice and we really try hard to update and up skill our selves. Please do not change anything. Don"t need any more stress in our professional life.
Thank you

Dr Robert James Kirk   25/01/2020 5:28:56 PM

Graduated 1964. 41 yrs GP southern Illawarra large obs practice trauma and minor general surgery regular discussions with pears daily in early yrs 12 yrs locums all areas aust esp. remote and indigenous still maintain relevant education. I know when I don’t know. Excellent training with SPUMS. What is essential to one Dr may be a waist of time for anotherI have worked out my next 3 yrs needs in GP training After 50 odd yrs I know my needs Your changes not necessary.

Dr Subodhani Sagarika Sirisena   26/01/2020 6:17:10 PM

I evaluate myself and undertake courses that allows me to care for patient groups that I am involved in caring for.
I take pride in doing this.
Nobody else understands the type of work one does as oneself.
We don’t need it dictated by others as we value in our ability to independently assess, re direct and reflect carefully.
It’s an ethical way of practicing.
Resources are better spent elsewhere as there are communities that struggle with their health care needs such as
Drug and alcohol addiction
Over weight populations within above categories
Aged care sector where they attract low to no income residents and lifestyle programs
Life style program for residents with dementia which need to cover almost 24 hours,
Access to additional staff when a dementia patient with behaviour and psychological symptoms display deviated behaviour,
Developing a nursing staff program independently of aged care sector to allow good nursing care .

Dr Bathiya Alwis-Jayasinghe   27/01/2020 5:19:15 PM

Vast majority of medical practitioners undertake CPD by AHPRA's own admission. Very well supervised by the relevant colleges , specially the RACGP. This is a thinly veiled exercise of power play at the expense of GPs as the proposals will certainly increase time and monetary cost for them . Any improvement in the efficiency or the morale of general practitioners is highly unlikely.
Please reconsider.