Continuing professional development systems for medical physicists
Round, H. (2011). Continuing professional development systems for medical physicists. Paper presented at the Engineering and Physical Sciences in Medicine and the Australian Biomedical Engineering Conference, Darwin, Australia, August 14-18, 2011.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5739
A survey of all the continuing professional development (CPD) systems used internationally was conducted in 2011 as a precursor to developing a policy on CPD by the Asia-Oceania Federation of Organizations for Medical Physics. The results of the survey are presented in this paper. CPD of medical physicists throughout their careers is fundamental to ensure that they are up to date with current practices to ensure that they can perform their duties with competence and professionalism. The medical physicist professional societies support the concept, but only a fraction of them have adopted formal systems to ensure that clinical physicists keep their CPD up to date. In a few cases, licences to practice are only renewed if physicists can demonstrate that they have undertaken sufficient CPD. In the majority of cases CPD systems are points-based where physicists are awarded a number of points for each activity they participate in. There is a requirement that they accumulate a number of points for various activities over a set number of years. In other systems where there is an emphasis on quality of CPD rather than quantity, physicists just keep a record of their activities which are audited periodically. It is difficult to achieve a ‘perfect’ system that balances the amount and quality of CPD undertaken by an individual. However, guidelines to how to assess CPD can be developed.
© 2011 W. Howell Round