Professional Development Program
the CPD program?
The CPD program
is a system of accrediting and acknowledging your
continuing post graduate professional training. A
Currency lets the public, health funds* and
professional bodies know that you have undertaken
recent educational activities relevant to your
work in orthoptics.
A total of 50 points is required to
gain a Certificate of Currency, with points to be
gained in at least two categories with a maximum
of 25 points in any one category. The allocation
of points is based on the educational relevance,
participation level and time involved in the CPD
*A Certificate of Currency is accepted by a
number of health funds as qualification to issue
a provider number for private health
||APPLYING FOR A
CERTIFICATE OF CURRENCY:
When and how do I apply for a Certificate of
If you have accrued a total of 50 points
in at least two categories in the previous two
years you can apply for a Certificate of Currency.
There is a maximum of 25 points in any one
Orthoptists who have graduated in this
biennium are eligible for a Certificate of
Currency as your degree in Orthoptics is proof of
up-to-date professional training. Submit a Claim
Form stating the name of your qualification and
the date your degree was conferred.
To apply for a Certificate of Currency, download
a CPD Claim
Form [Word] or [PDF],
list each activity undertaken including dates,
titles and reference codes
and send to the AOB. DO NOT attach receipts or
other evidence of attendance but DO keep them on
file in case of audit.
PROOF OF PARTICIPATION:
What will participants have to do to show they
Evidence of participation would include
documentary proof such as:
- Letter of invitation to present;
- signed diary note;
- acknowledgement of contribution.
Meetings and Conferences
- Receipt showing title and date of activity;
- attendance certificate.
- Copy of publication;
- conference program/transactions
- Journal/article titles and subscription;
- copy of title page from audio/visual material;
- print of web page showing date and full web
- letter acknowledging clinic visit stating
educational purpose and signed by clinician.
The CPD information states that activities are not
automatically approved. Does this mean that all
journal articles, teaching activities and self
organized trips to theatres and labs (etc.) need
Meetings also pose a bit of a problem - will I
have to submit for everything I do?
Yes and no!
Many activities have already been approved and
the list is expanding rapidly. To see if an
activity has been accredited, check the Schedule
of Accredited Activities.
Journal articles can be self assessed and
claimed, although it is possible for the AOB to
disallow the points if the article/Journal is not
considered to be educationally relevant.
Conferences, meetings and some self education
activities (such as web CPD and distance
education) require approval. We do not require a
lot of information and the form is downloadable.
It is difficult for me to attend interstate meetings
and I only work a couple of sessions per week, hence
self education is important to me. That's why I need
to be sure how the journals will work and I'm not
clear on the self assessments mentioned. Can you
Journal subscription can be to any
professionally relevant journal. See CPD Resources
for a list of accepted journals - many others may
also be eligible.
Self assessments are available
with some generally web based journals or CPD
sites. An example is the Medscape
site which requires (free) registration and offers
There are an ever increasing
number of sites on the net particularly associated
with hospitals that offer CPD or CME activities.
It is advisable to submit these sites for
It is quite acceptable to do the
quiz, print your answers as your record of
completion, and keep it as proof of participation
in case of an audit.
SELF EDUCATION ACCREDITATION:
For self-education activities, such as journal
subscription and reading, how should you go about
attaining accreditation for these?
Self education activities
such as distance learning courses need to be of
an acceptable standard and professional
relevance and should be submitted for approval
by completing an accreditation request form.
Self education such as journal
does not require pre approval. A
guide to professionally relevant journals of
appropriate educational level is at CPD Resources.
You must be aware that
it is possible for the AOB to disallow points
claimed if the article/Journal is not considered
to be educationally relevant.
You will need to list the
journals on your Claim Form to apply for your
Certificate of Currency. You should keep a copy
of the journal cover, table of contents or pages
read and the relevant publication information.
If you are audited then you will need to produce
this as proof.
Does each individual article read have to be
approved in advance?
No, reading relevant professional literature is a
Self Accredited activity (Code=S/A) which attracts
1 point per article to a maximum of 3
points per journal.
But if you are in doubt about whether an article
will be credited you may choose to submit the
journal and article titles plus relevant
information in a batch periodically for
If you are in doubt about any article/journal you
should seek accreditation well in advance of
sending in your CPD Claim Form.
My workplace subscribes to the Journal of Vision
Impairment and Blindness which is circulated to
orthoptic staff. We regularly read articles within
a) Are any of these claimable for CPD points?
b) Do I need to send in for approval for each of
c) Can we share points for a journal subscription
in a single name?
a) Yes, if you are each reading the journals you
can each claim the points.
b) No, articles from a professionally relevant
journal such as this example, do not need to be
individually approved. Points are allocated per
journal and attract 1 point per article to
a maximum of 3 points per journal.
c) Journal subscription should be an example of
evidence for verification but just listing the
journals you read would be sufficient for this
category - assuming the journals are relevant to
clinical practice of course!
Would this apply to sitting-in on another
This could include sitting-in on another
orthoptist's clinic if the orthoptist was
performing an activity (eg investigative
procedure, management technique) that is new to
you. For example, you might attend a colleague's
clinic to learn how to perform immersion
A scans. This would be quite acceptable as a
CPD activity (assuming you do not do immersion A
ASSESSMENTS OR WEB BASED ACTIVITIES:
Who sets the activities and how do we access them?
The Board is compiling a list of suggested CPD
websites and this will be added to over time. If
you find a site you think would be eligible for
accreditation, submit the web address to the Board
for approval and we can also add this to the
suggested sites list being developed.
A number of USA hospital sites have CPD questions
based on case presentations. For example Richmond Eye Clinic has a
clinical page where cases are presented and
discussed. This does not require a log in and can
be accessed free of charge by any one.
Organizations such as Medscape
require subscription but it is free.
ALLOCATION OF MEETING POINTS:
Why does an international meeting attract 10
points and a local meeting only 2 or 3 points?
Surely lots of useful info could be gained at a
local meeting also. You would still be putting in
the same hours of "work" but the orthoptists who
could afford international travel would have a
definite almost unfair advantage.
More points should be allocated for attending an
activity where material is presented by a speaker
of high professional standing. The limitation in
the current breakdown is that it does not
acknowledge Australian expertise and there will
always be an issue of what is the difference
between a local conference conducted in France
(for example) that would be considered
international if an Australian attended and the
IOA Congress which happened to be located in
Australia in 2004.
Conferences can be upgraded and this will be
decided when CPD accreditation of the activity is
applied for - it is why we want to know what the
program is and who the speakers are.
You do not necessarily have to travel overseas to
attend an international conference. It is quite
possible an organization such as the Lions Eye
Institute could host a conference with speakers of
sufficient standing to upgrade the points
Am I right in assuming that accreditation does not
need to be sought for the IOA Congress and that I
just quote the number from the Schedule of
There is a list of pre-approved conferences such
as the IOA Congress in the Schedule
of Activities. All conferences and meetings
on the pre-approved list will be accredited and
attract the points indicated in the Points
However, it is still necessary for the
organiser of pre-approved conferences and meetings
to submit an application for accreditation with
a copy of the program and detail of the speakers
within 3 months of the meeting. This is to ensure
(a) the standard of the conference/ meeting is at
the expected level, and (b) to permit an upgrade
of points in the case of high quality speakers
It is easy to check if it has already been
accepted as a CPD
activity as all activities accredited to
date are listed with the Reference Code and Points
Allocated. In the case of the 2004 IOA Congress
the Reference Code was 2-04_04.
If the conference does not have a Ref number,
it may still be claimed by writing "pre-app"
as the Reference Code and claiming the number of
points indicated in the Points
Allocation guidelines. And if you submit the
activity with a copy of the program, you may be
rewarded with additional points!
Do inservice courses count eg a Braille
Awareness seminar at the Royal Blind Society?
Yes, relevant inservice courses count depending
on the subject areas, presenters and orthoptic
Seminars and workshops are likely sources and
should be submitted for accreditation if you think
the content provides an opportunity to learn in an
area relevant to orthoptics.
Information indicates that only activities
undertaken "since 1 July 2009" are counted. Does
this mean all activities completed before July
2009 will not be considered?
Yes - activities undertaken before July
2009 cannot be counted toward the next Certificate
of Currency, available from July 2011.
CPD is an indication of currency in workplace
practice so the Board can only consider activities
from the current 2 year cycle.
Activities can be accredited up to 3 months
retrospectively so if the activity is not
already listed in the Schedule, please submit it
If I have attended a conference that is not on the
"Recognised conferences list", and I no longer
have the receipt, can I send you the conference's
program for consideration? If so, where and who
should I send it to?
If an activity is not on the approved list you
can apply to have it recognised and accredited up
to 3 months after it has taken place. Download an
application form with
instructions as to the information required.
Receipts to indicate attendance are only required
for verification of attendance and will be
requested if you are selected for audit purposes.
The conference program will not be enough for
DEFINITION Cat 1: EDUCATION:
Would you please clarify what is a “placement” - I
have on average 2 students 3 sessions per week.
What would equal a placement?
Unfortunately there is a lot of variation between
training schools and clinics! As a guide, each
student 3 sessions per week counts as 1 placement.
This attracts 5 points per session per student
placement, up to a maximum of 20 points.
SELF ASSESSED ACTIVITIES:
Cat 1: Education - upgrade of qualifications
Cat 4: Self Education - Reading Activities
a) Tertiary study
relevant to orthoptic practice (including
research degrees) will be accepted as a Self
Assessed (S/A) activity.
List the number of semesters enrolled to 30 June
and claim 5 points per semester, to a maximum of
20 points. Include relevant information such as
institution/topic on your claim form.
b) It is NOT necessary to pre approve
Category 4: Self-education Reading Activities
where the reading material is directly relevant to
Registrants record on the CPD Claim Form the
details of the journal, ie title, date/volume,
name of article/s and author/s then nominate the
points to be received. Points are allocated at
1 point per article to a maximum of 3 points per
Accredited Ref No: In the Activity
Reference write "S/A" indicating that this is a
Self Assessed activity
WEB BASED ACTIVITIES:
How do you acquire points for the websites
available to us? Today I visited the website at Richmond Eye Assoc, then I
clicked into ophthalmic cases and studied the 2
cases with acquired intermittent vertical
diplopia. How many points is this worth and how do
I document this?
As this website is already listed on the AOB page
the activities are pre approved. Just download the
cases as evidence of your activity in case of
If the site is not listed on the AOB website,
please forward the web address to the Board so
that we can look at the type of activity. If it is
approved it is worth 2 points.
Once the Board has seen and approved the
type/level of activity the website will be added
to our list of approved activities for reference
by you and other registrants. Approval of a
website only needs to be applied for once in a
given CPD period.
IN CPD PROGRAM:
What is the procedure to apply for exemption from
point accrual for part of the current biennial
Participation in the Continuing Professional
Education program is in addition to AOB
Registration and is not a requirement of
registration. However, since 1 July 2009 a
Certificate of Currency is required to obtain a
service provider number. If you do not
participate there is no penalty and no exemption
A Certificate of Currency indicates to employers,
the public and other professional bodies that you
have kept up to date with professional education
and undertaken activities in the previous two
The CPD program can be taken up at any time. To
qualify for a Certificate of Currency in the
current biennium 50 points must be acquired. There
is no requirement that points be accumulated
across the entire two year period.
If you choose to undertake continuing education,
download the CPD
Claim form, list your CPD accredited
activities and submit it to the AOB.
My paper has recently been published in a journal.
Do I need to apply for accreditation?
It is not necessary to accredit a paper published
in a refereed scientific journal or recognised
conference transactions, but you will need to keep
the publication details in case of audit.
You should submit for accreditation if the status
of the publication is not certain ie it is
not in a recognised scientific journal.
What criteria is used to assess a CPD activity for accreditation?
Applications for accreditation must provide
sufficient information to assess the CPD activity
a) that it provides development beyond the
competencies required as a beginning practitioner,
b) its relevance to orthoptic practice/knowledge,
c) the participation level required, and
d) the time involved in the activity.
Accreditation can be applied for up to 6 months
after the activity date.
CPD POINTS AND NEW GRADUATES:
We have recently employed a new graduate. If she
carries out any continuing professional education
between now and the end of the biennium are the
points able to be carried over into the next
|No, points cannot be carried over,
however, registered Orthoptists who have graduated
in the current biennium are eligible for a
Certificate of Currency as recent completion
of the Orthoptic degree is proof of up-to-date
professional training. Submit a Certificate of
Currency Claim Form stating the orthoptic
qualification and the date the degree was conferred.
WHEN CAN I SUBMIT AN ACTIVITY?
I attended an orthoptic meeting last year - can I
still apply for accreditation?
Within three months of the activity: You
may submit an application for assessment prior to
the activity taking place but it must be no
later than three months after the activity date.
Check the list of accredited activities - it may
be there if someone else has submitted it.
Orthoptists and Private Health Insurances
Accreditation Rules effective from 1 July
Changes in the Private Health
Insurance Act 2007 require a practitioner to be
recognized by an accredited body before a Private
Health Fund can give a rebate to patients.
Orthoptists are covered under a new rule to this
Act - Rule 10 – which came into force on 1st July
Medibank Private has acknowledged
the Australian Orthoptic Board as the suitable
body to accredit Orthoptists and Registrants
who hold a CPD Certificate of Currency are
eligible for a health provider number from
All Private Health Insurers are
bound by this legislation and are likely to follow
Medibank Private's lead requesting verification of
registration and a Certificate of Currency from
Is our Orthoptist allowed to check medications
with our nurses? Is this part of your scope of
Orthoptists undertake a basic subject in
pharmacology. They are expected to understand the
mechanisms of action of the classes of drugs used
in ophthalmic practice and be aware of the
potential side effects and contraindications. They
are not qualified to prescribe or dispense
medication. So it would depend what your
Orthoptist is doing - checking a patient has the
correct medication that was prescribed by an
ophthalmologist and is taking the dosage as
indicated by the ophthalmologist seems reasonable
but not to take responsibility for prescribing or
altering medication in any way.
The drugs and poisons act or similar in each
state specifies requirements to obtain, prescribe,
dispense medications. Orthoptists are bound by
I require a service provider number but so far
have not been able to
reach the total of 50 CPD points.
Would a lower number of points be considered?
No. Employers, private health insurance agencies
and other government bodies accept the AOB CPD
accreditation as evidence of your continuing
professional development so the Board cannot
accept a reduced number of points.
The number of points - 50 over two years - is
quite low and there is a wide range of activities
available to you. Orthoptics Australia provides
many accredited activities, hospitals and
university departments all provide good quality
and appropriate CPD activities in addition to
journal and internet access.