Guidelines of the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria
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Guideline 10 - Continuing professional development (CPD)

This guideline outlines the appropriate standard expected of a registered veterinary practitioner in the course of veterinary practice. It should be read in conjunction with other related guidelines.

Context to Guideline 10: Continuing professional development (CPD)

Continuing professional development (CPD) is an essential part of a profession’s activities. CPD provides assurance to the general public and professional peers that registered veterinary practitioners are continually updating and improving their skills.

Career-based CPD improves service provision directly and indirectly through positively impacting workplace culture. CPD provides an opportunity for a veterinary practitioner to pursue a balance of technical and personal knowledge, skills and capabilities. Diverse opportunities for CPD exist, for example in ethics and professional governance, acquisition of scientific knowledge or technical skills, leadership and practice management skills, communication or regulatory update.

Continuing development strengthens the collaboration between the veterinary practitioner, the veterinary team and an owner in the delivery of contemporary veterinary services to a standard expected by the public and professional peers.

The Board requires all registered veterinary practitioners to undertake CPD as a condition of their registration.

A veterinary practitioner retains evidence of their CPD in a form that clearly outlines the intended improvement to their skills and knowledge once completed.

A veterinary practitioner can ask the Board to evaluate whether proposed CPD would qualify as a structured or unstructured units under CPD requirements.

CPD points allocation

The Board requires veterinary practitioners registered in Victoria to undertake a minimum of 60 points of CPD points over a rolling three-year cycle, at least 15 of which must be structured points. When a practitioner renews their registration, they are asked to declare whether they have fulfilled their professional obligations in relation to CPD. Currently, practitioners registered in Victoria are not required to submit CPD records to the Board though CPD records must be retained for at least three years from date of completion.

CPD records should include the CPD date, name and type of activity, field of learning, specific learning or development achieved, points accrued and validation documents. Vets may use the Board's record template (Vetboard Victoria CPD Record form) or use their own record system, e.g. an Excel spreadsheet.

Postgraduate qualification courses  1  -  Enrolment receipt, certificate / degree
Conferences, seminars, webinars  1  -  Certificate
Workshops, wet labs  2  -  Certificate
Accreditation scheme by examination  4  -  Certificate or evidence of accreditation
Accreditation Program (APAV) courses  1 per chapter  -  Certificate or evidence of results
AVBC AVE MCQ trial test  1 per test  -  Evidence of results
Distance education / correspondence courses  1  -  Certificate or evidence of results
Assessed audiovisual / computer-based course  1  -  Certificate or evidence of results
Quizzes based on presentations or papers  1  -  Completed quiz or evidence of results
Written assessment tasks  1  -  Certificate or evidence of results
Structured learning reflection  1  -  Copy of reflection signed by supervisor
Educating and publishing:
Formal presentation to peers (in person/online)
 4 for first presentation only  -  Copy of script or marketing material
Talks to community / schools  2 for first presentation only  -  Copy of script or letter from organiser
Writing distance education / online course   4  -  Copy / Link or letter from employer
Assessment of peer submissions and exams   1  -  Letter from employer
Journal publication (peer-reviewed)  1  20 per paper  Copy of paper
Refereeing peer reviewed journal  1  4 per paper  Letter from editor
Journal / other non-peer-reviewed edited media  1  10 per paper  Copy of paper/media
Unassessed AV / audio / online / live activities
 0.5  -  Evidence of activity
Private reading (textbooks, journals, online, etc.)
 0.5  -  Title / author / pages
Clinical rounds
 0.5  -  Evidence of attendance, relevant CPD
Management / board / practice meetings
 0.5  -  Evidence of attendance, relevant CPD
Being mentored (graduate, post-grad, ANZCVS)
 1  -  Signature of mentor, relevant CPD
Clinical review project
 4  10 per review  Self - Copy of review
Learning plan (not more than one per year)
 3  -  Self - Copy of plan
Small group learning 
 0.5  -  Evidence of attendance, relevant CPD
Participation in moderated e-list (ANZCVS, Countdown Downunder, other)
 1  -  Transcript
Online professional forum contribution  0.5  3 per year  Self (description of forum name/type)
Educating and supporting
Mentoring undergraduate students  1  1 per day  Signature of mentee, relevant CPD
Mentoring (vets / nurses / post-grads / ANZCVS)  1  -  Signature of mentee, relevant CPD
Professional representation on committees and Boards (AVA, ANZCVS, VPRBV, GRV, RV, other)  0.5  8 per 3 years  Evidence of attendance, relevant CPD
Publishing referenced blogs/printed material  0.5  3 per year  Copy or link to published material
Professional conduct under this guideline is demonstrated by the following:
10.1 A veterinary practitioner participates in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs sufficient to demonstrate the maintenance of their competency in their chosen field of veterinary practice.
10.2 A veterinary practitioner must complete 60 CPD units over a consecutive three-year cycle to retain Victorian registration, irrespective of their conditions of employment or hours worked. At least 15 units must consist of structured activities, while the remaining 45 units may comprise both structured and unstructured activities.
10.3 A veterinary practitioner completes an annual declaration about CPD undertaken during the previous year and retains documented evidence of its successful completion.
10.4 A veterinary practitioner retains records of their CPD for a minimum period of three years from the date of its completion and provides these to the Board when requested to do so.

Related guidelines

Date of publication
In effect from 1 May 2021.

This material is current only at the time of publication and may be changed from time to time. The Board reviews and updates the Guidelines on a continuous basis to reflect changes in the science and knowledge base underpinning contemporary veterinary practice. The Board will take reasonable steps to inform the veterinary profession when such updates are released but it remains the responsibility of the individual veterinary practitioner to ensure that their knowledge and application of these Guidelines to their own practice is current.

While the Board has made every effort to ensure that the material in these Guidelines is correct in law, it shall not be liable to any veterinary practitioner or any other person or entity in relation to any claim, action or proceeding whatsoever (whether in contract, negligence or other tort or in proceedings seeking any other form of legal or equitable remedy or relief) for any inadequacy, error or mistake, or for any deficiency in the whole or any part of this document (including any updates incorporated in the document from time to time). A veterinary practitioner or any other person or entity acting upon the contents of this document acknowledges and accepts that this is the basis upon which the Board has produced these Guidelines and made them available to such person or entity.