The Optometry Board of Australia has published its revised registration standard and associated guidelines for continuing professional development and optometrists are encouraged to familiarise themselves with these important documents.
The Board reviewed the CPD registration standards (and guideline) earlier than the committed 2013 date, as there were significant amendments and issues that need to be clarified for the profession.
Delaying the review of the standard to 2013 would have continued to restrict the range of CPD activities and the time-frame available for optometrists to meet the Board’s requirements.
The key amendments to the registration standard are:
Optometry Board of Australia Chair, Mr Colin Waldron, said the amendments do not increase requirements on optometrists, but rather provide clarity and improved flexibility for optometrists so they may easier meet the requirements.
“The Board anticipates the amendments to the CPD registration standard to be of particular benefit for rural and remote practitioner increasing the range of activities whereby the face-to-face requirement can be met and allowing them to meet the requirements over a two year period”, said Mr Waldron.
The Board has moved to a principle-based approach for what constitutes face to face activities so that these activities must include interaction with peers in real time. Moving to this approach provides clarity and increases the choice for optometrists including incorporating of emerging technologies such as interactive webinars.
The board-approved Guidelines on continuing professional development for endorsed and non-endorsed optometrists (the CPD Guidelines) have been amended as a consequence of the proposed changes to the registration standard. The amended CPD Guidelines outline the quality framework that underpins CPD activities for optometrists. The changes to the CPD Guidelines simplify the activity structure and underpin it in a revised quality framework. This quality framework is described in more detail for providers in the Board’ Continuing Professional Development Provider Manual.
Optometrists are advised to familiarise themselves with the revised documents. The CPD FAQs have been amended to reflect the changes. All documents are now published at ‘Continuing professional development’ section under the ‘Registration standard’ tab of the Board’s website.
Mr Waldron would like to assure optometrists who completed more than the minimum 40 points CPD in 2012 that they can count the extra points towards the 2013 requirements. Optometrists need to complete 80 points over two consecutive registration periods. If an optometrist completed 60 points in 2012, then they need to complete a minimum of 20 points in 2013 to ensure a total of 80 points over the two registration periods of 2012 and 2013. They will then need to complete 60 points again in 2014.
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