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By Ashleigh McMillan
Journalist

 

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has begun a random audit of optometrists for compliance with the Optometry Board of Australia’s registration standards.

AHPRA is currently auditing optometrists on their compliance in three key areas: CPD, recency of practice and criminal history.

Luke Arundel, Optometry Australia’s national professional services manager, says that new services provided by the 360 Member Portal will streamline this year’s audit.

‘As part of its member service, Optometry Australia records accredited CPD completed by members and will provide a certificate of a member’s accredited CPD record to fast-track the paperwork required to document completed CPD to the auditors,’ he said.

‘This service removes the need to provide learning objectives and proof of attendance or completion evidence for each event individually, making the audit process easier for members.’

Members can access their points summary online any time for the current or previous registration periods at the newly relaunched My CPD Record in the Member Hub. For audit purposes a certificate detailing CPD completed in previous CPD periods is required. As a new feature for members, this can now be instantly downloaded directly from the new CPD portal on the Member Hub.

CPD points

Optometrists must have a minimum of 80 CPD points for the period 1 December 2014 to 30 November 2016.

  • 24 of the 80 points must be Face to Face points
  • 40 points must have scheduled medicines (T/Therapeutic) content if the optometrist is therapeutically endorsed
  • 60 of the 80 points must be clinical
  • no more than 20 of the 80 points can be from manufacturers or suppliers.

An often overlooked part of the CPD registration standard and a regular feature of the audit is the requirement for optometrists to provide AHPRA with a CPD ‘Learning Plan’. This is where optometrists list their learning needs and the planned activities they intend to undertake to meet the identified needs.

This may involve noting an area of optometric practice in which they are not confident or a special interest area in which they want to continue to upskill, and describing how they plan to improve in that area. The Optometry Board of Australia has a template for this available on its audit page.

Recency of practice

To cover recency of practice, optometrists must have practised 150 hours a year or a minimum of 450 hours for the previous three years. Locum optometrists and practice owners need to provide curriculum vitae as proof, while employed optometrists must have their employer complete the OBA template.

Criminal history

This part of the audit is conducted by an external agency and optometrists are not required to submit any further information.

AHPRA is not auditing professional indemnity insurance this year, as has been the case in previous audits.

Audited members need to return their completed paperwork to AHPRA by 4 August 2017.

A comprehensive audit help webpage has been set up for members, containing AHPRA templates for a learning plan and a CPD portfolio for logging non-accredited activities, along with other useful information.

Contact 03 9658 8500 or audithelp@optometry.org.au for assistance. If you are concerned that you may not have met the requirements, email l.arundel@optometry.org.au for assistance.

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