What is CPD?

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia regulates the practice of nursing and midwifery, having national jurisdiction since 2010. One of its key roles is to protect the public by making sure that only nurses and midwives who are suitably qualified to practise in a competent and ethical manner are registered.

CPD is the means by which members of the profession maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence, and develop the personal and professional qualities required throughout their professional lives. Nurses and midwives registered to practise in Australia are expected to undertake a minimum number of continuing professional development (CPD) hours directly relevant to your context of practice.

Ongoing learning is now recognised as an essential component of Registration by the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). NMBA states, “The type of learning activities selected can be broad and varied. Registrants are encouraged to consider the combined use of multimedia and multiple instruction techniques, e.g. face-to-face, simulation, interactive e-learning, self-directed learning.” The NMBA provides some examples of active continuing professional development that include:

  • postgraduate studies 
  • participating in journal clubs 
  • in-service education 
  • attending conferences, workshops and seminars 
  • authoring a book chapter, or 
  • having an article published in a peer-reviewed journal. 

More information

The NMBA has developed a number of documents and standards to guide learning. 

  1. The Registration standard: Continuing professional development: The NMBA has developed registration standards that apply to numerous measures and requirements of nursing competency. One such requirement of all practicing nurses and midwives is an annual commitment to at least 20 hours of continuing professional development (CPD). 
  2. Guidelines: Continuing professional development: These guidelines support the Registration standard: Continuing professional development by adding additional more information about the NMBA’s minimum annual CPD requirements and how nurses can meet these requirements to ensure their CPD is effective. 

  3. Fact Sheet: Continuing professional development: This factsheet addresses common queries that you might have about the Registration standard: Continuing professional development.

How APNA can assist your CPD

As the peak professional body for nurses working in primary health care, APNA provide a range of services to support the professional development needs of both its members and the wider primary health care nurse workforce. This includes: 

  • An annual national conference for nurses working in primary health care including general practice
  • APNA Online Learning, with a range of flexible and often discounted online courses
  • An endorsement program for educational activities that meet the high professional standards of APNA and its members
  • A quarterly journal Primary Times
  • A weekly APNA Connect with latest news and information
  • Web-based clinical and professional resources 
  • Telephone and email support for professional development and education enquiries.