Optometry Board of Australia - New CPD guidance documents published today
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New CPD guidance documents published today

27 May 2020

The Optometry Board of Australia (the Board) has today published six new continuing professional development (CPD) guidance documents to help optometrists understand how to meet its revised Continuing professional development registration standard (revised CPD standard).1

The revised CPD standard was initially published in July 2019 and will replace the existing CPD standard on 1 December 2020.

From 1 December 2020, the revised CPD standard and guidelines will apply to all optometrists registered with the Board except those with student or non-practising registration.

Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board recently announced its intention not to take action if registered optometrists cannot meet the current CPD standard when they renew their registration this year for 2021. The current CPD standard expires on 30 November 2020.

CPD requirements will stay the same until 1 December 2020

It is important for optometrists to remember you won’t need to declare that you have met the revised CPD standard until you renew your registration in 2021. When you renew your registration this year you will need to declare whether you meet the current CPD standard.

To help optometrists to prepare to meet the revised CPD standard, the Board published revised Guidelines for continuing professional development in October 2019. On 3 April 2020, the Board published further guidance comprising FAQs about CPD and a fact sheet about CPD exemptions on its website. The Board will continue to publish additional information in its newsletter and online throughout 2020.

Today the Board has published advance copies of the following six new documents on its website:

  • CPD checklist
  • Identifying CPD learning goals
  • Tips for planning your CPD
  • CPD activities that meet the standard
  • CPD reflection, and
  • CPD template portfolio.

Optometry Board of Australia Chair Ian Bluntish said: ‘The ways in which registered optometrists can meet the new CPD standard will be even more flexible than before. You will no longer need to undertake accredited CPD activities, though you will still be required to develop learning goals, plan CPD activities to meet those goals and reflect on how you will improve your practice based on what you have learned. Optometrists will continue to be required to keep a portfolio that records all this information.

‘The Board conducted focus groups with optometrists to gain a better understanding of the type of information that would help practitioners understand and meet the requirements of the new CPD registration standard. The additional documents published today have been developed with valuable insights from optometrists.’

What has stayed the same in the new CPD registration standard?

From 1 December 2020, optometrists will still need to:

  • complete CPD activities that improve your patient outcomes and competence
  • complete additional CPD activities that relate to scheduled medicines if you hold an endorsement
  • undertake interactive CPD with other practitioners (referred to as face-to-face CPD in the current standard) - a minimum of five hours per year is required
  • complete cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training every three years
  • assess learning needs/goals and reflect on how CPD met those goals, and
  • keep a portfolio recording information about learning needs/goals, CPD activities and reflections on how completed CPD has met learning needs and is expected to improve or has improved practice.

What has changed in the new CPD registration standard?

From 1 December 2020:

  • CPD activities will be measured in hours not points
  • optometrists must complete the required number of CPD hours over one year instead of the previous requirement to complete points over two years
  • optometrists who hold a scheduled medicine endorsement must complete a minimum of 30 hours of CPD each year with at least 10 hours relating to the endorsement
  • optometrists who are not endorsed must complete a minimum of 20 hours of CPD each year
  • CPD activities do not need to be accredited but must meet the requirements of the CPD standard
  • CPD that meets the standard must help improve patient outcomes and experiences, draw on best available evidence, improve your competence, keep you up to date and build on your existing knowledge
  • non-scientific/non-clinical CPD activities are limited to a maximum of five hours each year (this is similar to the current restriction on activities relating to optical goods and equipment provided by suppliers and manufacturers), and
  • the criteria allowing exemptions from CPD will change.

More information

The revised standard, guidelines, FAQs and fact sheet about CPD exemptions are available on the Board’s website. To complete its suite of CPD guidance documents, later in 2020 the Board will publish a template for applying for exemptions from completing the revised CPD standard requirements.


1 Registration standards define the requirements that applicants and registrants in the regulated professions need to meet to be registered.

Page reviewed 27/05/2020