Continuing Professional Development and Accreditation
Background to CPD and Accreditation
The RTAC Code of Practice requires ART clinics to demonstrate the Competency of Personnel in order to attain accreditation. In New Zealand, the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Bill (2003) stipulates that all health practitioners must demonstrate their competence in order to be issued an Annual Practicing Certificate (APC). In order to fulfil this requirement, clinical embryologists are members of the New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science (NZIMLS) and participate in the Competence & Professional Development (CPD) program administered by NZIMLS.
In Australia, there are no legislative requirements as yet from the Australian Government, nor requirements set by the industry, but it is acknowledged now that an appropriate system, developed by the profession and consistent among clinics and embryologists, will facilitate bodies such as RTAC and the New Zealand and Australian Governments to monitor competency of Clinical Embryologists for accreditation. To this end, the SIRT committee has pushed forward the use of a recognized CPD scheme, which initially is voluntary. From late 2012, the FSA has partnered with AIMS (Australian Institute of Medical Scientists) to offer the APACE (Australasian Professional Acknowledgement of Continuing Education) scheme to current SIRT members. It is also hoped that an accreditation scheme for Australian embryologists and other ART scientists will be overseen by AIMS. They will need to see evidence of practical training, theoretical learning and involvement in the CPD scheme and thus it is envisaged that over a 2-4 year period, a trainee can be nationally (and globally) recognized as a trained ‘accredited’ Embryologist. This system works successfully in the UK and more information about its development is located on the competency and training tab.
The APACE CPD scheme is a voluntary program which recognizes continuing education, formal courses and a wide range of professional activities which contribute to your professional growth. It provides a method by which your professional activities are recorded and recognized.
APACE has been approved by the New Zealand Medical Laboratory Science Board as a recertification program for New Zealand Medical Laboratory Scientists, thus giving New Zealand SIRT members a choice of schemes. For further details on the APACE CPD scheme, such as how it works, how many points you need in a cycle and how to join, click HERE. Current SIRT members who wish to join need to ensure their details are current with the FSA and then send a request to join to our SIRT Membership Registrar, via email.
This scheme is under development and further information will be available nearer the release.