1. CPD activities and evidence requirements

Reflection is an important element of CPD. It encourages you to think about the educational activity you have completed, consider if it will be of use in your practise of ultrasound and how it may affect or alter your practice. The reflection component does not have to be long, but it is a requirement to consider how your activities impact your practice.

This section includes the activities listed and other activities where you have attended or participated in an event that could impact on your professional activity. A CPD learning Record is required and you must describe the activity and reflect on how it may impact on your practice as a sonographer. If you have any questions about an activity, do contact the ASAR office.

  • Journal reading – i.e. read an article, summarize the basic principles of the article and reflect on how this will impact on your US practice
  • Discussion of cases with other health professionals – eg MDM, case reviews. These require the CPD Learning Activity Record to be completed to include a reflection on the activity
  • Formal mentoring program – this can be set up in any workplace, whereby a sonographer either seeks out a mentor or one is found for them. It would be expected that formal meetings would occur to monitor the sonographer’s professional work, discuss career opportunities, extension to areas of expertise, etc, Documentation of these meetings on the CPD Learning record would allow CPD to be claimed for the time spent.

The ASAR CPD listing at https://www.asar.com.au//cpd/asarcpdprogram outlines activities for CPD and the appropriate evidence you must attach to prove you have undertaken the activity. This proof is required (eg attendance certificate or receipt for conference, CPD learning activity with reflection for self-directed activities).

No – if the activity easily fits in to an activity on the ASAR CPD listing, you are able to allocate the appropriate points for the meeting at 1 point per hour of educational activity. A CPD certificate should be provided to each attendee – a sample is at https://www.asar.com.au/forms item 2.3.

Attendance CPD points for a conference, whether within Australia or overseas is based on the HOURS educational activity. Do not include the meal breaks, dinners etc. Some conference organisers and associations calculate the points differently and your certificate may have a different number of points allocated than those you may calculate from the educational content. Please use the number of points based on 1 point = 1 hour of education.

You should keep all documents that support your CPD activities for your current triennium and 6 months into your new triennium (in case you are audited). If you are audited your records will be checked and if you have not uploaded sufficient points, you will be required to produce copies of documents demonstrating that you have obtained the points you have claimed during the triennium. In past audits however ASAR have noticed that some individuals incorrectly assigned points to given activities or were unable to produce some documentation. This resulted in a point shortfall for some individuals. For this reason, ASAR advise that you enter more than the minimum number of points for each triennium and that you keep documents relating to more than the minimum number of points in case you are selected for audit. All CPD activities require appropriate documentation as proof of undertaking that activity and comply with the following requirements: CPD/Self-directed learning activities should be carefully documented including the points claimed, an accurate reference of the material reviewed and notes on learning outcomes.

  • Points claimed must be correctly listed under the appropriate categories
  • Individuals claiming authorship credits must supply all details of the publication that allow easy identification of the author and publication date.
  • Individuals claiming points for oral presentations, live scanning workshops or poster presentations must ensure they provide adequate documentary evidence. This is ideally a program entry showing the individual’s name, date of presentation, venue and topic.
  • Repeat presentations where there is no or little change to the presentation can only be claimed once. If you alter the presentation or wish to reflect on the presentation – self directed learning CPD may be claimed where you document your reflection on the writing or presentation.
  • Where points are claimed for involvement in professional organisations, the activity date and duration should be accurately recorded with sufficient details provided to verify Involvement.
  • Certificates for conferences should include the attendee’s name, the total number of points obtained by attendance at the conference. If this information is not provided by conference convenors, individuals should claim points calculated on the number of hours of lectures attended allowing one point per hour.
  • Points claimed from in-house seminars, for example, case studies presented in the workplace can be documented using the sample form available on the ASAR website. Individuals should ensure the forms are accurately filled out including date of the seminar, a supervisor's name and signature and the ASAR point value.

2. CPD when working as a Tutor or Supervising Sonographer

Yes and No.

Within the new CPD program structure, some activities can be claimed for CPD that have previously been excluded (e.g. student supervision, tutoring, lecturing and Category 4). Please note - the CPD is not claimed for the time spent doing these activities, but for the time spent preparing and reflecting on the activity and this must be documented.

e.g. - student supervision - you cannot claim 40 hours per week because you have a trainee with you every day. You can claim for preparation time for a tutorial reflection on how a feedback session went etc. Each of these require documentation of what you have done and any references, why you have done it and a reflection of how it went and how you may learn from this or change it for future sessions. So, it is not the supervision, it is the skills you learn or use to do the supervision.

3. Choosing a CPD Program

You are asked to select ONE program on renewing your ASAR accreditation - this allows simplicity in ensuring your compliance with the CPD requirement of your accreditation.

Should you wish to choose a CPD program other than ASAR, it is recommended that you advise your nominated CPD provider at the same time.

Yes you can enrol in any number of programs, however at the time of renewing your accreditation you must select one program that will be used to monitor your CPD progress for accreditation purposes. For example, an individual may enrol in the ASA and ASMIRT programs but they must notify ASAR which of these programs are to be used for accreditation purposes.

Should you wish to choose a CPD program other than ASAR, it is recommended that you advise your nominated CPD provider at the same time.

The professional bodies that represent Sonographers offer CPD programs that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of their members. Individual Sonographers are encouraged to choose a CPD program that meets their professional needs.

Yes. Generally speaking, any relevant CPD activity is capable of earning points with each of the CPD programs. You should check with your chosen CPD provider to determine if the activity is an accepted CPD activity.

Yes. ASAR is responsible for monitoring the accreditation status of Sonographers in Australia. It performs this function on behalf of the Federal Government. Membership of the professional bodies such as ASA, ASUM, AIR and CSANZ is separate to accreditation and the choice to be a member of these organisations is up to the individual Sonographer. ASAR encourages membership of a professional group.

You can join a new program anytime. But for the purpose of accreditation, you can only transfer or opt out of a program at the beginning of each year when you renew your ASAR membership.

It is likely; all program providers will audit at least 10% of individuals completing their ASAR triennium against ASAR standards and capping provisions on different categories of points.

4. Deactivation while on Leave

Sonographers may deactivate from the Registry while on parental leave, overseas travel or working overseas by completing the Deactivation Form available on the ASAR website under 'Forms'. There are no extensions granted to a CPD triennium on parental leave, only the option of deactivation.

Please note that when deactivated you are NOT able to practice sonography – the Department of Health are notified of your deactivation and you are not on the registry list of accredited sonographers.

Deactivation is a personal choice.

If you do not think that you can maintain your CPD during your leave, then you should consider this. If you think you may work occasionally during your leave, then you should not deactivate as you are required to be accredited to work as a sonographer.

If you are uncertain of what to do, please contact the ASAR office early to have your case considered.

If you have been deactivated and wish to return to clinical practice following a period of inactivity in clinical ultrasound practice of 3 years or more, you will be required to comply with ASAR’s Return to Clinical Practice Policy

5. I have MRPBA registration as a radiographer and work as a sonographer – can I use ultrasound related activities for CPD for both MRPBA and ASAR?

Yes you can. The Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia (Board) recognises that ultrasound examinations and procedures are an area of practice for medical radiation practitioners. Ultrasound is a recognised activity of medical radiation practice. Therefore, learning and development activities relating to ultrasound may contribute towards meeting the CPD requirements. A CPD activity that has a significant intellectual or practical content primarily directed to a practitioner’s practice or expansion of practice may be eligible as a substantive CPD activity. Please refer to the MRPBA website for more information on attaining appropriate CPD to comply with MRPBA guidelines at: https://www.medicalradiationpracticeboard.gov.au/registration/cpd-logbook.aspx

For the MRPBA policy on registered practitioners practicing ultrasound, please refer to: http://www.medicalradiationpracticeboard.gov.au/Codes-Guidelines/Policy.aspx

6. I am already an AMS but am studying a new ultrasound course – do I still have to do CPD?

Yes you do need to continue with CPD to maintain your original accreditation. Your study units can be used as Cat 3C CPD activities with a copy of your enrolment.

7. The New CPD program requiring a minimum of 60 points per triennium

The ASAR was approached by both the ASA and ASUM to review our program and to increase the minimum CPD points to 60. These professions believed that such an increase is essential for the profession of Sonography to be considered equivalent to the current AHPRA regulated professions, where there is a 60 point minimum.

The ASAR Board reviewed the communications from the ASAR and ASUM and the reasoning for the increase. In addition, the Board reviewed the CPD programs of all AHPRA registered professions, similar professions registered in the UK via the HCPC and some similar professions in the USA.

The Board agreed with the sentiment of the ASA and ASUM regarding the increase and in the review of similar profession CPD, felt that the ASAR program point allocations were often much less than the others for equivalent activities. The Board felt that it was appropriate to increase our points and caps in many areas to bring Sonographer CPD up to an equivalent level to the registered professions in Australia and to consider the increased CPD available via websites and professional associations.

NO - if you compare the current structure to the new one, both on the ASAR website, you will see that many activities:

  • have increased points per activity
  • have increased caps

You will notice that we have increased the caps on web based CPD and self-directed learning – this should enable you to access sufficient relevant activities to gain the required points. Consider:

  • webinars
  • journal article reviews
  • case discussions with your colleagues
  • interesting case review and research

Did the ASAR Board consider people in my position with this new program?

The ASAR Board is very aware of the issues related to part-time professionals. In our review of like profession CPD, we found NO difference in CPD points required for part time workers compared to the same level of professionalism, knowledge and commitment to ongoing professionalism. The increased caps for web-based and self-directed learning will aid those working part time to have access to relevant activities to meet these minimum CPD requirements.

The new program began on 1 January 2017.

The new total of 60 points only applies to those sonographers that begin a new triennium on or after that date.

Most sonographers have now begun a new triennium starting on 1 January 2017 except for a small number who entered the register mid-year – these will only have to acquire 40 points until they begin a new triennium.

ASMIRT/ASA/ASUM have all agreed to incorporate the new ASAR CPD requirements - points and caps into their programs. This also began on 1 January 2017.

They will also review your triennium date and ensure that your compliance is appropriate to your triennium - ie. 40 or 60 point requirement.

8. I participate in the RANZCOG Nuchal Transclucency Ultrasound, Education & Monitoring Program (NTUEMP) - what are the CPD categories and points that I can claim?

Sonographers initially completing the NTLOP online course, competency, additional marker courses and ongoing audits are able to claim CPD for these activities.

Please refer to the RANZCOG website at the link below for all the CPD points allocations, categories and evidence requirements.