Guide to Continuing Professional Development

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Continuing Professional Development - 2013

Guide to Continuing Professional Development

A resource guide to assist NSWNMA members in meeting their CPD requirements for ongoing national registration

NSW Nurses & Midwives’ Association 2013


Under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, all nurses and midwives must meet the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s continuing professional development (CPD) requirements in order to maintain their registration.

(Full details can be found at:

This means that all practising nurses and midwives must complete 20 hours of CPD per year that is relevant to their context of practice.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) requires practising nurses and midwives to:

Nurses and midwives need to keep evidence of their CPD for a minimum of three years but do not need to submit this evidence each time they renew their registration. Instead, they make an annual statement declaring that they have met the NMBA’s CPD requirements. Nurses and midwives will only be required to submit CPD evidence if they are randomly selected for audit by the NMBA.

Prior to the commencement of national registration in July 2010, nurses and midwives in NSW were not required to keep evidence of completion of CPD activities in order to maintain their registration. This new requirement may therefore seem daunting for some nurses and midwives.

However, the process of participating in continuing professional development is not new for nurses and midwives; nurses and midwives have always analysed and learned from their experiences to relate their practice to theory and provide knowledge-based care.
What is new for many nurses and midwives is the requirement to formalise this process and keep written documentation that demonstrates completion of appropriate CPD.
The NMBA’s registration standard for CPD now requires nurses and midwives to take a structured approach to their participation in CPD and to assess their practice against the national competency standards or other accepted professional standards then identify priority areas of learning for improvement of their own practice.
This resource provides an outline of the new requirements and how to meet them and includes template tools for nurses and midwives to use in planning and documenting their CPD.

What is Continuing Professional Development?
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the purposeful maintenance and improvement of a professional’s knowledge and skills to remain competent in their chosen profession for the benefit of themselves, their patients or clients and the wider profession. CPD is recognised as a commitment to being professional, keeping up to date and continuously seeking to improve.
CPD is intended to encourage the development of professionals so that they reflect on their practice and its quality, are able to adopt and assess new approaches to their practice and develop better ways of working as a result.


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