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

Accreditation of educational courses

A course that has been accredited by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) reflects a provider's commitment to delivering the highest standard of education to Fellows, Trainees, International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and prevocational doctors in accordance with RACS best practice educational standards and criteria. Courses accredited by RACS have permission to use the College "Tick of Approval" Accreditation Logo on their supporting promotional/marketing materials.

RACS educational standards and criteria for accreditation have been developed to encourage Fellow, Trainees, International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and prevocational doctors to extend their skills and knowledge by providing access to a range of educational courses that are aligned to the one or more of the RACS nine competencies and therefore deemed educationally sound, appropriate and relevant.

Benefits of course accreditation

  • Review from a panel of Surgeons and educators
  • Use of "Tick of Approval" logo on course materials, certificates and websites

2012 Course Accreditation Logo Watermark

  • Listing on Royal Australasian College of Surgeons website
  • Listing in the JDocs Framework and on the JDocs website (where appropriate)
  • Applicable courses forwarded for approval for continuing professional development (CPD) points

How to apply


  • The generic term "course" is used to mean, programme module and/or activity
  • Course accreditation is valid for two years
  • Fees are published on College website
  • For the purpose of this document, the College defines an activity as an event, workshop, web resource or eLearning module

1. Organisation details

  • Provide contact person details for person submitting the application
  • Provide full details of the organisation

2. Needs/gap analysis

The purpose of a needs assessment is to discover what the target groups need to learn and why. There a number of ways to conduct a needs assessment:

  • Questionnaires/surveys
  • Consult with other health professionals
  • Expert bodies

Educational activities must meet the identified educational needs of Fellows, Trainees, IMGs and prevocational doctors (JDocs) 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

The competencies can be viewed on the College website as follows:

3. Course aims

The course aim(s) serve as broad purposes or goals and are generally a statement of the intentions when designing or running the course.

  • Provide  clearly defined learning aim(s) which reflect the overall purpose and intention of the course
  • Provide  a clear statement of what participants will achieve as a result of completing the course the course

4. Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes are specific statements of intent that:

  • clearly define what participants will gain by attending the course
  • describe what participants will be able to do at the end of the course, that is what  knowledge/skills they will gain and/or what change in attitudes/behaviour may occur
  • have a clear link with the course aim(s)
  • are realistic and achievable

Consider SMART when writing learning outcomes:



Use clear, direct language to tell the participants exactly what they should learn and what they should be able to do after the course.



The learning outcome must be something that can be measured. Can the participant meet, perform, or satisfy the learning outcome?



Is the learning outcome something participants have a chance of completing/satisfying? Ensure this is realistic.



Is the learning outcome something that the participants see the value in learning?


Time Limited

Is the learning outcome going to be limited to a set time frame? Ensure, the outcome is something participants will have to use in a timely fashion eg tomorrow or next week.

5. Course details

Provide details of the course as follows:

  • Rationale - why the course was developed and how it meets needs of target audience
  • Title and topics
  • Target groups
  • Course pre-requisites (knowledge, skills, qualifications or level of entry)
  • Duration (number of days/weeks/hours)
  • Frequency of course
  • Number of delegates
  • Detail award or qualification as a result of having attended or completed course

6. Assessment

Detail the range of assessment methods employed to ensure that:

  • Assessment tasks are valid, reliable, flexible, fair and achievable
  • Assessment tool(s) are stated and clearly described
  • The assessment clearly demonstrates achievement of the learning outcomes

7. Teaching and learning strategies

There are many different teaching and learning strategies that may be used to deliver educational programs.  The course must use principles of adult learning and instructional methods appropriate for the activities and venue:

  • List appropriate delivery methods used (lectures, presentations, discussion, demonstration, blended learning etc.)
  • Provide evidence of engagement (interactivity, structure feedback, self-assessment)

8. Faculty

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

  • Presenters/teachers/facilitators must have relevant expertise, knowledge and skills to deliver the course within the specific subject(s) identified in the program

9. Evaluation

Evaluation reviews the effectiveness of the teaching and learning activities and resources and the course against the stated learning outcomes:

For the participants: learning is more effective if participants are given the opportunity to reflect on what they have learnt and what further information on the topic they may need.

For the education provider: it is important to assess whether or not the course was successful and what improvements need to be made to ensure ongoing continuous improvement.

  • Provide either cumulated or individual participant evaluations and evidence of where areas of dissatisfaction have been addressed
  • Detail internal audit review processes to ensure ongoing continuous improvement
  • Detail the remediation process

See Appendix A (sample evaluation forms) as reference/guide only in the pdf version.

10. Compliance

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

  • Course organisers must ensure they have relevant facilities to conduct the educational activities and comply with relevant health and safety legislation
  • 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 course 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

11. Validity

The College retains the right to withdraw accreditation for a course 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
  • Failure to disclose any conflict of interest on the part of the organiser, provider or speakers
  • Misuse of the "Accreditation Tick of Approval" logo

12. Reaccreditation

To maintain ongoing accreditation status, education providers will be contacted by the College and requested to submit evidence of ongoing quality assurance as follows:

  • Changes, which affect the learning outcomes of accredited educational activities
  • Participant evaluation feedback/summary
  • Copy of course certificate
  • Latest course program/schedule
  • Changes to any regulatory agreements
  • Copy of current  promotional material i.e. flyer, brochure, link to website

If accreditation is not renewed, the course will be removed from the College website and the Provider must cease to advertise or list their course with the College Accreditation logo.

Standards and criteria (PDF 250KB)