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Table of contents

Planning your course

When planning your course, you should consider the following, each of which is explained in this section:

  • audience
  • underpinning philosophy
  • developing training that allows GPs to work with specific populations
  • delivery modes
  • learning types mapped to Medical Board of Australia (MBA) CPD types
  • mandatory involvement of health professionals
  • genuine involvement of consumers and carers.


Although the learning outcomes listed for each type of course primarily relate to GPs, not all of your participants will necessarily be GPs, as the GPMHSC supports multidisciplinary training where different professional groups are brought together.

This not only reflects the team-based nature of primary care, but also helps to improve collaboration between different types of service providers.

Underpinning philosophy

The GPMHSC believes in the importance of:

  • trauma-informed care within a psychosocial and cultural context
  • a recovery-focused / recovery-oriented model
  • multidisciplinary approaches
  • consumer-centred and consumer-agreed informed choices with the collaboration of carers.

Your courses should, where relevant, incorporate this underpinning philosophy.

Developing training that allows GPs to work with specific populations

The GPMHSC has developed a suite of resources to help you prepare mental health courses that give GPs the skills and knowledge they need to work with a variety of specific populations, including refugee populations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Useful resource

Resources for training providers

Delivery modes

Table 3 shows the different learning modes that you might want to incorporate into your course, particularly if parts of the course can be delivered online, such as predisposing and reinforcing components.

Table 3. Learning modes

Learning mode

GPMHSC definition

Face-to-face learning

Traditional method of delivering training, where the participant and facilitator attend the session together.

Distance learning / remote learning

An umbrella term for learning delivered without face-to-face contact, such as online learning and self-paced learning.

Online learning / e-learning

Learning that is mostly delivered via the internet. Examples include the use of learning management systems and videoconferencing applications.

This type of learning can be synchronous (participant and facilitator participate at the same time) or asynchronous (participant and facilitator are not necessarily participating at the same time).

Self-paced learning

Learning that the participant completes when it best suits them. Self-paced learning can be online (such as completing an online survey) or offline (such as attending a focus group and reporting the outcomes).

Blended learning

Learning that is a combination of different learning modes (such as online learning, self-paced learning, face-to-face learning). The amount of each learning mode in a course can vary.

Learning types mapped to MBA CPD types

Table 4 shows how different modes of learning map to CPD categories as defined by the MBA Registration Standards.

If you are developing mental health courses, you should consider the MBA CPD categories.

Table 4. Learning modes mapped to Medical Board of Australia continuing professional development types

Mode of learning


MBA CPD categories


Workshops, seminars, lectures and conferences

Educational activities

Online learning

e-learning and webinars

Educational activities

Peer group learning

Balint groups

Reviewing performance

Higher education / professional certification

Graduate diploma or Masters degree in psychology, psychiatry or another related field

Educational activities

Reviewing performance


Systematic review of FPS skills in clinical practice

Measuring outcomes

Supervised clinical attachment

Working directly under a mental health practitioner, in a variety of settings, such as an inpatient psychiatric facility, community mental health service, or a drug and alcohol service

Reviewing performance


Mental health research in the context of general practice (individual GP or group)

Educational activities

Measuring outcomes

Useful resource

Medical Board of Australia. Registration Standards

Mandatory involvement of health professionals

When you plan, develop, deliver and evaluate courses you want accredited by the GPMHSC, you must genuinely involve the following professionals in each stage:

  • GPs
  • mental health professionals skilled in the specific techniques being taught
  • experienced educators or vocational trainers.

A professional with more than one of these can satisfy the requirements for the necessary involvement of multiple roles. For example, a GP who is also an experienced educator will satisfy the mandatory involvement of both roles.

Genuine involvement of consumers and carers


  • When you design and deliver a skills training course you want accredited by the GPMHSC, you must involve consumers and carers.
  • When you design and deliver a CPD course you want accredited by the GPMHSC, involvement of consumers and carers is recommended. If you include consumers and carers in CPD courses, your course may be accredited as a gold standard CPD course.


Learning that involves consumers and carers gives GPs a greater understanding and appreciation of the wider impact of mental illness, challenges and barriers that consumers and their carers often face, and the recovery journey. It also means that they are more likely to consider how to improve the mental health care they deliver in conjunction with other services in the community.

The involvement of consumers and carers also aligns with national mental health plans and agendas that prioritise consumer and carer participation in decision-making and policy-making.