Immunisation: a training course for GPs

Version 5.0 (released 29th July, 2019)

100% online course

6-8 hours to complete

RACGP accredited:

40 Category 1 points (QI&CPD)

ACRRM accredited:

30 PRPD points

20 weeks access

$550 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, 4 modules and a reinforcing activity that must be completed in sequential order.

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

Course learning outcomes

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

  • utilise course reference materials to advocate for immunisation focussing on prevention and communicating the benefits
  • identify vaccination opportunities and construct an appropriate catch-up schedule for individuals
  • undertake pre-vaccination screening, preparation for vaccination and the immediate management of an adverse event following immunisation
  • accurately record immunisation encounters into patient records and the AIR.

Course modules

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 aims to introduce the learner to immunisation as a public health measure and discusses the effectiveness of immunisation programs. A foundation for understanding vaccination, vaccine types and components, vaccine performance and licensing and how vaccines work, is presented.

Module 2 discusses vaccine preventable diseases, particularly those on the National Immunisation Program, and explains the causative agents, transmission, clinical features, and complications of the diseases.

The vaccines on the National Immunisation Program are discussed and include the recommended age of administration and number of doses required for each vaccine, which is determined by the vaccine type and the need to balance disease protection for a particular age group with the need to ensure an appropriate immune response.

Module 3 will introduce the learner to some of the specific groups that, for a variety of reasons, are at higher risk of some vaccine preventable diseases, and this module will outline the additional vaccine recommendations for these groups.

Module 4 will assist the health practitioner apply the relevant legislative requirements to clinical practice and provide the learner with an understanding of the key elements of vaccine safety. The potential adverse events after the administration of a vaccine and the following actions required to ensure community safety and maintain confidence in immunisation programs, will be discussed.

This module presents the requirements for vaccine storage and the national recommendations to enable them to be integrated into practice to ensure vaccines remain potent and effective. The process to develop a catch-up schedule for individuals will be explained and the learner will be introduced to the fundamentals necessary to deliver a high quality and effective immunisation service.

About this activity

The reinforcing activity provides you with an opportunity to reflect on your learning from the modules. Use this activity to consider what changes or improvements have resulted from undertaking the course, and to consider how you will change your practice.

The reinforcing activity will be available 24 hours after completion of Module 4. You can log out and return to the reinforcing activity at any time and it will save your progress to date.

This activity and the Feedback evaluation must be completed to receive a Certificate of participation.


Each module contains multiple choice assessment questions.

  • You can attempt each question twice and feedback is provided.
  • All questions within each module must be completed to unlock the next module.
  • Multiple questions, many of which are based on hypothetical scenarios, occur throughout this course as a learning tool. These questions may cover topics which have not yet been covered in the course.
  • All questions in all modules must be attempted to complete this course.

Certificate of participation

At the successful completion of all the course requirements you will be eligible for a Certificate of participation.


This course has been approved by the RACGP QI&CPD Program in the 2017-19 triennium.

40 Category 1 points – Activity: 132861

This course has been approved by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and attracts 30 PRPD points.

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



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, State of the World’s Vaccines and Immunization 2009.
  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. My C, 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. Goodyear-Smith F, Petousis-Harris H, Soe B, Turner N. Comparison of general practitioner and practice nurse perceived barriers to immunistion uptake. N Z Fam Physician. 2005;32:164–71.
  6. Grant CC, Petousis-Harris H, Turner N, Goodyear-Smith F, Kerse N, Jones R, et al. Primary care practice and health professional determinants of immunisation coverage. J Paediatr Child Health. 2011 Aug;47(8):541£9.
  7. Goodyear-Smith F, Grant C, Petousis-Harris H, Turner N. Immunization champions: Characteristics of general practitioners associated with better immunization delivery. Hum Vaccin. 2009 Jun;5(6):403–11.
  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.


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 by 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 once you have completed the reinforcing activity.


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.