CPD Explained

Annual CPD Requirements

Psychology Board of Australia (PBA) requirements: Fully registered Psychologists must complete a minimum of 30 hours of CPD activities during the current CPD cycle; ending on the 30th of November, 2013. Of these 30 hours, a minimum of 10 must be peer consultation and 10 hours are recommended to be Active CPD activities.

Australian Psychological Society (APS) Requirements: In order to reduce complexity, the APS have aligned their CPD requirements with those of the PBA. As such, APS members holding the grade of Associate Member and above, including academics and other members who may not be working as registered Psychologists, must complete a minimum of 30 hours CPD annually.

Specialist Areas: Psychologists who are recognised as having an Endorsed Area of Practice (EAP) with the PBA or who are members of one or more APS College, will need to meet additional requirements as follows:

One EAP or College: 16 hours of the 30 CPD hours must be in that specialist area.

Two EAP or Colleges: The 30 hours is spread equally over the two specialist areas.

Three or more EAP or Colleges: The 30 hours is spread equally over the specialist areas, but College membership requires a minimum of 15 hours CPD in that area. This means that College Members with more than three specialist areas will need to conduct more than 30 hours of CPD annually.         

Table of Specialist Area Impact on CPD Requirements

Specialist Area
1 0 1 (16 hours) 30 hours
1 1 (16 hours) 0 30 hours
2 0 2 (15 hours each) 30 hours
2 1 (15 hours) 1 (15 hours) 30 hours
2 2 (15 hours each) 0 30 hours
3 0 3 (15 hours each = 45) 45 hours
3 1 (10 hours) 2 (15 hours each = 30) 40 hours
3 2 (10 hours each = 20) 1 (15 hours each) 35 hours
3 3 (10 hours each = 30)


30 hours
4 0 4 (15 hours each = 60) 60 hours
4 1 (7.5 hours = 8) 3 (15 hours each = 45) 53 hours
4 2 (7.5 hours each = 15) 2 (15 hours each = 30) 45 hours
4 3 (7.5 hours each = 23) 1 (15 hours) 38 hours
  4 (7.5 hours each = 30) 0 30 hours
5 0 5 (15 hours each = 75) 75 hours
5 1 (6 hours) 4 (15 hours each = 60) 66 hours
5 2 (6 hours each = 12) 3 (15 hours each = 45) 57 hours
5 3 (6 hours each = 18) 2 (15 hours each = 30) 48 hours
5 4 (6 hours each = 24) 1(15 hours) 39 hours
5 5 (6 hours each = 30) 0 30 hours
6 0 6 (15 hours each = 90) 90 hours
6 1 (5 hours) 5 (15 hours each = 75) 80 hours
6 2 (5 hours each = 10) 4 (15 hours each = 60) 70 hours
6 3 (5 hours each = 15) 3 (15 hours each = 45) 60 hours
6 4 (5 hours each = 20) 2 (15 hours each = 30) 50 hours
6 5 (5 hours each = 25) 1(15 hours) 40 hours
6 6 (5 hours each = 30) 0 30 hours

Clinical (Medicare) Requirements

Medicare Clinical Psychology Providers: The CPD requirements for Psychologists providing clinical psychology Medicare items are the same as those required to maintain eligibility for membership of the APS College of Clinical Psychologists.   

Focussed Psychological Strategy (FPS) providers: As part of maintaining Medicare provider status, 10 hours of FPS-related activities must be completed per CPD cycle.For registered psychologists, CPD undertaken to fulfil PsyBA requirements can also be counted towards meeting Medicare Australia and APS requirements, as long as it fits the applicable specified requirements stipulated by each organisation. Note that the FPS training cycle runs from the 1st of July to the 30th of June each year.

Prescribed FPS Activities

Psycho-education Cognitive Analysis, Challenging and Restructuring Skills Training: Problem-Solving Skills Training: Social Skills Training
Behaviour Modification Self-Instructional Training Skills Training: Anger Management Skills Training: Parent Management Training
Exposure Techniques Attention Regulation and Control Skills Training: Stress Management Motivational Interviewing
Activity Scheduling Relaxation Techniques Skills Training: Communication Skills Training Interpersonal Therapy


Exemptions and Registrar Programs

Pro rata arrangements: Partial exemptions to the CPD requirements may apply to Psychologists due to ill health, maternity/paternity leave or other special circumstances. Psychologists must ensure that they request such exemptions from the relevant governing bodies; either the PBA, the APS, or both. CPD requirements are calculated on the number of full months that a Psychologist is considered as being a member of the relevant organisation. Note that if a CPD requirement for the APS is greater than that of the PBA, you must meet the greater APS standard in order to maintain membership of that organisation. You can only count CPD you completed during the portion of the year you were registered.

Provisionally registered Psychologists who become fully registered during the CPD cycle will receive a pro rata arrangement from the PBA. This will be recognised by the APS. Pro rata arrangements also exist for Psychologists providing FPS items under the Better Access Initiative. Note that FPS-related CPD requirements run from the 1st of July to the 30th of June.

Pro rata arrangements exist for specialist areas with both EAPs and College hours being adjusted. However, those psychologists who hold full membership with the PBA for the full CPD cycle, but obtain an endorsement part-way through the cycle, must still complete the majority of their CPD in that specialist area (e.g 16 hours for one EAP).

Registrar Programs:  The CPD requirements for those on an approved Registrar Program is dependent upon the qualification. DPsych and PsyD require 40 hours of supervision and 40 hours of Active CPD. Master and Combined Masters/PhD require 80 hours of supervision and 80 hours of active CPD over their two year program. These include the mandatory 30 hours specified by the PBA and are not added.

Types of Continuing Professional Development

Peer consultation:  This form of CPD means supervision and/or consultation in individual or group format, for the purposes of professional development and support in the practice of psychology and includes a critically reflective focus on the practitioner's own practice. The PBA recommend that Psychologists should aim to complete their peer consultation with someone who is more experienced or knowledgeable in the aspect of practice they are consulting them about.

Active CPD:  This refers to activities that engage the participant and reinforce learning through written or oral activities. Examples of 'active' CPD include the following:

  • reading a structured series of professional psychology articles followed by completing an online assessment
  • attending seminars where there is a written test
  • giving an oral presentation or tutorial to a group of peers on a new topic in psychology
  • providing peer consultation to others
  • attending a workshop which requires in vivo role play of skills;
  • studying a new technique, followed by trialling this technique in the workplace, and a review and evaluation of the effectiveness and implementation of that technique

Certification of CPD:   The PBA does not certify CPD hours in advance. It therefore does not provide advice to CPD presenters about the CPD that may be claimed from attending their activities. It is the responsibility of the psychologist to appraise the quality of CPD activities and justify the hours claimed, and be prepared to justify these at audit. CPD activities must comply with the Psychology Board's guidelines and standards.