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 will not come into effect until 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.

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 

Current: Continuing professional development registration standard - effective until 30 November 2020



7 January 2013

Advance copy: Continuing professional development registration standard- effective from 1 December 2020


Word version (84.1KB,DOC)

1 December 2020

Registration guidelines

These guidelines assist optometrists to meet the Board’s CPD registration standard and provide guidance for providers seeking accreditation of CPD activities.

New guidelines and additional documents to support the revised CPD registration standard will be published at a later date, in advance of the revised standard taking effect.

Document name PDF Accessible format  Date of effect
Current: Guidelines for CPD
for endorsed and non-endorsed optometrists
  21 December 2012
until 30 November 2020
Advance copy: Guidelines for CPD
effective from 1 December 2020
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
December 2015
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.
Word version
March 2013
Definition of CPD for endorsement for scheduled medicines   Web page April 2016

The following documents are published in advance to help optometrists to understand the Optometry Board’s revised CPD registration standard and guidelines that take effect on 1 December 2020. Optometrists won’t need to declare that they have complied with the revised CPD standard and guidelines until they renew their registration in 2021.

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

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

Word version

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

1 December 2020
Advance copy:  Guidance - CPD activities that meet the standard

Word version
1 December 2020
Advance copy:  Guidance - CPD reflection PDF
Word version

1 December 2020 
Advance copy: Template - CPD Portfolio PDF
Word version

1 December 2020 

Accredited and non-accredited CPD activities

Optometrists can meet the Board’s CPD requirements by undertaking accredited or non-accredited CPD activities:

Further information for CPD providers

Document name PDF Document date
Continuing professional development provider manual

The CPD provider manual assists approved and non-approved CPD providers in the development of accredited CPD activities for the optometry profession.

All queries regarding the application process should be directed to the national office of OA directly at
January 2013

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: 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 27/05/2020