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CPD FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FAQ Hits : 472

If a question is asked outside the following FAQs, the standardised response will be: ‘ATDP has a CPD Team that is responsible for policy. I will refer your question to the Team.’


CPD Policy:

What is CPD Policy on Retrospective Approval?
Answer

CPD officially commenced on the 1st July 2018. Retrospective Approval for CPD related activities, approved or otherwise,and which occurred before this date will not be considered.

 

QA51118


Advocates Level 1-3 who have submitted an application to do RPL - and CPD Obligation
Answer

An Advocate Level 1-3 who has submitted an application to undertake RPL to a higher level has their CPD obligation temporarily suspended.

Consequently, they are not required to undertake CPD. On successful completion of the RPL, and a Statement of Attainment is issued, their CPD obligation will commence again and continue until such times as they formally enrol on an ATDP approved learning pathway or apply for RPL to a higher level qualification.

 

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Accessibility:

Does ATDP offer on-line CPD resources?
Answer

Apart from face-to-face activities, all other CPD resources are accessible on-line.

 

 

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I don’t have internet or a computer. Can I do CPD offline?
Answer

It is an expectation that all Advocates will have access to a computer and the internet to complete their CPD obligation. A significant proportion of CPD activities can only be accessed on line using the internet. However, you will not need a computer or internet to engage in face-to-face CPD activities. The CPD Team encourages you to do everything you can to secure internet and computer access. A colleague, local library, community centre, or even your ESO may be able to help.

QA51118

 


I don’t own a computer. How can I do CPD?
Answer

You will need access to a computer and the internet for all on-line activities.However, you will not need a computer for face-to-face CPD activities. Wthout a computer, you will find it increasingly difficult to provide advocacy services. Access to information used for Wellbeing and Compensation CPD activities is mainly accessible from on-line sources. Your ESO may be able to apply for BEST funding to provide you with a computer. In the meantime, your ESO, CoP (Community of Practice), a colleague, a local library or community centre may be able to help.

QA 51118


I don't have access to the internet.
Answer

While some CPD activities can be undertaken offline without accessing the Internet, the majority of CPD activities will require access to the internet to access and and complete them. If you don't have your own ISP (Internet Service Provider), speak to your ESO about getting connected.

 

QA51118


What if I am not very computer literate and I don’t like doing stuff on line. What other way can I do CPD?
Answer

Advocates are strongly encouraged to to develop their computer literacy skills, not only for CPD, but also because Advocacacy services are almost delivered exclusively being delivered online. Computer use courses are usually available through most TAFE or Community Colleges. There are also a number of courses you can access on line free of charge. The CPD Team strongly encourage you to do everything you can to overcome your concerns about computer use. A colleague or your CoP (Community of Practice) may also be able to help you.

 

QA51118


What sort of computer do I need to access the ATDP CPD website?
Answer

CPD can be accessed on almost all modern Laptops, Desktops, and Ipads. If possible, the computer should come with the latest version of Windows, have Google Chrome or Firefox as the default web browser, and have adobe flashplayer downloaded and activated.

 

QA51118


What can I do if my computer doesn’t allow me to play video?
Answer

It is possible that your computer may not be able to run the video file format used for CPD streaming videos. If you encounter that problem, the CPD Team advise that you authorise a maintenance operation on your computer and update your software (Javascript) and the plugins (Adobe Flash) or similar. This should ensure that your default Web browser can play the video files CPD is using. If your computer is still not able to play videos, you may need to seek some technical help through your ESO.

QA 51118


What can I do if my computer doesn’t allow me to open documents that require Flash?
Answer

If you cannot open documents that require Flash, you might first check whether JavaScript is not enabled (turned on). If you have an older Apple Mac using iOS, Javascript was not permitted to run because it is a potential vector for malware. If you need to install Flash Player, you can download a free version of Flash Player (only ever download direct from Adobe) from: https://helpx.adobe.com/au/download-install.html#Flash_Player   If you have the latest version of Flash installed and you’re still having problems, you may find advice on: https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/common-problems-flash-player.html. Otherwise, you may need to ask if your ESO can provide you with some technical support.

 

QA 51118


What can I do if my internet is too slow to access the website?
Answer

Apart from the type of service you have purchased (eg., ADSL, ADSL2, NBN), an incorrectly configured router/modem will slow down your internet connection. Spyware is also major cause of slowdown so scan your computer for spyware. Registry errors will also slow your internet and computer’s performance. Use your computer’s Search function to learn how to make defragment/optimise it. If your computer is still running slow, and not able to download files or programs, ask for technical support through your ESO.

 

QA 51118


If I am experiencing difficulties in completing an on-line activity, who do I go to when I need assistance?
Answer

If you are having any difficulties, your first point of contact is your ESO. However, a colleague, your Mentor or your CoP may also be able to help. If that doesn’t solve your problem, the CPD Team and DVA’s IT Consultant will be the go-to people. 

 

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CPD Activities:

What counts as CPD?
Answer

Any of the approved activities listed in the ATDP CPD website, if undertaken successfully, accrue CPD  points.

 

QA51118


Does CPD have to be accredited by ATDP?
Answer

CPD activities are not ‘accredited’ by ATDP. However, CPD activities are fully reviewed and vetted by the CPD Team to ensure that they are consistent with the practice of Military Advocacy.

 

QA51118


Can I complete CPD as part of a group activity?
Answer

Only some elements of CPD can be completed as a part of an approved group activity. Such an activity would also have a certified attendance requirement. However, for all other CPD activities, there would be nothing preventing a group of Advocates coming together to discuss and research CPD questions with a view to arriving at a correct response. This would be best completed as part of a Community of Practice (CoP) activity.

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Is CPD the same as a TIP refresher course?
Answer

No, CPD is not the same as a TIP refresher course. TIP refresher courses covered the same content as the initial TIP course, whereas CPD is aimed at enhancing and building on existing advocacy knowledge and practice skills. 

 

QA51118


Is RPL available for any CPD activities?
Answer

No. CPD cannot be undertaken using an RPL process. As its title indicates, RPL is the recognition of prior learning. CPD, on the other hand, is directed at advocates’ knowledge and skill development.

 

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CPD Points Accrual:

How long do I have to complete CPD?
Answer

CPD requires that an advocate accrues a minimum of 15 points each CPD year and minimum of 45 points over a three-year rolling period. The CPD year begins on 01 July and ends on 30 June the following year.

 

QA51118


How does CPD work if I do not have a full year.
Answer

Your CPD obligation is determined by the date on which you enter the CPD yeaR. The CPD point requirement is on a quarter-by-quarter yearly basis as shown below:

QA51118

 


What is meant by a three (3) year rolling cycle?
Answer

The best way to understand a three-year rolling program is with the aid of a diagram.  The following diagram shows CPD points building up at the required minimum15 points per year, until at the beginning of year 4, the first year’s 15 points drop out of the cycle, at which stage Years 2-3-4 become the next 3 year rolling cycle over which an ADVOCATE MUST accrue the required 45 cpd points.  The cycle then rolls forward on 01 July each subsequent year.

QA51118


I attend regular Compensation/Wellbeing Advocate network meetings. Can I receive CPD points for attending these workshops?
Answer

In principle, any activity that enhances professional knowledge and competency is open to the award of CPD points.However, before the activity is conducted, you should ask your CoP Coordinator if a decision has been as to whether the activity will accrue CPD points.If it does, you will need to ensure that you have signed an attendance register so that CPD points can be credited to your CPD account.

 

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What happens if I don’t complete my CPD at the end of a 3 year rolling cycle?
Answer

If at the end of each three-year rolling period, an advocate has failed to accrue 45 CPD points, they are deemed to be ‘not current’.  An Advocate in this situation will be notified of their status as will be their ESO. Being not current has implications for the Advocate and their ESO/VSC in that they may not be covered by VITA.The Advocate may also be called upon to show cause as to why their name should not be removed from the Advocate register.

 

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What happens if I don’t get 15 CPD points in a year?
Answer

 If 15 CPD points are not accrued in a given year, an advocate is deemed ‘in arrears’. 

If an Advocate is unable to accrue 15 points in one year, the deficit or shortfall is carried forward into the next CPD year and the Advocate will be expected to make up those points before they can start accrueing CPD points in the new year. The Advocates ESO is also advised of their CPD status. An Advocate is not permitted to carry forward any surplus points from one year to the next . However, they may earn more than 15 CPD points in any given CPD year if they so choose.

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What happens if I get sick and don’t do advocacy work for several months. Can I get a medical leave of absence from my CPD obligation?
Answer

If you are ill, getting yourself well is in your, your ESO/VSC’s and veterans’ interest.  Take the time necessary to return to full health.  However, an email to the CPD team adivising  of your issues will be very helpful. 

If you are able to manage to do some CPD as your health returns, that will assist your return to currency as you prepare to return to advocacy.  If you suffer from a profoundly debilitating illness that takes you away from active advocacy for an extended period of time, your ESO/VSC should advise the CPD Team and your CPD commitment will be suspended. 

When you return to advocacy after an extended break, it would be prudent from both a service delivery and indemnification perspective to have one of your experienced colleagues mentor you until your practice and CPD are current.

QA51118


I do lots of compensation/wellbeing professional reading in my own time and research my clients’ cases thoroughly. Why doesn’t this count as CPD?
Answer

Self-directed learning is strongly encouraged and sets a great example for your colleagues. It is however, part of business as usual, what clients would expect of you in delivering Advocacy services to them and their families, and therefore, it does not meet CPD criteria.

 

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I have a professional qualification that I want counted for CPD. What do I need to do?
Answer

The CPD Team may consider qualifications already held on a case-by-case basis. There needs to be a very strong link between the qualification and its'ability to enhance an Advocates ability to deliver Military Advocacy and services. Most professional and semi professional organisationsm in Australia do not regard the aquisition of a professional qualification as being equivalnt to CPD.

 

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I have a professional Cert IV/Diploma/Degree qualification. That’s got to be worth much more than 5 CPD points.
Answer

As the title suggests, the purpose of CPD is focussed on continuing learning and advocacy skills development whereas a professional qualification is focussed on the acquisition of new knowledge and or skills. Given this fundamental difference, the question relating to a professional qualification being worth more or less CPD points is not the issue.

 

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How do I gain CPD points for CoP or other professional development activities?
Answer

Before the activity is conducted, the convenor of the activity should email the CPD Team with the objective, contents and learning method to be employed, and seek a decision as to whether the activity will be approved. The CPD Team will also advise the number of CPD points to be assigned to the activity and what attendance records will be needed to credit points to participants attending.

Only Advocates who have a legitimate CPD obligation will be eligible to have CPD points credited to their CPD accounts.

 

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How much prior notification do I need to gain CPD approval and credits before an event/activity I plan to conduct?
Answer

Remembering that all CPD Team Members are volunteers, the team requests that all online applications for the award of CPD points be made one month before the activity is scheduled to take place.

Only online applications will be considered.

 

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What If I want to take a break from being an advocate, and I tell my ESO I want to take a 12-month break because I don’t want burnout, what happens to my CPD obligation?
Answer

If you intend to take an extended break away from active advocacy, you should advise the CPD Team and your CPD commitment will be suspended.  When you return to advocacy, depending on how long you have been out of the Advocacy space, it would be prudent from both a service delivery and indemnification perspective to have one of your experienced colleagues mentor you until your practice and CPD are current.

 

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CPD Records:

Do I need to keep a record of my CPD?
Answer

There are two ways in which CPD points will be credited to your CPD account. 

If you complete one of the listed on-line activiiesy, the number of CPD points you earn will be automatically credited to your CPD account when you hit the submit tab.

If you complete a non-listed, approved activity, the event convenor will need submit a signed attendance sheet to the CPD Training Team, who will in turn will manually credit the points to a participants CPD account. This may take some weeks to complete. Please be patiuent. It will happen.

 

QA51118 


Will I get a Certificate of Completion or Statement of Attainment (SoA) for CPD currency?
Answer

No. Should an ESO have concerns as to whether one of their Advocates was In Arrears, or Current or Not Current, all the Advocate needs do is show the ESO their CPD profile. The ESO will also receive advice from the CPD Team if an Advocate is falling behind with respect to their CPD obligation.

 

QA51118


How do I access my CPD profile?
Answer

The CPD website will hold your personal CPD account. You can access this site by logging onto the ATDP website www.atdp.org.au using your ATDP username and password. You then go to your CPD home page by hitting on the tab which says log into my CPD account..  

 

QA51118


How will my CPD be reviewed?
Answer

The CPD website includes reporting functions that enable you the Advocate, the CPD Team, your ESO/VSC, and VITA, to monitor your CPD progress and status.

 

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Who is notified if my CPD is lapsing?
Answer

You the Advocate, your ESO/VSC and VITA will be notified if your CPD is either ‘in arrears’ or ‘not current’.  Your ESO and perhaps your Mentor may also want to monitor your currency as well as assist you in meeting your CPD obligation.

 

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Need for CPD:

Do ‘I’ need to do CPD?
Answer

Yes. All advocates, irrespective of their level, are required to undertake CPD to ensure that their knowledge and practice remains current.  The only exceptions are  - if an Advocate is formally enrolled on a learning pathway or waiting to complete RPL. You also need to be aware that your CPD obligation commences as from the date your Statement of Attainment (SoA) is issued

 

QA51118


Why do I have to do these Year 1 CPD Modules? There aren’t any younger veterans around here.
Answer

Yes, there are definitely younger Veterans coming into the Advocacy space. The four update CPD Modules have been specifically designed to meet younger veterans’ needs. However, the transition from welfare to wellbeing, the need for each stream of practice to understand the other’s, the possibility that any veteran or family member may contemplate suicide or be encountering problems within their community, make these modules extremely relevant. 

 Level 2 Advocates may also be called upon to mentor and that mentoring need not be face-to-face. Therefore, all Level 2 Advocates need to be across the knowledge and skill requirements in the Levels 1 and 2 learning pathways.

QA51118


If I am on a Level 1 learning pathway, do I have a CPD obligation?
Answer

No. If you are enrolled on the Level 1 learning pathway and are completing a WEL you do not have a CPD obligation.  However, if you complete your Level 1 training, your Satement of Attainment (SoA) has been issued, and you decide not to enrol in a Level 2 learning pathway, you will have a CPD obligation.

 

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Do I have to do CPD when I am doing a learning pathway?
Answer

No. Provided you are actively engaged in a formal professional learning activity (viz. undertaking on-line learning, being mentored and completing a WEL), you do not have a CPD obligation. Your CPD obligation only begins when your Statement of Attainment is issued and you decide not to enrol in a Level 2 learning pathway.

 

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I’ve just received a Statement of attainment at Level 1, and am thinking about going straight on to Level 2, do I need to begin CPD?
Answer

No. Provided you are meeting all the requirements of the Level 2 learning pathway (undertaking on-line learning, being mentored and completing a WEL), you are meeting ATDP’s learning objectives and therefore, do not have a CPD obligation.

 

QA51118


I am both a Compensation and Wellbeing Advocate, do I need to complete CPD activities in both streams?
Answer

No. Current CPD policy states that if an Advocate has a CPD obligation, they are required to earn a minimum of 15 CPD points per annum from the discipline in which they are qualified.

For an Advocate who is qualified in both compensation and welfare streams and who has a CPD obligation, the 15 point minimum CPD requirement still remains. They are not required to accrue 15 points in each stream.

Dual qualified advocates can choose CPD activities from either stream as long as the minimum 15 CPD points annual requirement is met. Ideally those 15 points will be balanced across both streams.

 

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Professionalisation of Advocacy:

Why do I need CDP?
Answer

In just the same way that TIP recommended attendance at a refresher course each three years to maintain currency, ATDP has introduced continuing professional development.

Unlike TIP refresher training which tended to repeat the content of the initial course, CPD recognises that knowledge and advocacy practice change regularly.  It also accepts that advocates are mostly volunteers and has therefore struck a balance between the real changes in knowledge and practice and realistic expectations of volunteers. 

TIP Refresher Courses took three days, or equivalent to one day per year plus ‘networking’ time after hours.  CPD therefore presumes not more than 15 hours activity per year, or an average of less than 20 minutes per week.  Most advocates will have been expending that sort of effort in researching cases, so CPD should not be a significant imposition. 

The bottom line, of course, is that all advocates have a self-directed obligation to do the very best they can for their clients.  ATDP hopes that the minimum effort required to meet CPD requirements will encourage far more extensive professional research and reflection.

 

QA51118


I am a very experienced TIP-trained and RPL-ed advocate and considered an expert by my ESO and my advocate colleagues. Why should I be made to undertake CPD?
Answer

Good question. TIP aimed to ensure pension and welfare officers remained current by scheduling refresher courses every three years, on demand from ESOs.  However, there is much evidence to suggest that refresher courses are not consistent with the adult learning principles that underpin ATDP and simply refresh previosly learned knowledge.  CPD on the other hand is how professionals ensure their knowledge and skill levels remain both current as well as improving over time.

 

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I’m a Mentor, so I know all I need to know. Can I get an exemption from CPD.
Answer

No. Such a question presumes that knowledge and practice are static, which is not the case.  Also, as a mentor, you will work with Candidates that are undergoing the Levels 1 and 2 learning pathways. 

The learning underpinning these pathways is being progressively rewritten to include the needs of younger veterans, and therefore must be known by Mentors, especially those who have  come to the space as RPL-ed Advocates. 

Also, the rationale for CPD is that advocates must keep current to ensure they deliver high quality advocacy services.  Currency is therefore a requirement of continued authorisation and professional indemnification.  CPD assures a minimum level of currency.

 

QA51118


I’ve been a Welfare Officer for years. Why do I have to change to Wellbeing Advocate?
Answer

Welfare training through TIP, and welfare practice in general, were heavily focused on aging.

The needs of the generations of veterans that have served since Australia’s deployments to the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific Region new  as well as different knowledge as well as newer and refreshed ways of delivering Advocacy services. 

These younger veterans also want a different style of support.  Wellbeing focuses on the whole family and has the Wellbeing Advocate ‘walking beside’ rather than ‘pointing the way’.

 

QA51118


I’m a volunteer. I don’t need to be professional. CPD should be for paid advocates.
Answer

Professionalism doesn’t equate to being paid. It is a system of shared values and standards. 

Its about the way you do your work and interact with your clients.

 

QA51118


I do lots of compensation/wellbeing professional reading in my own time and research my clients’ cases thoroughly. Why doesn’t this count as CPD?
Answer

Your willingness to undertake self-directed learning (SDL) is to be commended and is setting a great example for your colleagues.

The biggest issue with SDL is that it is difficult to quantify. Measureable evidence of continuous professional development is required for both authorisation and indemnification as an Advocate. 

CPD provides that evidence.

 

QA51118


ATDP advocacy is not regulated by any professional association which has its own professional standards, rules and regulations, and ways of ensuring compliance. Why then am I being forced to undertake CPD?
Answer

ATDP does not force an Advocate to undertake CPD. However, if they want coverage under VITA, and are keen to enagage in best advocacy practice, then CPD will help them achieve this goal.

So, while the question is true at the moment, the various inquiries underway after the Senate Inquiry into Suicide by Veterans indicate that some form of regulatory body may be formed.

Irrespective of what eventuates, professionalisation of advocacy has been underway since at least the 2010 Review of services delivered by ESOs. It has also been accelerated by Bill Rolfe’s review in 2015. 

As practicing Advocates, we have a choice.  We can fight the trend, or get ahead of it.  ATDP is taking the latter course following ESOs’ resolutions at the national level.  The bottom line is that ESOs started forming 100 years ago to support veterans, widows, orphans and families. 

As advocates, we continue that tradition.  Our obligation is to deliver the most professional advocacy services we can.  CPD supports RPL and learning pathways in helping us meet that obligation.

 

QA51118


Is CPD accredited by an RTO or professional body?
Answer

No. Assessment of competence as an Advocate is a once-off requirement at any level and in any stream of advocacy. 

CPD is not part of the Vocational Education and Training system and does not need to be accredited by an RTO. 

It is, however, relevant to professional performance once competency has been demonstrated.  As the title suggests, CPD ensures currency of knowledge and practice through ongoing learning and review of technique.

 

QA51118


Does ATDP issue a CPD Certificate for a completed qualification?
Answer

No. Once you are accredited  as an Advocate, the RTO will provide the only formal evidence of your competence, usually in the form of a Statement of Attainment (SoA).  There is no need within the Vocational Education and Training system for further certification. 

However, your ESO/VSC will evidence of ongoing currency for authorisation and your ESO/VSC’s insurer for professional indemnification.  The CPD website and Advocacy Register will provide that evidence.

 

QA51118



Professional Indemnification:

What happens if I do not complete the CDP?
Answer

VITA policy is that, when an Advocate is ‘in arrears’, he/she should be warned that they may be putting their insurance coverage at risk and, that failure to catch-up as well as gain their 15 points in the current ahead will result in the insurer potentially considering them as non-compliant. 

Given that an ASQA-accreditation is now available for all appropriately qualified advocates, prudently, ESOs that take out their own indemnification should expect that the currency of their advocates would be subject to similar standards by any other insurer as well as the courts.

 

QA51118


What happens if I continue to practice if I am considered to be no longer current?
Answer

Any such Advocate would carry the risk of not being covered by Professional Indeminty Insurance.

In the event of a damages claim against the Advocate through the courts, the Advocate could face the possibility of having to pay the entire claim from their own resources if the courts found in favour of the plaintiff.

 

QA51118



Time Poor?

I have additional ESO duties such as President/Manager/Treasurer/Secretary etc and consider myself time poor. Can I receive CPD credits for the extraneous duties associated with managing Advocates under ATDP?
Answer

CPD is related directly to advocacy knowledge and skills development.  As Executive duties do not enhance advocacy specific knowledge and skills they do not attract CPD points.

 

QA51118


I am too busy with my normal client case-load to take on any additional volunteer requirements. What happens if I am not achieving the CPD requirements?
Answer

VITA has advised that the latest date TIP-trained Level 1 and 2 pension and welfare officers will be indemnified to is 30 June 2019,

ALL VRB/AAT advocates will remain indemnified until the 31 December 2021. 

These cut-off dates are negated when a TIP trained advocate undertakes RPL and is successful.

 

QA51118


Mentoring is a fulltime task for me. How am I going to find time to do CPD?
Answer

The best way to answer your question is to advise how much time you should be spending with a candidate at each level.

The 10620NAT Course in Military Advocacy course structure envisages candidates expending 60 hours of supervised learning at Levels 1 and 2 in Wellbeing and Compensation. Adult Learning Principles indicate that mentoring will occupy 20% of a candidate’s learning. This indicates that mentoring will require around 12 hours per Level 1 and 2 Candidate, 22 hours for level 3, and 15 for Level 4.

For each level, the mentoring hours would be expended over a 6 to 12-month period.  The CPD Team expects that each point will equate to no more than an hour of effort. The annual CPD requirement should equate to no more than 15 hours per year.

 

QA51118



Other Issues:

Why does the ATDP Privacy Notice allow my personal information to be so widely accessible?
Answer

The Privacy Act 1988 provides that personal information (including the personal information contained on the ATDP enrolment form and your training activity data) is required by MTS and a range of other government agencies for statistical, regulatory and research purposes. Also, your sponsoring ESO and the veteran community has a right to know about your accreditation and contact details.

 

QA51118


What is CPD?
Answer

ATDP defines CPD as - maintaining and enhancing the knowledge and skill and experience related to an Advocates professional activities following the completion of formal training.

 

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