Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Safe guarding yoga students and ensuring teaching excellence

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The information located under the following headings will help guide you through Yoga Australia’s CPD requirements:

  • Our Policy
  • The Basics – Points Required and How to Log Points
  • How to Accrue CPD Points
  • Supporting Evidence Requirements
  • Definition of Terms
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Our Policy:

What is continuous professional development?

Any activity or program that develops your knowledge, experience, skill, understanding or professionalism of yoga or yoga teaching is considered to be relevant CPD. In short, you must be able to answer the following question with a “YES”: Does this program or activity make me a better yoga teacher?

Undertaking annual CPD ensures:

  • Your knowledge and skills stay relevant and up to date and opens you up to new possibilities, new knowledge and new skill areas in yoga teaching
  • You deliver a safe environment and best-practice teachings to your students.
  • You are more aware of the changing trends and directions in yoga and related industries

What is approved professional development (APD)?

Approved Professional Development is a training course that is registered with Yoga Australia. APD Registration will ensure that courses meet Yoga Australia’s high standards. APD policy information and registered APD courses are found here.

The Basics: 

Points Required and How to Log Points

Yoga Australia’s CPD Policy requires Registered Yoga Professionals to undertake activities which earn the following CPD points:

  • Yoga Teachers – 12 CPD points in each year of membership
  • Yoga Therapists – 24 CPD points every three years of membership

Annual reporting of CPD activity can be submitted to Yoga Australia in two ways:

  1. Online via the “Record Your CPD” page, accessed from your Yoga Australia profile page. Simply fill out the ‘Upload CPD’ online form, including your supporting documents.
  2. Manually by downloading and completing the CPD Reporting Form. Mail the form and your supporting docs to the National Office at the time of membership renewal.

The Yoga Australia Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Policy requires Registered Yoga Teachers to undertake CPD activities, which earn at least 12 CPD points in each year of membership.

CPD Guidelines for Mentors:

Registered Senior teachers who:

  1. Train or mentor other yoga teachers, or
  2. Are engaged in developing programs, workshops, seminars, retreats, etc. or
  3. Are involved in yoga-related research or authoring,

Can receive CPD points for the time they spend developing these programs. In the case of workshops, seminars, retreats or mentoring and teacher training, points can be claimed for the first delivery or initiation of the relationship only. These activities attract 1 point for every 2 hours and can account for up to 25% for each activity, up to a maximum of 75% of your total CPD points.

How to accrue CPD Points:

Points are allocated to actual hours of content (not including lunch or refreshment breaks).

Activities earn different numbers of points depending on whether they are:

  • “Core” to yoga teaching
  • “Related” to yoga teaching

Points are also scored based on:

  • “Contact” programs and activities
  • “Non-contact” programs and activities.

The ratio of points to training hours is:

CPD Category

Point Allocation

Contact activities ‘core’ to yoga teaching

1 point for 1 hour of training

Contact activities ‘related’ to yoga teaching

1 point for 2 hours of training

Non-contact activities ‘core’ to yoga teaching

1 point for 2 hours of training

Non-contact activities ‘related’ to yoga teaching

1 point for 4 hours of training

(can account for up to 25% of your claim)

Attendance at another teacher’s regular yoga class

1 point for 4 hours attendance

(can account for up to 25% of your claim)

Mentoring/being mentored

1 point for 2 hours
(can account for up to 25% of your claim)

Table 1: CPD Category &  Point Allocation

Supporting Evidence Requirements:

The following evidence is considered acceptable when substantiating an activity within the appropriate Continuing Professional Development (CPD) category:

  • A certificate of completion/attendance form – Issued by the provider of a CPD activity (e.g. a conference, workshop, retreat, etc.) specifying the title/nature of the activity, the date of the activity and the participant’s name.
  • If no certificate of completion is available, a receipt issued by the provider of the CPD activity, specifying the title/nature of the activity, the date of the activity and the participant’s name.
  • In cases where no certificate or receipt is available, correspondence re acceptance to attend the event, minutes of the meeting indicating your attendance, copies of hand-outs, a short summary of the event or course content.
  • In the case of “developing and delivering new programs” – The trainer’s own estimate of required hours, together with the provision of the completed program.
  • In the case of “authoring” – The author’s own estimate of required hours, together with a copy of the completed article/book/presentation.
  • In the case of personal research – A member’s summary of material read, preferably with ideas reapplication of learning drawn from the research.
  • In the case of attendance at another yoga teacher’s regular yoga class – A signed statement from that teacher, verifying this attendance and the number of hours.
  • In the case of formal mentoring by another yoga teacher or related professional, a signed statement from that mentor, verifying the type of mentoring, the dates and number of hours.
  • In the case of senior teachers who initiate mentoring relationships, a log-sheet or similar documentary evidence of the work involved, indicating hours and dates, the nature of the mentoring relationship and the mentee’s name.
  • Where no other evidence is available – The member may choose to submit a statutory declaration of activities undertaken.

Definition of Terms:

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

CPD is defined as any activity or program that develops a member’s knowledge, experience, skill, understanding or professionalism of yoga or of yoga teaching.

Approved Professional Development (APD)

APD is a training course that is registered with Yoga Australia.

Hours

Hours mean actual hours spent in the activity – it does not include lunch or refreshment breaks.

Core

Core means fundamental to yoga or yoga teaching, including asana, pranayama, meditation, the study of yogic philosophy, anatomy and physiology, and teaching techniques, including time spent being mentored in these areas.

Related

Related means related to yoga teaching by tradition, relevance or application, including related philosophies and spiritual practices (e.g. Ayurveda or Buddhism), related healthcare modalities (e.g. physiotherapy or Pilates), related exercise sciences (fitness or human movement) and related lifestyle practices (e.g. practice in an ashram).

Contact

Contact means face-to-face contact as a participant in a program or activity with specific training outcomes.

Contact time

Contact time includes time spent attending conferences, workshops, seminars, retreats, professional meetings and satsang as a participant. Webinars or other ‘real-time’ online activities can be regarded as “contact” time. Contact time also includes time spent being mentored. However, for most members it does not include time spent acting as a mentor to another teacher or teacher trainee* – this is considered by the Association as time spent in teaching.
*Senior level teachers who have been teaching continuously for more than 25 years may claim their mentoring of students for up to 25% of their CPD.

Non-contact time

Non-contact time means participating in correspondence, video, DVD, or non-real-time online programs. Non-contact also relates to time spent developing new programs, workshops, seminars, or retreats for other yoga professionals, or in preparing major upgrades to previously offered programs. It also covers time spent in research and authoring. Yoga Australia recognises that members living in rural and remote locations may not have access to contact programs and that some yoga professionals may not find available contact programs suitable for their training or level of experience. Therefore, a range of non-contact activities is also considered acceptable CPD. If a non-contact program offers a means of assessment, such as an exam to measure compliance, it qualifies to be treated, in terms of points accrued, as though it is a contact program.

For example, participating in an online or DVD course on yoga techniques for chronic lower back pain would qualify as a “core” activity but receives points at the “non-contact” level. If, however, the online program allows participants to complete an exam and receive a certificate of completion, then the program would instead qualify as a “contact” activity.

Private Study

Private Study means the serious study and application of substantial texts related to yoga. “Current awareness” reading, such as the reading of journal articles is not classified as “Study”. Members are expected to be able to easily substantiate CPD claims made. In the case of private study, this means that you would be expected to take and keep notes of your studies, preferably with comments about how you expect to apply the learning gained.

Mentoring

Mentoring means hours spent in direct face-to-face correspondence, email, phone or another real-time electronic mode contact with a mentor. Activities undertaken as an outcome of a mentoring relationship should be included in relevant CPD categories elsewhere.

Regular yoga class

Attending another yoga teacher’s regular yoga/meditation class as a participant can be counted as CPD. Note that this activity is considered to be partly personal practice and partly professional development, and hence it attracts a lower number of CPD points than most other CPD activities and is limited to a small percentage of the total CPD claim.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Do I need to undertake and report CPD activities every year?

Yes. Yoga Australia requires that Registered Yoga Teachers complete 12 points of CPD every year. In some exceptional circumstances, a senior (level 3) Registered Yoga Teacher who has undertaken more than 100 points of CPD, may apply to have points spread across more than one year.

What if I did not undertake any CPD in the past year?

If you did not undertake any CPD in the past year, you will still be able to renew your membership and receive some membership benefits, but will not be listed as a Registered Yoga Teacher and will not be able to refer to yourself as a ‘Yoga Australia Registered Yoga Teacher’. To regain your ‘Registered Yoga Teacher’ status in a subsequent year, you simply need to complete and provide evidence of meeting the CPD and First Aid requirements for that period. If you could not complete your CPD quota for the year, you may apply for a CPD exemption. 

What if I’m not sure how many points to allocate to an activity?

Contact YA via [email protected] to request clarification.

How do I calculate CPD if I train other teachers, run workshops and/or retreats?

Registered Yoga Teachers who train other yoga teachers, or who are engaged in developing programs, workshops, seminars, retreats, etc., or who are involved in yoga-related research or authoring, can receive CPD points for the time they spend developing these programs. In the case of workshops, seminars or retreats, CPD points can be claimed for the first delivery only and not subsequent deliveries. Authoring and delivering such training attract 1 point for 2 hours. Relevant information must be provided on the CPD reporting form or webpage, and the member if audited must easily substantiate the points claimed.

Can I include the time that I spend reading yoga texts towards my CPD?

Yes. Structured reading of major yoga-related texts is considered “research” and qualifies for CPD points as “Non-contact activities ‘related’ to yoga teaching” You would be expected to take and keep notes of this reading, preferably with comments about how you expect to apply the learning gained.

Note that reading of yoga “current awareness” journal articles do not qualify as “research” for the allocation of CPD points.

Does maintaining first aid certification count towards CPD?

No. Maintaining a current First Aid certificate does not attract CPD points, as this is already a basic requirement to be a Yoga Australia Registered Yoga Teacher.

Does my own yoga teaching count towards CPD?

No. Your own regular yoga teaching does not earn CPD points.

How will Yoga Australia ensure that members report their CPD accurately?

The onus always remains on Yoga Australia member to honestly and carefully report their CPD activities. Each year, Yoga Australia will conduct audits of Registered Yoga Teachers’ CPD reporting. Registered Yoga Teachers are expected to be able to readily substantiate the claims made on their CPD return.

Do I need to submit evidence to Yoga Australia each year to support the activities claimed in my annual CPD Return?

Yes. When submitting CPD online via the ‘upload CPD’ form, it is mandatory to upload and submit a supporting document.

Do I have to earn CPD points if I’m in the process of scaling down my teaching and reducing class and student numbers?

Only Senior level teachers who have been teaching continuously for more than 25 years and have scaled down their teaching to less than 20 classes per year, with no expectation to increase them again in the future, will only be required to gain 4 CPD points per year.

Do I have to earn CPD points if I’m not currently teaching?

Non-teaching members can maintain their membership from year to year without meeting the CPD requirements (and at a lower membership cost) by becoming an Associate member. However, it should be noted that Associate members do not have voting rights within the Association or access to Yoga Australia discounted insurance premiums and will not be listed as a ‘Registered Yoga Teacher’.

I teach a program suitable for CPD. Can I get the program registered with Yoga Australia?
Your training course may be eligible for Approved Professional Development. Please refer to our APD Policy here. 

I have a curly question that isn’t asked here, what can I do?

If you need more info, we’re here to help! Please contact the Yoga Australia office on 1300 881 451 or via [email protected].

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