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How to make CPD work for you

How to make CPD work for you

During your graduate year you may have found it easy to complete your continuing professional development (CPD) hours due to the amount of study days, mandatory training, and required assessments.

Moving forward, it may require more thought and planning to achieve your required CPD hours. Here’s our suggestions on meeting your CPD requirements and how to make CPD work for you.

What is CPD?

Continuing professional development (CPD) is a Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) registration standard. The aim of CPD is for you to maintain and continue to develop your competency required to keep your practice up-to-date, evidence-based and relevant.

How many hours of CPD do I need annually?

Registered nurses, midwives and enrolled nurses must do a minimum of 20 hours. If you hold dual registration (i.e. are a registered nurse and a midwife), you must do 40 hours. Nurse and midwife practitioners, and rural and remote registered nurses or registered midwives with a scheduled medicines endorsement must all do an additional 10 hours.

If you have been registered for a period of less than 12 months prior to the renewal of registration, pro rata CPD requirements apply.

It is important to remember some CPD topics that you complete may contribute to registration renewal as both a nurse and a midwife.

If you are a registered nurse and a registered midwife, or a registered nurse and an enrolled nurse, ANMF strongly encourages you to retain both registrations. This will provide you with the best employment flexibility.

How do I achieve CPD hours?

Your CPD must relate to your area of practice. CPD activities can include:

  • tertiary, vocational and other accredited courses
  • conferences, forums, seminars
  • short courses, workshops, seminars and discussion groups through a professional group or organisation which may issue a certificate of compliance or completion
  • mandatory workplace learning activities
  • self-directed learning which can include reading journals such as ANMJ and accessing resources and reference materials, for example, seeking information on medications.

How do I define time involved in CPD activities?

One hour of active learning will equal one hour of CPD.

Do I need to do CPD while on parental leave, long-term personal leave, WorkCover or long service leave?


What documentation do I require?

You must keep written documentation demonstrating evidence of completion of the required CPD hours in the registration year. Documentation must include dates, provider, description of outcomes and hours. You’ll find a template in your ANMF Professional Portfolio. Additional portfolio pages can be downloaded at

You’ll only need to provide the evidence if the NMBA selects you for a random audit.

How long should I keep evidence for?

The NMBA recommends five years. ANMF can assist members experiencing difficulties during the audit process.

Are there any exemptions?

You can write to the NMBA seeking an exemption due to exceptional circumstances. Parental leave is not generally considered for an exemption.

I’ve heard my membership gives me access to online CPD at no cost?

ANMF membership* entitles part-time and full-time members to an annual $400 credit for online modules and case studies on the CPD Portal. Primary care leave members receive a $120 credit. Associate and student members receive an $80 credit. Credit is renewed 1 June annually. *Fully financial members only. Visit

Six tips on making CPD work for you

  1. Plan out your CPD in advance so you can choose meaningful activities and you won’t have to cram your hours in at the end of the registration year.
  2. Individualise CPD activities to cater for your own competency and practice. Reflect on your knowledge gaps, new skills you would like to acquire or knowledge and skills you would like to consolidate to direct which activities you choose.
  3. Educators are a useful resource as they may be aware of CPD opportunities relevant to your area of practice and may be able to give you feedback on areas you can improve.
  4. Be strategic when choosing activities. Are you planning to apply for a new position? Completing CPD relevant to the position you are interested in will show you are proactively increasing your competency in order to be successful.
  5. Check out our online CPD portal to see if there are any modules that interest you.
  6. Document CPD as you go so you can easily demonstrate what you CPD you have achieved should you need to produce it for a potential employer to review or if you are audited by AHPRA.