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Tuesday / May 24.
HomeminewsOptometry Australia Clarifies CPD Charges

Optometry Australia Clarifies CPD Charges

Members of the ophthalmology and optometry professions have expressed concern over Optometry Australia’s recent decision to charge Continued Professional Development (CPD) providers for course accreditation.

Confusion exists over whether the conference / congress organiser or the CPD presenter is responsible for making the payment, which can be as much as AU$750.00.

Optometry Australia’s Professional Development Manager, Luke Arundel, has clarified the charges and the reason for the introduction.

Mr. Arundel said there are two models of CPD:
1. The Accredited Model, within which the organiser (or speaker if they are organising the event) pays for the activity to be assessed and approved against Optometry Board of Australia (OBA) criteria, and for points to be recorded for attendees.
2. The Non-Accredited Model, within which the organiser (or speaker if they are organising the event) pays no fee.

Mr. Arundel said the accredited model is easier for attendees in audit situation as points are pre-approved by the OBA and recording handled by the CPD administrator.

Points are not guaranteed for non-accredited CPD programs and, because these activities have not been assessed and approved as meeting OBA standards, record-keeping requirements are higher for both organisers and optometrists.

Cost Recovery Model

Mr. Arundel said charges to accredit CPD for the OBA “were levied on a cost recovery model” and were an organisation other than Optometry Australia appointed to the role of CPD accreditation, “a presumably higher fee would be charged”.

“Contrary to inaccurate reporting in other optometric press, Optometry Australia has never demanded ophthalmologists pay for the privilege of presenting at Optometry Australia state events. Optometry Australia recognises and values the important contribution ophthalmology makes to optometrists’ education,” said Mr. Arundel.

He added that conference organisers are free to choose to run accredited or non-accredited CPD programs.

Confusion exists over whether the conference / congress organiser or the CPD presenter is responsible for making the payment, which can be as much as AU$750.00…

Eye on CPD

Optometry Australia launched a new business arm, Eye on CPD, to administer CPD accreditation after successfully tendering for a three-year contract by the OBA, commencing 1 December 2014.

Under the new Eye on CPD business model, the fee structure for non-approved CPD providers is:

  • Activity more than three hours duration, $750 per application
  • Activity less than three hours duration, $150 per application
  • Late application, $150 per application
  • Repeat application, $50 per application

Approved providers are charged a flat annual fee of $2,000 to cover the cost of new monitoring and auditing services required by the OBA.

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