Occupational Therapy Board of Australia
Occupational Therapy Board of Australia

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Your obligations

All practising occupational therapists must undertake continuing professional development (CPD) as a requirement of registration.

What is CPD?

CPD is the means by which you maintain, improve and broaden your knowledge, expertise and competence, and develop the personal and professional qualities required throughout your professional life.

CPD requirements

From 1 December 2013 all registered occupational therapists will need to complete 30 hours of CPD each year (every 12 months). 

Key points:

  • CPD activities should have clear goals and outcomes 
  • you must keep evidence of completed CPD activities in a CPD portfolio, and retain this evidence for five years 
  • you must comply with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia’s CPD registration standard, so make sure you familiarise yourself with this document and the accompanying CPD guidelines and fact sheet, and 
  • at registration renewal each year you will need to make a declaration about your CPD activities. A false statement is grounds for the Board to refuse registration.

The Board may conduct periodic audits to ensure that practitioners are compliant with the standard.


The Board's CPD standard allows people to apply for partial exemption from the standard in special circumstances. The standard sets out the circumstances in which you may apply for an exemption. You must submit any request for a CPD exemption in writing before the end of the registration period. You are encouraged to use the 'Application for partial exemptions from continuing professional development' form below.

More information

Document PDF Accessible format Document date
Occupational Therapy Continuing Professional Development Registration Standard PDF (284KB) 1 July 2012
Guidelines on continuing professional development (CPD) PDF (458KB) Word version
(422 KB,DOCX)
Fact sheet - continuing professional development PDF (214KB) Word version
(124 KB,DOCX)
September 2013
Flyer - Continuing professional development (CPD) - your obligations PDF (123KB) Word version
(74.0 KB,DOCX)
31 July 2013
Template example of a CPD record for occupational therapists   Word version
(40 KB,DOC)
Application for partial exemptions under the continuing professional development registration standard PDF (239KB) 27 September 2013

What counts as CPD?

Category 1
Formal learning activities
Maximum 25 hours
Category 2
Informal learning activities
Maximum 25 hours
Category 3
Engagement with the profession
Maximum 10 hours 
• completing tertiary courses leading to postgraduate award • completing private study – reading books and journals with a clear relationship to development goals (this activity must be documented to count as CPD) • completing accreditation activities (inspection teams, evaluation of accreditation reports)
• completing training courses • completing case presentations and reviews with colleagues • completing activities to improve quality or reduce risk in practice, involving evaluation and reporting
• completing work-based learning contracts or other assessed activities • examining and reflecting on evidence-based resources (systematic review, evidence-based guidelines etc) and implementing changes in practice (this activity must be documented to count as CPD) • participating in a clinical audit or similar review activity
• attending conferences, forums, workshops and seminars • participating in a community of practice, with a record of activities completed • supervising undergraduate or postgraduate occupational therapy students
• undertaking research and presentation of work (this needs to be substantive, referenced and evidence-based) • keeping a journal of detailed reflection and writing with a focus on developing competence and quality of practice • supervising an occupational therapist undertaking a practice audit or program of supervised practice
• having an article published in a peer-reviewed journal  • online learning involving discussion, chat rooms, contribution to list-serves, and/or • providing supervision or mentoring to an occupation therapist (to be recognised as CPD, supervision must include a record of the supervision provided, the discussion involved and documentation of the outcomes)
• authoring a book chapter • receiving supervision or mentoring from an occupational therapist (to be recognised as CPD, supervision must include a record of the supervision received, the discussion involved and documentation of the outcomes) • participating in interest groups, committees, groups, boards and so on with a focus on health or professional issues, and/or
• attending journal clubs   • presenting in-service or training to health professionals or carers
• completing in-service education programs    
• making health-related presentations of new or substantially reviewed material (e.g. poster presentations, lectures, seminars, workshops)    
• developing evidence-based practice resources (e.g. completing systematic reviews, developing evidence-based guidelines) and/or    
• distance education or online learning that includes an examination, assessment or certificate evidencing learning outcomes    

Page reviewed 22/08/2014