Optometry Board of Australia - Continuing professional development
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Continuing professional development

The public have the right to expect that optometrists will provide services in a safe, competent, ethical and contemporary manner that meets standards set by the Optometry Board of Australia (the Board).

Continuing professional development (CPD) is an interactive process to maintain, enhance and extend the practitioner’s knowledge, expertise and competence throughout his or her career. CPD is an important component in the continued provision of safe and effective services.

All practising optometrists must undertake CPD.

On 30 June 2019, the COAG Health Council approved the Board’s revised CPD registration standard, which came into effect on 1 December 2020. The revised registration standard is published in the table below and optometrists are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the revised standard. More information relating to the revised standard can be found on the news item.

New video: your questions about the CPD changes explained

The Board has put together a video to help answer some of your questions about what the changes to the CPD registration standard mean for optometrists.

The changes came into effect in December last year and the Board expects all registered optometrists, except those with student or non-practising registration, to apply the changes.

Please read the news item: Online renewal for optometrists is now open regarding the Board’s position on flexibility to CPD requirements during 2021 renewals.


Registration standard

Registration standards define the requirements that applicants or registrants need to meet to be registered.

Document name  PDF   Accessible format Date of effect 

Registration standard: Continuing professional development


Word version (84.1KB,DOC)

1 December 2020

Registration guidelines

These guidelines assist optometrists to meet the Board’s CPD registration standard. 

Document name PDF Accessible format  Date of effect
Guidelines: Continuing professional development   PDF (193 KB) Word version 
(441 KB,DOCX)
From 1 December 2020

Further information for optometrists

The following additional documents have been developed to supplement the registration standard and guidelines by providing further information regarding the Optometry Board’s expectations and requirements. These documents should be read in conjunction with the standard and guidelines.

Document name PDF Accessible format Document date
FAQ: Continuing professional development PDF
Word version
1 December 2020
Fact sheet: Continuing professional development exemptions PDF
Word version
1 December 2020
Checklist - Continuing professional development

Word version
1 December 2020
Information sheet - Identifying CPD learning goals
(145 KB)

Word version

1 December 2020
Guidance - Tips for planning your CPD PDF
Word version

1 December 2020
Guidance - CPD activities that meet the standard

Word version
1 December 2020
Guidance - CPD reflection PDF
Word version

1 December 2020 
Template - CPD Portfolio PDF
Word version

1 December 2020 
Application for exemption from continuing professional development – ECPD-50

1 December 2020

Consultation process for the continuing professional development standard

The current Registration standard: Continuing professional development was developed after a review of the retired standard, which included public consultation. The public consultation paper provides an overview of the consultation process, rationale for any changes and sets out the proposed way forward, including areas where further work is planned. This is found on the Past consultations page.

The Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council approval letter for the registration standard are found on the Ministerial Council Directions and Approval page.

The revised Continuing professional development standard was developed by the Board after a review of the current registration and public consultation from 13 March 2018 until 4 May 2018 and can be found on the Past consultations page.

Retired version

The retired version of the registration standard is no longer in effect.

Document name PDF Date of effect
Retired version: FAQ: Continuing professional development PDF
December 2015 to 30 November 2020
Retired version: CPD portfolio template

This template is a sample record that optometrists may choose to use to record requirements of the Optometry Board of Australia’s CPD registration standard.
March 2013 to 30 November 2020
Retired version: Definition of CPD for endorsement for scheduled medicines Web page April 2016 to 30 November 2020
Retired version: Continuing professional development registration standard


7 January 2013 to 30 November 2020
Retired version Guidelines for CPD
for endorsed and non-endorsed optometrists
21 December 2012 to 30 November 2020
Retired version: Continuing professional development registration standard PDF 
1 July 2010 to 6 January 2013

Note: If a practitioner is selected for audit, they will be audited against the registration standard that was in effect during the audit period, or as otherwise specified. For more information on audits refer to the audit page.

Page reviewed 16/04/2024