Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements for Occupational Therapy registration
New Zealand and Australia both require Occupational therapists to complete ongoing training as part of maintaining competency as a registered therapist. Both Systems require OTs to be nationally registered and to prove ongoing competence to the board on request. This competence is measured by the training and education opportunities that the therapist has undertaken throughout the year. Both systems have an expectation that therapists will maintain standards and stay up to date with latest technology and practice by attending ongoing education.
With a wide choice of ongoing education opportunities available in relation to AT, the education team at Permobil are confident that our clinical education courses meet the updated registration standard. For Australians the CPD hours have been reduced to 20 hours as of Dec 1st, 2019. It is important for therapists registered in both countries to keep up to date with the requirements their board imposes. Audits for previous years will still require you to meet that year`s requirements.
I recently had a conversation with a senior OT / Team leader who was asking about our education opportunities for her staff. She articulated she had previously attended “CPD trainings” that did not offer her any professional development as were not pitched at a level she felt met the course description. She reported that she was happy to send her staff to workshops with our team as she felt they provided good skills and learning opportunities for her staff. She expressed her frustration at releasing staff to find that the course she sent them on did not actually benefit their roles.
An increasing number of services are working in a billable hour’s models, with national insurance schemes in place in both NZ and AU. This can put increased pressure on income generation and taking time out for education is not always seen as a priority. However, CPD needs to be given value, partly due to it being a board requirement but mostly because it helps us grow and become better therapists by setting goals and pushing ourselves to constantly grow.
How do we make CPD work for us? Set yourself clear goals and look for training opportunities that will address your goals. Read course and workshop descriptions to see if they include skills or information that will assist your practice. Talk to educators about your goals and needs if you`re not sure that it’s the right workshop for you. Talk to colleagues that have attended the training already if it`s been previously run and how they found it, time is precious, and you want to be getting the training you expect! Just attending a workshop or webinar whilst a great way of meeting your CPD hours is not the sole intention of CPD. How will you implement what you have learned into practice? How has the training enhanced your knowledge and work role? What do you need to do next? More important than the certificate you may receive is holding onto any notes you have written at the training, better still a small reflection on what you have learned, how you will use it to improve practice and where to next.
2020 Permobil education will continue to provide educational opportunities around Australia and New Zealand. We have a range of new and existing workshops that will be run face to face around Australasia. Watch out online as we will be releasing these new additions very soon.
We will also continue to develop our webinar platform for more product specific training and of course our weekly blog! Over the next few weeks Sergei and Mal will be sharing some exciting and informative real-life experiences through our blogs and Rachel and I will return next year with the clinical blogs.
On behalf of the clinical education team and Permobil we would like to thank you for your continued support of our Blog this year and wish you and your families safe and happy holidays!
Rachel and Tracee-lee