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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Frequently Asked Questions on Continued Professional Development (CPD)

1. Why is there a change to the CPD program?

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.

2. Why did the ASAR agree to increasing the minimum number of CPD points from 40 to 60?

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.

3. Will it be more difficult for me to get more points?

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 

 

4. I live in a rural area and find it difficult to get to conferences – how will I get sufficient CPD?

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

 

5. I work part time due family commitments and find it very difficult to get sufficient CPD now.

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.

6.When does this increase begin?

The new program begins on 1 January 2017.

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

If you do not begin a new triennium in 2017, you will only have to reach 40 points, but have the benefit of gaining CPD points under the new program.

7. How do I know when my triennium begins or ends?  How do I know when the 60points affects me?

Contact the CPD provider that you use-ie  ASAR,ASA,ASUM, ASMIRT.  They will be able to advise you on this. 

8. I undertake my CPD with the ASA/ASUM/ ASMIRT – how will this change my CPD requirements?

ASMIRT/ASA/ASUM have all agreed to incorporate the new ASAR CPD requirements -  points and caps into their programs.  This will also begin on1st 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.

9.Why do those not beginning a new triennium in 2017 get extra points for CPD activities until their new triennium begins?

All change has to start somewhere and where there is a non uniform group (ie staggered trienniums) compromise must occur.  Both the ASA and ASUM advised the ASAR that it was not possible for them to run 2 streams of CPD- ie old and new.  The Board considered this and after discussion with the ASA and ASUM decided on the change for all sonographers, but staggered CPD totals to be as fair as possible.

10.Why are there different/staggered trienniums?

Not all sonographers applied for accreditation initially in the same year -  at the beginning it was a voluntary program prior to becoming mandatory under the MBS.  Then as students qualify, or new sonographers enter the country, sonographers enter the registry at various times of each year to enable them to work as a sonographer or student sonographer.

11. What is the RELFECTION element of the CPD activity learning record and on the activity upload form?

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.

12. What other activities can be undertaken for Section 4?

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 -  read an article, discuss the basic principle of the article and reflect on how this will impact on your Us practice.

-        Complete an online or journal quiz – you will get a certificate usually for this – if not complete a CPD Learning Record

-        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

-        If you supervise students, while you cannot claim the hours that you do this activity, you claim points for activities related to this such as:

o   Reflection on how teaching an activity went – consider what worked well and what didn’t, how you might change your teaching based on this

o   Literature review – provide the references for the article and briefly write a synopsis of the article and then reflect on how the content helped in your teaching role.

-        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.

13. Can I claim CPD points for supervising students in my role as Tutor Sonographer, or my teaching in my role as a lecturer?

Yes and No.

Within the new CPD program structure, some activities can be claimed for CPD that have previously been excluded eg student supervision, tutoring, lecturing and Category 4. BUT 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.

eg - 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.

Other general questions regarding CPD

- Can I enrol in more than one CPD program?

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.

- Why would I enrol in more than one CPD program?

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.

- If I choose the ASA CPD program, can I still claim points from attending an ASUM/ASMIRT meeting?

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.

 

 

- If I choose ASA CPD program, do I need to maintain my accredited status with ASAR?

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.

- I am in the middle of an ASAR triennium, can I join a new CPD program and nominate this as my CPD provider?

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.

- If I am doing a program other than ASAR, will I still be audited?

Yes, 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.

- What happens if I fail my audit?

If you fail the audit, you will have to participate in the ASAR CPD program and follow the ASAR’s remediation procedures which states that for the following three years, you must pay an annual fee of AUD $150 including GST to remain on the register and you must submit 30 CPD credits to ASAR within each 12-month period for a total of 36 months. For more information, please go to CPD Default.

- What documents from the triennium should I keep?

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.

In case you are selected for audit, Sonographers  will have to comply with the following requirements:

•Documentation should be arranged in order of the CPD Summary sheet to make auditing easier.

•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.

•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 forms 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.

Deactivation while on Leave

•Sonographers may deactivate from the Registry while on maternity leave, parental leave, overseas travel or working overseas by completing the Deactivation Form available on the ASAR website at Deactivation Form. There are no extensions granted to a CPD triennium on maternity leave.

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

- I am going on parental leave – should I deactivate from the Registry?

This is a personal choice. 

If you do not think that you can maintain your CPD during your leave, then you should consider this as there are extensions of your triennium for parental/maternity leave.

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.

- How do I calculate the CPD points for a conference I have attended?

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.