Osteopathy Board of Australia - CPD resources
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CPD resources

What is CPD?

Continuing professional development (CPD) is the means by which members of the profession maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence, and develop the qualities required in their professional lives.

Professional development is an ongoing process which continues over the course of a career, adapting to changes in practice environments, professional domains, new information and consumer needs. Carefully tailored professional development can assist competency and relevance in practice, which in turn assists members of the public who seek osteopathy services.


Under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act (National Law) as in force in each state and territory, osteopaths are required to undertake continuing professional development (CPD).

The Osteopathy Board of Australia’s (the Board’s) requirements in relation to CPD are set out in its CPD Registration Standard and its Guidelines for CPD. Also published below are the forms that can be used in recording CPD activities in a CPD folder. The Board expects osteopaths to be familiar with – and to meet – the Board’s CPD requirements as set out in these documents.  

The CPD Standard and Guidelines do not apply to students or osteopaths with non-practicing registration nor, in some circumstances, osteopaths with limited registration.


25 hours of CPD must be carried out each year, as required by the Board, which includes four hours of mandatory topics approved by the Board.

Firstly, osteopaths must hold a current senior first aid certificate at the minimum standard of a Senior First Aid (level 2) certificate or equivalent. This is a stand-alone annual requirement and does not count towards the total of 25 hours of CPD learning.

Secondly, in each CPD cycle of 12 months, osteopaths need to complete a minimum of four hours related to one or more of the following mandatory topics:

The Board will periodically review these topics and may adjust this list.


When osteopaths apply to renew their registration each year, they need to sign a declaration of compliance with CPD for the previous 12 months (i.e. from 1 December to 30 November). 

A new graduate is not required to declare that they have already undertaken a period of CPD when first applying to register. Graduates are encouraged to hold a senior first aid certificate when they first apply for registration. 

Applicants who are not graduates and who register part-way through a registration period must sign a declaration that they met the CPD requirements in the previous 12 months. They must also agree that for the remaining part of the year until renewal, they will complete pro-rata CPD at six hours of CPD for every three months of registration remaining in the registration period; and hold and maintain a current senior first aid certificate. 


Osteopaths must maintain an up-to-date portfolio of CPD activities undertaken – a CPD record folder – and the portfolio must be retained for five years.

The Board may refuse to renew registration if an osteopath has not met the Board’s CPD requirements. 

The Board conducts a random annual audit of CPD compliance on a sample of registered osteopaths. If an osteopath has not complied with the Board’s CPD requirements, the Board can take action under the National Law, and investigate the matter either through the conduct or performance action pathway. Please visit our audit webpage for osteopathy audit resources.


Osteopaths can provide their own portfolio that gives evidence of self-directed CPD carried out. They do not have to be a member of a professional body to meet the Board’s CPD requirements. 

However, an osteopath may choose to be a member of a professional body and meet the Board’s CPD requirements by completing the professional body’s courses and programs. 

There are exceptional circumstances that may justify granting an exemption from meeting the Board’s CPD requirements, but they are limited and are only considered when there is compelling evidence that the circumstances have created a significant obstacle to the osteopath’s ability to complete the Board’s CPD requirements

The Board considers each case individually, on merit and may allow a full or partial exemption.

All osteopaths are expected to provide evidence that they have met their annual CPD requirements. 

This includes an annual declaration of compliance and the maintenance of a CPD record folder. All activities included in the CPD record folder must have a full description that includes the:

  • type of activity
  • subject/topic of the activity
  • purpose, and 
  • number of hours.

The forms included in the CPD Guidelines have been published to help osteopaths through the process, from reviewing their CPD learning needs, through planning and evaluation; it is not mandatory to use them. 

Practitioners who wish to use their own methods/documentation for recording the relevance of CPD activities are welcome do so. 

Although most osteopaths will exceed the minimum requirement of hours for CPD, the Board standard only requires a declaration that the minimum requirement has been met, that 25 hours of CPD has been carried out and that at least four hours were on the mandatory topics.


Templates and additional resources

Document name  PDF  Accessible format  Document date 
Continuing Professional Development Registration Standard   Web page  
Osteopathy continuing professional development guidelines     Web page  
Reviewing your CPD learning needs  PDF (53.9KB)  Word version 
22 March 2016 
Planning your CPD  PDF (55.4KB)  Word version 
22 March 2016 
Evaluating your CPD activities  PDF (58.8KB)  Word version 
22 March 2016 
CPD annual summary  PDF (63.4KB)  Word version (
22 March 2016 
Animal-based osteopathy practices    Web page   
Audit    Web page   
Page reviewed 5/03/2020