Chiropractic Board of Australia - Identifying your CPD learning goals
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Identifying your CPD learning goals

The CPD registration standard requires you to maintain a portfolio that documents your learning goals, your planned CPD activities and your reflections on what you have learnt.

Identifying your learning goals means that you are able to plan your CPD activities so that they focus on your individual needs based on your practice setting, professional interests and patient needs. By planning your CPD activities so that they are relevant to your practice they are more likely to keep you up to date and improve your patient outcomes.

You should identify your learning goals early in each registration year after you have renewed your registration. You should identify and record your learning needs before you start to plan your CPD activities for the coming registration year.

Although you should identify your learning goals in advance, you can update your learning goals at any time during the year. Your learning goals may change in response to factors within your individual professional practice or peer review. e.g. when a patient presents with a condition that you are unfamiliar with or you need to learn or refresh an approach to your work.

Learning goals may also change in response to factors outside of your professional practice such as areas of professional opportunity or risk identified by your Board, professional association or employer e.g. cultural safety.

When identifying your CPD goals it can be helpful to undertake a self-assessment to identify strengths and possible areas for improvement. Ideally your learning plan will balance building on your strengths and addressing any weaknesses relevant to your area of practice. This will help you to plan CPD activities that improve your skills and knowledge, develop your abilities and link your learning to your professional practice.

The following questions and suggestions may help you to identify your learning goals and possible CPD activities:

  1. Think about the activities that you do in your work, how can your CPD help?
  2. Think about your strengths, are there any gaps or areas for improvement?
  3. Are there competencies in the Council on Chiropractic Education Australasia’s Competency Standards for graduating chiropractors that you should work on?
  4. What are your professional interests?
  5. Where do you want to be professionally in 5 years?
  6. Do your patients’ needs suggest an area you should learn more about?
  7. Could you ask for feedback from your peers and colleagues?
  8. Could you undertake a practice audit or peer review?

It may be helpful to use a SWOT analysis to help identify your learning goals. A SWOT analysis is a structured way of considering the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an issue. It can be an effective tool to help you identify your learning goals based on your individual practice and issues that arise in your professional environment. Some questions to consider in a SWOT analysis are included in the following example.

You may find it useful to review your profession’s competency standards or capabilities for practice when thinking about your strengths and weaknesses.


  • What CPD topics have I completed over the previous few years?
  • What aspects of my practice am I most knowledgeable/skilled in?
  • What areas of practice do I spend more time on?
  • What areas am I most competent in?


  • Are there any areas of my practice where I haven’t updated my knowledge and skills in recent years?
  • What aspects of my practice am I least knowledgeable/skilled in?
  • Are there particular conditions/patients attending my practice that I am less familiar with?


  • Are there any new or developing evidence-based clinical techniques or approaches that could benefit my patients?
    (all CPD including on clinical techniques must be evidence based and meet the requirements in the CPD registration standard)
  • Are there any CPD activities available that are particularly relevant to my practice?


  • Have any risk areas been identified in my profession by:
    • The National Board
    • Professional Association
    • My Professional indemnity insurance provider?

You must record your learning goals in your CPD portfolio. The Board has developed a template CPD portfolio that you may choose to use to record your learning goals, CPD activities and reflections. The template portfolio is an example only and you may choose to use an alternative. You can alter the template or use an alternative format.

You must keep a record of your learning goals, CPD plan, CPD reflections and evidence of the CPD activities that you have completed for 5 years after the end of the registration period.

Page reviewed 2/01/2020