Australasian emergency physicians: a learning and educational needs analysis. Part five: barriers to CPD experienced by FACEM, and attitudes to the ACEM MOPS programme

Emerg Med Australas. 2008 Aug;20(4):339-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-6723.2007.01042.x. Epub 2007 Dec 6.


Object: To determine the barriers to continuous professional development (CPD) perceived by Fellows of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (FACEM), their opinions on the maintenance of professional standards programme (MOPS), and other aspects of education.

Method: Mailed survey offering 12 factors that could prevent them from participating in CPD. FACEM were asked to rate the items on Likert from 1, no barrier, through to 5, insurmountable barrier. Qualitative comments on barriers, MOPS and other education were grouped.

Results: Nearly 47% of FACEM nominated lack of time with too many other priorities as significant of insurmountable barriers to CPD whilst 41% cited their ED as being too busy to leave and 35% had family commitments preventing CPD. While commitments, resistance from colleagues or employers (7%), lack of personal motivation or interest, (7.5%) lack of conference leave (8%) or financial restraint (14.5%) were lesser barriers for FACEM. Scheduling at inconvenient times (25%) and geographical factors (19%) were also perceived as significant barriers. Analysis of qualitative responses highlighted staff shortages, family reasons, personal fatigue, lack of interest in available CPD, cost and limited nonclinical time as being important barriers for some FACEM. Less than 50% of FACEM agreed that current allocation of MOPS points was appropriate or that the website spot diagnoses and scenarios kept their knowledge current. Nearly 28% did not find online MOPS easy to comprehend.

Conclusion: These findings may assist in facilitating increased participation in CPD by FACEM.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / organization & administration*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Emergency Medicine / education*
  • Emergency Medicine / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Societies, Medical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Victoria