Recency of Practice

Published on November 13, 2017

Confusion Around AHPRA’s Minimum Recency of Practice Requirements for Medical Practitioners….

Our team have received a large number of enquiries asking for clarification about the Recency of Practice standard and how Medical Practitioners are able to meet these requirements. So, we thought, what better way to keep you all informed than putting together a blog?!

This is just a quick overview of AHPRA’s Recency of Practice requirements and tips for what you can do if you have a larger gap in practice. If you have specific questions or you need help, pop us through an email!

Let’s get started….

AHPRA’s Recency of Practice Registration Standards:

AHPRA’s registration standard sets out the Medical Board of Australia’s minimum requirements for recency of practice for medical practitioners.

Why is Recency of Practice Important?

It all comes down to practicing safely. The longer you are away from clinical practice, the higher the risk for developing clinical skills gaps.

These requirements hold you accountable for your professional and ethical responsibilities to ensure that you recognise and are working within the limits of your own competence and maintaining adequate knowledge and skills to provide safe and effective care.

What must I do to meet Recency of Practice?

In order to meet AHPRA’s requirements, you must practise within your scope of practice at any time for a minimum total of:

  • four weeks full-time equivalent in one registration period, which is a total of 152 hours, or
  • 12 weeks full-time equivalent over three consecutive registration periods, which is a total of 456 hours.

Full-time equivalent is 38 hours per week. The maximum number of hours that can be counted per week is 38 hours.

Medical practitioners who work part-time must complete the same minimum number of hours of practice – this can be completed part-time.

Please keep in mind: Meeting AHPRA’s minimum requirements for recency of practice doesn’t automatically satisfy your professional and ethical responsibilities to ensure that you recognise and work within the limits of your competence and maintain adequate knowledge and skills to provide safe and effective care.

Can I meet AHPRA’s Recency of Practice Standards without practicing?

Technically yes, however there are specific provisions for this.

The definition of practice is broad and includes both clinical practice and non-clinical roles in medicine. You can meet the recency of practice standard by working in certain scopes of non-clinical practice.

What if I have a Gap in Practice?

Depending on the amount of clinical experience you have as a registered medical practitioner returning to practice, there are requirements you will need to meet. For example:

2 years clinical practice:

  • if you have had non-practising registration, or have not been registered for up to and including 12 months:
  • there are no additional requirements that must be met before re-commencing practice

 

  • if you have had non-practising registration, or have not been registered for between 12 months and up to and including 36 months:
  • at a minimum, before re-commencing practice, you must complete the equivalent of one year’s continuing professional development (CPD) activities, relevant to your intended scope of practice. The CPD activities must be designed to maintain and update your knowledge and clinical judgment

 

  • if you have had non-practising registration, or have not been registered, for more than 36 months:
  • you are required to provide a plan for professional development and re-entry to practice to the Board for consideration and approval. The Board has issued information to assist medical practitioners who are required to develop and submit a plan for professional development and for re-entry to practice.

 

Less than 2 years clinical practice:

  • If you have less than two years clinical experience as a registered medical practitioner and are returning to practice and have not been registered for more than 12 months, or have not practised for more than 12 months, you are also required to commence work under supervision in a training position approved by the Board.

 What happens if I don’t meet this standard?

The National Law establishes possible consequences if you don’t meet this standard, including that:

  • the Board can impose a condition or conditions on your registration or can refuse your application for registration or renewal of registration if you don’t meet a requirement in an approved registration standard for the profession (sections 82, 83 and 112 of the National Law), and
  • registration standards, codes or guidelines may be used in disciplinary proceedings against you as evidence of what constitutes appropriate practice or conduct for health professionals (section 41 of the National Law).

Please keep in mind: If you want to continue to practise and you don’t meet this standard, you will need to provide information to help the Board decide whether you are able to continue to practise.

 

How we can help you:

Our team can help with providing further information, career counselling sessions to go through your personal situation in detail, or document preparation services such as:

  • Plans for Professional Development And For Re-Entry To Practice. This document should be comprehensive and tailored to your individual needs.
  • Suggested CPD activities, in order to meet the equivalent of one year’s continuing professional development (minimum 50 hours of CPD.)
  • A Supervision Plan to support your supervised and training position.

If you have any questions, call our team on 07 3503 1444. We’re happy to help you understand how the Recency of Practice Standards will affect you.