Continuing Professional Development FAQs

When do I need to use the ESSA Self-Assessment Tool?

You need to complete the Self-Assessment Tool for any PD activity that does not include an assessment by the course provider. For example:

  • Conferences
  • Seminars
  • Presentations & Publications
  • Mentorship & Supervisions
  • PD courses without some form of completion assessment
  • You read a journal article or review a scientific paper a copy of the abstract or front page of the article/textbook chapter with the following declaration:

    I (name) declare that I have read this (article/chapter) in full on (date)

  • You complete an ESSA survey

  • Provide feedback on documents or systems, related to industry, during a consultation process

What are appropriate presenter qualifications?

For a presenter to be accepted they need to have qualifications or experience relevant to the presentation topic. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • An ESSA accredited person, who presents within their scope of practice
  • A recognised qualification* relevant for the activity they are presenting on
  • A minimum of an AQF level 7 qualified allied health professional with experience in exercise (e.g. exercise physiologist, physiotherapist, cardiac care nurse, occupational therapist, doctor, clinical nurse consultant)
  • A state, national or international level sports coach
  • An Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) level 2 or 3 coach
  • Business qualifications for a business PD
  • Government developed activities
  • *A qualification recognised or endorsed by a regulating authority such as a national association or RTO.

How do I choose Yoga or Pilates courses?

For courses to be accepted for CPD points they need to meet the requirements set out in the CPD policy. However, ESSA does not set the industry expectations for what level of training is needed to become a Yoga or Pilates instructor. It is your responsibility to ensure you have undertaken appropriate training and insurance for these modalities.

To ensure you pick a quality course that meets your expectations you should do some research, including checking with course providers what the outcomes of the course are, and contacting the relevant peak associations for more information.

Can I accrue points from completing a non-exercise and sports science qualification, such as a coaching course, or physiotherapy/dietetics study?

Activities relating to other professions (which have their own standards and scope of practice) are generally not able to be used towards ESSA’s accreditation requirements. However, as there can be some overlap in the scope of practice, ESSA may accept activities where you can provide evidence of relevant content taught within another qualification. Dependent on the course, this may be only part of the content or all of it. You need to keep evidence and justify how this content relates to your ESSA profession scope of practice, along with a written justification and detailed supporting information (such as lecture/tutorial notes, course learning outcomes) related to the specific activities.

Please note, this does not mean that ESSA recognises or endorses the overall qualification in terms of professional scope of practice.

The course is self-paced. How do I work out learning hours?

The total points for a self-paced course should be determined by the average length the course providers say it should take you to complete. If you are unsure, please contact the course provider for advice.

Do I need to do ESSA PD?

No. Any activity that meets the requirements set out in the CPD policy will accrue points.

You should undertake a broad range of activities that are relevant to your work practice and career goals

What can’t be counted for CPD points?

PD that does not meet all the requirements in the CPD policy cannot be counted for points. Some examples include:

  • Any PD that you didn’t complete or attend in full
  • PD where you cannot supply required evidence
  • Any PD/activities that you have already claimed CPD points for. Activities can only be claimed once
  • Activities that are part of your main job E.g. seeing clients; a full-time or part-time lecturer lecturing at their own university
  • General work induction activities on internal procedures and policies of your workplace- programmes, general equipment, bullying, harassment
  • PD completed in a different accreditation cycle- e.g. 2017 PD cannot be counted for 2019
  • Activities that are outside the scope of the profession (i.e. expanded scope activities)- for example massage, dry needling, ultrasound therapy, hands on treatment, alternative medicine/therapies, diet prescription

What is a learning hour?

Learning hours relate to the duration of the PD activity. For example:

  • Length of presentation
  • Time spent in assessments
  • Lectures/tutorials
  • Length of workshop

For activities that are self-paced or require self-study, learning hours are calculated based on the average time it should take to complete the whole PD activity. If you are uncertain, please contact the activity provider for advice.

Time spent not engaged in learning (e.g. meal breaks) cannot be counted in the learning hours.

What evidence do I need?

Acceptable evidence must confirm you have completed the activity and show evidence of time, presenter/developer expertise and relevance to your profession scope.

For activities to be counted in the Further Education category, there must also be evidence that the activity was assessed. This can be an assessment by the course provider or completion of the ESSA Self-Assessment Tool

More than one piece of evidence may be needed to meet the criteria (e.g. certificate of completion plus course overview).

I only became accredited with ESSA for the first time this year. Do I need to accrue CPD points?

Yes. Points will be calculated based on how many months of the calendar year you are accredited for.
For every 3 month period you are accredited for you will need a minimum of 5 points, including 3.5 in Further Education.

Date initial accreditation processed

Points requirements

1 January – 30 March

20 points (15 Further Education)

1 April – 30 June

15 points (11 Further Education)

1 July – 30 September

10 points (7.5 Further Education)

1 October – 31 October

5 CPD points (3.5 Further Education)

1 November – 31 December

Nil points required

I am only working part time. Do I need to complete the full CPD requirements?

Yes. CPD helps keep your knowledge and skills current through ongoing learning and development and so you need to accrue 20 points for each year you are accredited. CPD is also a very important part of career development and professional growth.

I am an AES, AEP and ASpS. How many points do I need to accrue?

Regardless of how many accreditations you hold you need to accrue 20 points each year, inclusive of a minimum of 15 points in the Further Education category.

Do I need to send my CPD courses to ESSA to be able to renew?

No. You only need to send records if ESSA specifically requests them. Please keep your records together so it is easy to access if you need to send them.

To renew, all you need to do is read and sign the mandatory declarations and pay the renewal fee. If you have any concerns about the mandatory declarations please contact National Office.

How long do I need to keep my CPD records?

You need to keep any records relating to accreditation requirements for 7 years.

I am going on a leave of absence next year. Do I need to accrue CPD points this year?

Yes. You must complete CPD points in each year that you are accredited. Failure to do so may impact your ability to hold accreditation in the future.

I am going on a leave of absence this year. Do I need to accrue CPD points this year?

Yes. Points will be calculated based on how many months of the calendar year you are accredited for.

For every 3 month period you are accredited for you will need a minimum of 5 points, including 3.5 in Further Education.

Number of months of the calendar accredited

Points requirements

10-12 months

20 points (15 Further Education)

7-9 months

15 points (11 Further Education)

4- 6 month

10 points (7.5 Further Education)

1-3 months

5 CPD points (3.5 Further Education)

<1 month accredited

Nil points required

How many hours of mentoring do I need to claim points?

At least 12 hours in the calendar year needed to claim points for that year. A completed relationship is eligible for 2 points.

Mentees can claim 1 relationship per year, while mentors can claim a maximum of 3 relationships (maximum 6 points per year).

Can I split CPD courses across years?

No. You can only count points for the activity in the year it is completed.

If I complete more than the required number of points this year, can this count towards next year’s points?

No. A minimum of 20 points must be accrued each year (for each full calendar year accredited). This is an important part of a quality accreditation scheme, and are a requirement under the best practice standards set by the National Alliance of Self-Regulating Health Professions (NASRHP).

How do I describe in the Self-Assessment tool how the PD activity supports ethical, compliant, consumer-centred practice?

CPD is about more than gaining exercise science new knowledge and skills - you should also pick CPD that helps you be a better practitioner. This should include helping you understanding your legal and ethical requirements and making sure you always provide client-centred care.

The Self-Assessment tool asks you to explain how the PD activity supports this. For example, the PD activity:

  • included information about motivational interviewing and best practice principles of communication
  • covered legal requirements around record keeping and consent
  • presented client case studies and how these were adjusted based on client needs and goals

What evidence do I need for reading journal articles and textbook chapters?

You need a copy of the abstract or front page of the article/textbook chapter with the following declaration:

I (name) declare that I have read this (article/chapter) in full on (date) AND the ESSA Self-Assessment Tool.