Standards and criteria for accreditation of educational courses and activities


Find a surgeon

The Find a Surgeon directory is a listing of active Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons who meet the requirements of the College's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program and have opted to be on the list. This list excludes retired or inactive Fellows.


Standards and criteria

The development of College educational standards and criteria for accreditation has been guided by the following principles:

  1. To encourage Fellow, Trainees, International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and Prevocational doctors to extend their skills by providing access to a range of educational courses/activities that have been accredited by the College and therefore deemed educationally sound, appropriate and relevant.
  2. To provide a quality assurance process to ensure compliance with College educational standards when reviewing and recognising activities for the purposes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Educational activities recognised in the CPD Program generally focus on maintenance of knowledge and skills and performance review.
  3. To encourage education providers to engage with the College to have their educational activities accredited to use to the course accreditation logo or recognised by having their activities listed on the College website.

For the purpose of this document, the College defines an activity as a course, event, workshop, web resource or eLearning module.

Criterion 1: Needs/gap analysis

Educational activities must meet the identified educational needs of Fellows, Trainees, IMGs and Prevocational doctors and align to one or more of the RACS nine competencies below:

  • Collaboration and Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Health Advocacy
  • Judgement - Clinical Decision Making
  • Management and Leadership
  • Medical Expertise
  • Professionalism and Ethics
  • Scholarship and Teaching
  • Technical Expertise

Criterion 2: Learning aims

There must be clearly defined learning aim(s) which reflect the overall purpose of the activity:

  • There must be a clear statement of what participants are expected to learn
  • The learning aims must be measurable

Criterion 3: Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes should clearly define what participants should know or be able to do at the end of the activity:

  • What are the skills participants should be able to do by the end of the activity?
  • What knowledge should participants know and understand by the time the activity is completed?
  • Be realistic and achievable

Criterion 4: Assessment

A quality assurance process must include evaluation of the activity against the stated learning outcomes:

  • Assessment tasks must be valid, reliable, flexible, fair and achievable
  • Assessment tool(s) must be stated and clearly described
  • The assessment must clearly demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes
  • The remediation process must be explicit and appropriate

Criterion 5: Program content/structure

All activities must include a detailed program of study outlining the following:

  • The aims and outcomes that address the stated training need
  • Title and topics
  • Duration (number of days/weeks/hours)
  • Any commercial interest or sponsorship

Criterion 6: Delivery methods

The activity uses principles of adult learning and instructional methods appropriate for the activities and venue:

  • A list of appropriate delivery methods used (lectures, presentations, discussion, demonstration etc.)
  • There should be evidence of engagement (interactivity, structure feedback, self-assessment)

Criterion 7: Teaching staff expertise

Providers must demonstrate that the teaching staff qualifications and experience are appropriate to deliver the education activity:

  • The presenters/teachers/facilitators should have relevant expertise, knowledge and skills to deliver the activity within the specific subject(s) identified in the program

Criterion 8: Evaluation

Participants must have an opportunity to evaluate the activity:

  • Participants must have an opportunity to assess whether the learning outcomes have been met
  • The provider must issue a certificate of completion/attendance to the participant

Sample evaluation form 1 (PDF 35.5KB)
Sample evaluation form 2 (PDF 32.8KB)
Sample evaluation form 3 (PDF 24KB)

Criterion 9: Courses and web/eLearning activities

Providers may wish to share their activities with the College or submit their activities for recognition. Development of activities must meet the following criteria:

  • Physical quality: Activities offer durability and high technical quality.
  • Content: Activities are well organised and of high artistic/literary quality. They offer content that is accurate, current and authentic.
  • Social considerations: Activities are fair and equitable. They are free from bias as reasonably possible and also be free of intrusive sponsorship.
  • Instructional design: Activities are user friendly (do not require extensive in-service before using). Foster deep understanding of the subject being addressed and where appropriate are presented with reasonable chunks of learning time.
  • Qualifications of developer: Activities have been developed and validated by qualified reputable people.

Education providers must also ensure:

  • All activities and navigation links are fully functional and complete (incomplete activities will not be recognised)
  • A guest login is provided to the College (if applicable)

Criterion 10: Compliance

The education facility/program must operate in a transparent manner to ensure compliance with the following:

  • Activity organisers must ensure they have relevant facilities to conduct the educational activities
  • Content should be accurate, up-to-date and free from unjustifiable claims or bias
  • Where commercial sponsorship is obtained, there is clear separation between the education and any promotion of products and/or services
  • The activity does not promote theories, techniques or products that are not supported by scientific evidence or generally accepted by the medical profession
  • Providers should comply with current regulatory and legislative requirements
  • Reference should be made to copyright clearance where appropriate


The College retains the right to withdraw accreditation for an activity at any time if it believes an education provider is non-compliant with the College educational standards and criteria, which may include:

  • Significant changes to educational content/learning aims
  • Misuse of the College Accreditation Logo

Standards and criteria (PDF 226KB)