CPD review characterised by consulation with colleges

3 November 2020

 

Collaboration and consultation were key to the design and implementation of the new Continual Professional Development (CPD) programme requirements set by the Medical Council NZ (MCNZ).

“Above all, we wanted to provide our members with an efficient and effective approach to their ongoing learning that was relevant to them, their environment and their patients,” says Steven Lillis, an MCNZ Medical Advisor and Waikato GP.

“The MCNZ is responsible for all medical specialties so any initiative we develop or endorse needs to be equally applicable to anaesthetists and paediatricians, as well as GPs, neurosurgeons and everyone else.

“Each specialty will have very different requirements when it comes to the type and delivery of CPD programme, so the overarching framework needed to be able to support that.

“We wanted to deliver an effective and efficient high-trust system that engaged people because they could see the benefits for themselves, their practices and their patients, and I am confident that we have done exactly that,” says Steven. “I am looking forward to seeing its implementation.”

“We wanted to engage with the various Colleges very early in the process because we recognise and respect the educational expertise of each college holds on behalf of their members.” 

The most comprehensive review of the CPD requirements in the MCNZ’s history was prompted by the change and innovation in educational thinking over the last 20 years.

“What we know now has moved on hugely from when our CPD programme was first established,” says Steven. “Which isn’t to say that there haven’t been changes over the years, but this is certainly the most far-reaching.”

Using evidence-based education, the MCNZ has outlined new programme requirements that recognise the need for flexibility and the value of time for individuals.

“It was critical that our framework was aligned to the individual, in how they best garnered knowledge. Relevancy was also vital – not only to the person themselves, but to their clinics, their environments and their patients,” says Steven.

“Doctors now have access to huge amounts of data, giving them information about patient outcomes, service delivery and so on. It’s going to become increasingly more important that that information is used to enable them to gain the knowledge they need. This new programme will facilitate that.

“For example, the data is showing us the importance of cultural safety in our clinics, not only in terms of knowing about the cultural influences of our patients but also what our own cultural perspectives bring to the doctor/patient relationship. The inequities of health outcomes is another area where doctors need to grow their awareness and be actively involved in finding solutions for their patients.”

The process of developing the new requirements was an interesting one, with those involved bringing not only a deep passion for educational best-practice but also a practical perspective as practising clinicans.

“It was very much a meeting of like-minds,” says Steven. “The cross-specialty conversations about how to best to help individuals develop their professional knowledge and skills were so valuable to the whole process.
“Above all, we wanted to provide our members with an efficient and effective approach to their ongoing learning that was relevant to them, their environment and their patients.”

“As an organisation, the MCNZ has always tried to follow an interative process, characterised by wide consultation and a willingness to accept conceptual change.”

The programme requirements will be rolled out in the coming months, with the expectation they will be fully-embedded by mid-2022, and early indications suggest this will be well-received.

“We have a desire to ensure that the principles of any programme are accepted and supported by employers, be that DHBs, PHOs, independent clinics or the doctors themselves, as well as individual members, and so far we have been given nothing but positive feedback.

“We wanted to deliver an effective and efficient high-trust system that engaged people because they could see the benefits for themselves, their practices and their patients, and I am confident that we have done exactly that,” says Steven. “I am looking forward to seeing its implementation.”