Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Australian Institute of Geoscientists > About AIG > Membership > Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Continuing professional development (CPD) enables professionals to remain current in their Field(s) of Practice and thereby maintain a high level of competence. Comprehensive records of the CPD activities undertaken must be kept by the Registered Professional Geoscientist. Each year, a modified random selection of registered members will be required to submit their CPD records for auditing. The Registration Board shall determine the procedure for the selection Process.

Uluru (Ayer's Rock) in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s arid
Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s arid

Requirements for CPD

Registered Professional Geoscientists shall participate in continuing professional development activities over the period of their registration, with an average of at least 60 weighted hours each year calculated over a rolling period of three years. The activities should typically include attendance at conferences, undertaking relevant postgraduate education including extension courses, in-house courses, distance learning, on-the-job training, and private reading of learned articles.

The CPD activities must be directly relevant to the geoscientific profession and should be at least 50% directly relevant to the Field(s) of Practice nominated for registration. While it is accepted that CPD is appropriate for each Field of Practice, there is no requirement beyond the total 60-hour annual requirement for practitioners who opt for more than one Field of Practice.

The CPD requirements are rigorous but quite attainable for a practitioner genuinely concerned with maintaining competency and expertise in the Field(s) of Practice. The 60 hours per year average over a three-year period provides some flexibility while not compromising the intention of the CPD.

CPD Activities

The categories of CPD and their time weighting factors are given in the table below. In addition, publications will be credited at:
• 30 hours for a technical paper (not an abstract) in seminar or conference proceedings; and
• 45 hours for a technical paper published in a journal subject to referee review (e.g. the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences published by the GSA).

Category and Details twf
Attendance at geoscientific conferences and learned· society technical meetings including webinars or formal online training (based on attendance hours)  x1
Short courses and formal education
Includes attendance at short courses or workshops run by tertiary institutions and other educational establishments, government or semi-government bodies, professional institutions and private firms. Individual undergraduate or postgraduate course units also count. Only the hours of formal lectures or equivalent hours of research should be included.
Distance learning
Higher degree/graduate diploma studies (based on hours attributed to each unit)
Conferences and seminars workshops (based on attendance hours)  x1
Private reading of learned publications
Includes periodicals, seminar publications and text books, video and/or audio tapes but not trade press or newspapers. Time allocated in this category may not exceed 45% of the total hours and reading must be documented.
On-the-job learning
Includes inspecting operational facilities (mines, production platforms) other than those associated with regular duties; working with expert consultants; installing and implementing equipment or software for managing geoscience activities, and undertaking company-sponsored special research. Activities in this category may comprise up to 45% of the total hours.
Includes preparation and presentation of materials for geoscience courses, conferences, seminars and symposia. Only the hours of the presentation should be included.
The “presentations” category does not apply to academics making undergraduate presentations as a normal part of their employment. However, specialist postgraduate courses open to industry participants will qualify as presentations for academic geoscientists.
Participation in AIG committees or other similar Committees related to the profession
Limited to 20% of total hours. Actual duration of meeting (including teleconferences/SKYPE meetings etc.)
Receiving mentoring from a senior highly experienced MAIG or FAIG
Limited to 20% of total hours
Providing mentoring to an early career geoscientist (reasonable role of any MAIG or FAIG)
Limited to 20% of total hours

The AIG accepts that field geoscientists may work in isolated or overseas postings where attendance at conferences and on-the-job training may not be possible. In addition, certain professional activities (such as stratigraphic correlation) are professional skills (as opposed to routine geoscientific duties) that increase with experience and may count in some cases as “on-the-job training”. Certain temporary personal circumstances may justify specific consideration. Accordingly, the Registration Board will consider granting exemptions from the CPD requirement on a case-by-case basis, but such exemptions will not be granted retrospectively and should be applied for in advance.

CPD Auditing

A system of random auditing of CPD has been implemented. A modified random selection of up to 10% of Registered Professional Geoscientists will be requested to submit the records of their CPD for the previous three years in the approved format. The records will be audited by the Registration Board and further substantiation requested by the Board if the records are found to be unsatisfactory. Failure to meet the required level of CPD will be dealt with as a breach of standards and action will be taken by the Registration Board.