Immunisation: a training course for GPs

Version 13.0 (released 25th March, 2024)

100% online course

6 hours to complete

RACGP CPD Approved Activity:

6 CPD Hours

ACRRM Accredited Activity:

6 PDP hours: Educational activity

20 weeks access

$450 per user (AUD)


This course aims to provide general practitioners (GPs) with knowledge and skills to competently deliver a high quality and safe immunisation service by:

  • introducing the participant to comprehensive information on the theoretical and practical components of immunisation.
  • guiding the participant to utilise the relevant resources that support best practice when delivering an immunisation service.
  • assisting the participant to assess their understanding of the relevant information.

The course consists of a predisposing activity and 4 modules that must be completed in sequential order. A reinforcing activity is available after course completion and provides you with an opportunity to reflect on your learning from the modules.

Participants have 20 weeks to complete the course from the date of purchase.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course the participant will be able to:

  1. describe the role of immunisation and the ways live and non- live vaccines work to provide immunity
  2. relate the rationale for the types and number of vaccine doses that are given for the different schedule points in the National Immunisation Program Schedule
  3. determine which patients are recommended for additional vaccines as they are at increased risk of acquiring vaccine preventable diseases
  4. outline the assessment of patients for contraindications and precautions before administering vaccines
  5. determine what are adverse events following immunisation and what management is required.


Click on each module below for more information

The predisposing activity is designed to help focus your thoughts about your immunisation knowledge and practice.

Submit your answer for each of the multiple choice questions and you will get immediate feedback.

You can log out and return to the predisposing activity at any time and it will save your progress to date. Once you complete the predisposing activity there will be a 24 hour lock out period before you can continue the course.

Module 1 describes the role and importance of vaccination, the types of vaccines on the National Immunisation Program and the components, efficacy and effectiveness of vaccines.

Module 2 explains the cause and course of vaccine-preventable diseases and their vaccines. Diseases such as COVID-19, Japanese encephalitis and rabies are discussed in addition to the diseases covered by the National Immunisation Program.

Module 3 identifies specific groups at increased risk of vaccine-preventable diseases and outlines additional vaccine recommendations for these groups.

Module 4 identifies the components to ensure safe and effective clinical practice including; consent, vaccine safety, vaccine distribution and storage and documentation.


Formative and summative interactive learning activities are presented throughout the activity to determine if learning outcomes have been achieved.

Interactivity formats in this e-learning activity include questions and responses, case studies and scenarios, selection from a list, animated charts and diagrams, embedded links including videos and drag and drop activities.

Each module contains multiple choice assessment questions.

  • You can attempt each question twice and feedback is provided.
  • All module questions need to be completed to unlock the next module.
  • Multiple questions, most based on hypothetical scenarios, occur throughout this course. Some questions may cover topics not yet been covered in the course.

Statement of Completion

At the successful completion of all the course requirements you will be eligible for a Statement of Completion.

Accredited activity

This activity is a RACGP Accredited Activity for the 2023–25 triennium.

RACGP Activity ID 394986 – 6 CPD hours allocated.

racgp cpd accredited activity

This activity is an ACRRM PDP Accredited Activity for the 2023–2025 triennium.

ACRRM Activity number: – 6 PDP hours: Educational activity.

Development Team

Immunisation: a training course for GPs has been developed by the Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDCB), Department for Health and Wellbeing, South Australia.

Project leader:

Dr Louise Flood, FAFPHM AFRACMA.

Project team:

Ms Janine Mitchell RN MPH

Ms Maureen Watson RN MPH (retired)



Dr Uche Onwuchekwa FRACGP.

The course is based on Understanding Vaccines and the National Immunisation Program developed by Ms Maureen Watson RN MPH, Ms Melissa Fidock RN and Associate Professor Ann Koehler BSc FRCPA MPH.


General practitioners (GPs) have a key role in providing appropriate preventive health care across the lifespan.1 This includes the prevention of communicable diseases through the provision of immunisation.1 According to the World Health Organization, ‘Immunization is one of the most powerful and cost-effective of all health interventions. It prevents debilitating illness and disability, and saves millions of lives every year’.2 The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) recommends GPs advocate for immunisation including refuting common misunderstandings and anti-vaccine campaigns.1

Despite the widespread availability of immunisation information, research has shown that health care providers are the main, and most trusted, source of such information,3 with the vast majority obtaining vaccine information from their GPs.4 GPs have also been found to be the most influential source of information on vaccination.4 Insufficient immunisation knowledge by immunisation providers is the biggest single factor in poor vaccine uptake.5 Higher self-reported immunisation knowledge is associated with higher immunisation coverage.6 Additionally, sound immunisation provider knowledge aids optimal immunisation delivery.7

GPs, even those who are comfortable with their immunisation knowledge, may have significant gaps, specifically related to immunisation contraindications.5,7 This may result in missed vaccination opportunities or unsafe vaccination.7

Delivery of an effective and safe immunisation service requires immunisation providers who are suitably skilled and qualified.3 Immunisation providers need to have the communication skills, facts and knowledge to effectively answer patient immunisation questions.8,9 Immunisation providers must be able to undertake appropriate pre-vaccination screening to safely administer vaccines. Additionally, immunisation providers need to be able to appropriately document vaccines given.9 It is therefore vital that immunisation providers in all fields have access to appropriate immunisation training which includes up-to-date information.3

  1. Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice. 2012, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners: East Melbourne.
  2. World Health Organization. Vaccines and immunization [internet]. [cited 2023 Feb 02]. Available from:
  3. Mergler MJ, Omer SB, Pan WK, Navar-Boggan AM, Orenstein W, Marcuse EK, et al. Are Recent Medical Graduates More Skeptical of Vaccines? Vaccines (Basel). 2013 Apr 29;1(2):154–66.
  4. Chow M, Danchin M, Willaby HW, Pemberton S, Leask J. Parental attitudes, beliefs, behaviours and concerns towards childhood vaccinations in Australia: A national online survey. Aust Fam Physician. 2017 Mar;46(3):145–51.
  5. Anderson EL. Recommended solutions to the barriers to immunization in children and adults. Mo Med. 2014 Jul–Aug;111(4):344–8. Available from:
  6. Ahmad Faiq Mukhtar, Azidah Abdul Kadir, Norhayati Mohd Noor, Ahmad Hazim Mohammad. Knowledge and Attitude on Childhood Vaccination among Healthcare Workers in Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia. Vaccines (Basel). 2022 Jun 24;10(7):1017. Available from:
  7. Aditi Dey, Harunor Rashid, Ketaki Sharma, Anastasia Phillips, Jean Li-Kim-Moy, Ramesh Manocha, et al. General practitioner knowledge gaps regarding live attenuated zoster vaccination of immunocompromised individuals: An ongoing concern? Aust J Gen Pract. 2022 Jul;51(7):529–34.
  8. Royal College of Nursing, Supporting the delivery of immunisation education: A quality framework to support the implementation of national standards and guidelines on immunisation training. 2013: London.
  9. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Reducing differences in the uptake of immunisations: NICE public health guidance 21. 2009, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Help with course content

If you are having difficulty with understanding the content of the course, you can contact us by phone during business hours (ACST) on 1300 232 272 or anytime by email: and the email will be actioned on the same or next business day.

If you need content or technical support at any time, you can find the link on the top right hand side of each screen throughout the course.


Australian Immunisation Handbook (Handbook)

The digital online version of the Australian Immunisation Handbook (Handbook) provides up-to-date information about all aspects of immunisation. Where there is relevant content, links are provided to the related sections of the Handbook. Ensure you use the online version of the Handbook as previous printed versions contain out of date information.

Australian Immunisation Handbook

Navigating the digital Handbook

Acknowledgement is given to the Australian Government Department of Health for the inclusion of the information sourced from The Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Interactive Schedule

An interactive Schedule is used throughout the course.

The Interactive Schedule highlights the key points where vaccines are scheduled to be given. Click on the bold antigen for key facts about that vaccine.

The schedule used in this program is the National Immunisation Program Schedule, which includes all the recommendations for the Commonwealth funded vaccines. It is indicated on this schedule if only specific cohorts are eligible for additional vaccines due to increased risk of disease or disease severity and complications.

Specific state and territory schedules are developed with schedule changes and include the nationally funded vaccines and any additional vaccines recommended and funded by the state or territory.

Your feedback and evaluation of this course

We are interested to know what you think about the course in order for us to continuously improve it. There will be opportunity for you to provide feedback about the course at the completion of Module 4.

GPs’ opinions and feedback regarding the quality and conduct of CPD activities can be submitted confidentially to their local RACGP office, through the RACGP ‘GP feedback form’.


The information provided in this course is current as at the date of the last review.

A panel will review evaluation feedback and program content annually. If any change to information occurs in between that period, it will be addressed at the next review date; however, any schedule changes will be updated if required.

This course introduces the participant to the major websites that carry up to date information relating to immunisation and any planned changes to the vaccine schedules thus ensuring participants can maintain currency of information.

Links to websites are used throughout the course. Every attempt is made to maintain these links. If a link fails to work, a self-generated internet search may be required.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this training course may contain sensitive material including images of deceased persons.