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Chronic Disease & Conditions

Understand common chronic illnesses, with an emphasis on disease prevention, treatment, and ongoing management. 

Doctor checking patient blood pressure


In this online program, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the management of congestive cardiac failure, COPD, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, chronic kidney disease, and osteoarthritis, to better support your patients and reduce the impact of comorbidities.

  • This course is perfect for practitioners with no to little training in this area.
  • Learn about managing the provision of chronic health care and communicating with your patients to optimise their understanding and compliance.
  • This course is for medical doctors, International Medical Graduates, registered nurses and degree-qualified health professionals
  • CPD-accredited and university-reviewed.

CPD requirements

Fulfils 50 hrs for medical professionals in Australia*

Study modes

100% online

Course fee

Special rates available

Study duration

84.5 hours

*provided an outcome measurement activity with a minimum of 5 hours is completed.

Logo - Reviewed by Griffith__2

Course benefits

  • Gain the skills to optimise patient outcomes through primary care intervention of chronic diseases, which affect about 58 per cent of all presenting patients.
  • Provide immediate chronic health management and help to prevent and address comorbidities.
  • Reduce the burden of chronic disease, which is the underlying cause of 90 per cent of deaths in Australia.

Get unlimited access to all course content, additional learning materials, ongoing post-course support, and more.

Course contents

Communication skills in general practice

This module focuses on applying effective communication strategies to enhance history-taking and outlining management plans in order to optimise the patient’s understanding, compliance and satisfaction. The 10 steps include preparation for the consult; connection or re-connection; information gathering on history and examination; responding to patient’s thoughts, feelings and expectations; formulation of a diagnosis and treatment plan; patient education, managing behaviour change; closing the consult; and preparation for next consult.

Congestive cardiac failure (CCF)

This module begins with an overview of congestive cardiac failure including classification guidelines and prevention strategies. The diagnosis, pathophysiology and investigation of heart failure are outlined including charts, diagrams and images. Causes of heart failure including myocyte damage and loss, abnormal loading conditions and arrhythmias are covered. Further information on aetiology and ongoing assessment in CCF where causes of heart failure are not apparent from the history, examination and investigations are outlined. The management and co-morbidities of these symptoms are discussed. The module concludes with a discussion on the management and prognosis of acute heart failure including end of life care.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

This module begins with an explanation of COPD, including the aetiology and pathogenesis of this condition. The module then discusses the COPD-X guidelines to assist with the diagnosis and management of COPD. The COPD-X guidelines include Case finding and confirming diagnosis, Optimising function, Preventing deterioration, Developing a plan of care, and management of eXacerbations. The module concludes with the diagnosis and management of adult asthma, including when asthma and COPD overlap.

Diabetes mellitus

This module focuses on diabetes mellitus. This chronic and progressive disease is described, including screening guides and pathology testing to assist with diagnosis. It discusses how to initiate and plan long-term management with the goal to achieving glycaemic control. It also outlines a step-by-step approach in explaining the diagnosis and management to patients. To cover all aspects of care, the diabetes management is broken down into components, including glycaemic and weight control, diet and exercise, lifestyle choices, renal function, eye and foot health, blood pressure, lipids, and comorbidities. The module concludes with the medical management of glycaemia.

Gastrointestinal complaints

This module outlines the prevalence of common gastrointestinal complaints and the impact they have on those affected by them. It contains diagnostic and management tools and considers management options when complications occur. An overview of the GI tract and classifications of gastrointestinal disorders are detailed. There is focus on the symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders including coeliac disease, GORD, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticular disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical cases are presented for each disorder with suggested approaches to diagnosis, investigations, treatment and management of these conditions.

Chronic kidney disease

This module begins with an overview of chronic kidney disease and discusses the method of detecting and evaluating this condition. It then explains the diagnosis and management of this disease. Ways to delay the progression of chronic kidney disease including lifestyle choices, how to prevent an acute kidney injury, and management of blood pressure and albuminuria are outlined. Possible complications including hypertension, anaemia, mineral and bone disorder, oedema and metabolic acidosis are discussed in detail. The module concludes with the management of chronic kidney disease in the context of multi-morbidity and outlines commonly prescribe drugs that can exacerbate kidney function.


This module outlines how to diagnose and manage osteoarthritis to achieve functional gains, utilising lifestyle changes and appropriate pharmacological treatment. It includes how to conduct an examination and assessment of osteoarthritis and discusses the diagnostic criteria in diagnosing knee and hip osteoarthritis. It explains the role of imaging, differential diagnosis and investigations used to diagnose this condition. The main goals of osteoarthritis management including non-pharmacological therapies, patient education and goal setting are discussed in detail. The module concludes with a case study that focuses on developing an osteoarthritis management plan to achieve treatment goals.

Managing the provision of chronic health care

This module describes the steps in implementing a coordinated model of care for the management of chronic disease. The definitions of chronic disease are outlined including the benefits and limitations of guidelines. Patient-centred and collaborative care approaches based on evidence-based medicine are discussed. The module then focuses on the use of chronic disease management models and outlines the major components of high-quality chronic illness care. The module concludes with the discussion of a case study focusing on the preparation of a general practice chronic disease management plan.

Did you know you can also study most of these course modules in HealthCert 365?

If you're not interested in pursuing a full certificate in this field but simply want to enhance your skills in specific topics covered in this course, you can access the content of this and other courses for a flat fee of $83 per month (paid annually) within HealthCert 365.

Meet your instructors

 Nicola Hawley_circle
A/Prof Nicola Hawley


Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases)

A/Prof Nicola Hawley is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Disease) and Anthropology at the Yale School of Public Health. Her expertise is in the aetiology and prevention of obesity-related chronic disease in resource-poor, low-income settings. Her research focuses predominantly on Pacific Islander populations, although she has ongoing collaborations in South Africa, Uganda, Honduras, China, Columbia and the US.

Methodologically, A/Prof Hawley employs a life-course approach that utilises cross-sectional, cohort, and randomised controlled trial designs to address questions of causality and identify critical periods of susceptibility. She is a mixed-methods expert and an advocate for community-engaged approaches to research, intervention, and development of health policy.

A/Prof Hawley’s current research focuses broadly on: (1) understanding how maternal and child health are impacted by rising levels of obesity and diabetes in resource-poor settings; (2) determining how innovations in healthcare delivery can impact identification and treatment of obesity-related disease during the perinatal period; and (3) developing interventions focused on pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence to prevent the intergenerational transmission of obesity-related disease.

A/Prof Debbie Kors
MBBS, FRACGP, Masters Family Medicine, DRACOG

Certificate of Family Planning, Graduate Diploma of Medical Education

Associate Professor Debbie Kors is the founder and joint owner of a private teaching general practice in Port Macquarie, Australia. She works there as a general practitioner and GP supervisor of GP registrars and medical students.

A/Prof Kors is a passionate advocate for the profession of general practice. She is a Conjoint Associate Professor in Primary Health Care at the UNSW Rural Clinical School, Port Macquarie campus and has previously worked as a senior medical educator with North Coast GP Training. In 2010, she was nominated for and won the General Practice Education and Training GP Supervisor of the Year award.

A/Prof Kors holds a MBBS (first class honours), Fellowship of the RACGP, Masters of Family Medicine (clinical), Diploma of the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Graduate Diploma of Medical Education and a Certificate of Family Planning.

 Christine Ahern
Dr Christine Ahern
Senior lecturer, Sydney University

Dr Christine Ahern has worked as a general practitioner in rural NSW since 1983, often with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Her special interests include women’s health and education.

Dr Ahern is a senior lecturer at Sydney University and has previously been the Director of Training for North Coast GP Training. In 2011 she was named the General Practice Education and Training Medical Educator of the Year, a prestigious national award. Dr Ahern holds a MBBS and FRACGP.

 Dr Evangelia Francis circle transp
Dr Evangelia Francis
FRACGP, MBBS, BSci (Neuroscience), DCH, DRCOG
General practitioner

Dr Evangelia (Valia) Francis enjoys all aspects of General Practice but is especially interested in skin medicine, women's health and medicine of the elderly.

Originally from the coastal town of Kavala in Greece, Dr Francis is involved in teaching medical students as a Conjoint Lecturer in the Rural Medical School of Port Macquarie as well as teaching registrars. It is a very fulfilling aspect of her work that has been greatly inspired and supported by the senior educators at her practice.

When not at work, Dr Francis tries to fight waves with surf or paddle boards (so far they always win!), is training hard to become the next MasterChef winner, and enjoys reading books and learning new languages.

 Hilton Koppe
Dr Hilton Koppe

General practitioner

Dr Hilton Koppe is a rural GP in Lennox Head, NSW. He combines his clinical work with an active role in medical education, training new and experienced GPs within the region and around Australia. In 2015 he was a guest at Harvard Medical School as Visiting Professor of Medicine and Humanities.

Dr Kate Moriarty
Registrar supervisor and senior lecturer for UNSW Rural Clinical School, Port Macquarie campus
Dr Kate Moriarty works in private general practice in Port Macquarie, Australia, where she is also a supervisor of GP registrars and of medical students. She is a senior lecturer for UNSW Rural Clinical School, Port Macquarie campus. She has special interests in women’s health and medical education.
She holds a Bachelor of Medicine (honours), Fellowship of the RACGP and a Diploma in Child Health.
 Sharon Sykes
Dr Sharon Sykes
General practitioner
Dr Sharon Sykes works in private general practice in Port Macquarie, Australia where she is also a supervisor of GP registrars and of medical students. Dr Sykes served 18 years in the Royal Australian Air Force before becoming a general practitioner. She has a special interest in medical education and has previously worked as a medical educator for North Coast GP Training.
She holds a MBBS, Bachelor of Applied Science (Med Lab Sci) and a Fellowship of the RACGP.

Study modes

Study 100% online

100% online

Study at your own pace and to your own schedule. 

  • View and replay video lectures at your convenience.
  • Participate in online case discussions with your peers.
  • Participate in course webinars prior to the examinations and ask questions.
  • Complete your assessment online and receive your CPD hours and certificate.
HealthCert 365 - a digital CPD library

HealthCert 365

Easily meet your CPD requirements and gain valuable skills – all in one place for $83 per month. 

  • Customise your learning experience by accessing and focusing only on course modules that interest you the most.
  • Gain access to 200+ additional CPD activities and 50-hour special focus CPD programs, sourced from all HealthCert university-assured programs.

Professional Certificate of Chronic Disease & Conditions


  • Meets the 50hr annual CPD requirement*
  • 100% online
  • Flexible start and completion time

*provided an outcome measurement activity with a minimum of 5 hours is completed.

Bundle two courses and save 5%, or three courses and save 10% upon enrolment.
Talk to us about deferred payment options, registrar scholarships and special rates.

Example of the Professional Certificate of Chronic Disease & Conditions
This certificate meets the 50hr annual CPD requirement for medical practitioners

HealthCert courses have become the standard by which you gauge all others.

Dr K. Abolarinwa

Good courses with excellent speakers. I particularly enjoyed the case study scenarios which helped to integrate the knowledge gained.

Dr A. Tucker

This is the pathway to improve your confidence and evolve into the GP you aspire to be.

Dr S. Shinwari

Accredited CPD activities in this certificate

This is an RACGP-approved CPD activity under the RACGP CPD program.

RACGP CPD Accredited activity
RACGP Activity Number ACRRM Activity Number Activity Title Education Hours Performance Hours Outcome Hours Total Hours
441352 31082 Diabetes Mellitus 441352 31082 4.5 6 0 10.5
441360 31083 Gastrointestinal complaints 441360 31083 5.5 6 0 11.5
441312 31079 Communication Skills in General Practice 441312 31079 5.5 6 0 11.5
441343 31081 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 441343 31081 4.5 6 0 10.5
441329 31080 Congestive cardiac failure 441329 31080 4.5 6 0 10.5
441450 31085 Osteoarthritis 441450 31085 4 6 0 10
441500 31086 Managing the Provision of Chronic Health Care 441500 31086 4 6 0 10
441373 31084 Chronic kidney disease 441373 31084 4 6 0 10
802617 32982 Diabetes Outcome Improvement Activity 802617 32982 0 0 8.5 8.5
Grand Total 93

Outcome measurement activities are not a requirement of our professional and advanced certificates. You may use an optional HealthCert outcome measurement activity or develop your own.

HealthCert provides several options to meet your outcome measurement hours requirement. These options are self-submitted activities and hours may vary depending on your focus area.

  • Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) options on a specific topic.
  • Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) on your identified area. A generic template is provided.
  • Outcome Improvement Activity relating to specific topics within the course. 

The purpose of outcome measurement activities is to improve your clinical confidence in managing an identified learning gap. The outcome improvement activities are designed to examine current clinical care, align clinical practice with best practice standards and identify opportunities for improvement.


Pre- and post-course information

Entry requirements

The Professional Certificate of Chronic Disease & Conditions is for degree-qualified medical professionals who wish to learn how to improve patient outcomes, especially those patients with chronic health issues commonly seen in general practice. This qualification is the first stage of the Professional Diploma of Chronic Disease & Conditions.

This course is for physicians and degree-qualified medical professionals. There are no prerequisites. Participants do not have to pass an IELTS test but, as the courses are delivered in English, proficiency in listening, reading and writing English is assumed.

Participants will require access to a computer/laptop, an internet connection and a basic level of technology proficiency to access and navigate the online learning portal.

Recognised prior learning (RPL)

Professionally recognised qualifications and prior studies may be recognised for entry into this course if the learning outcomes match exactly. Please ask a HealthCert Education Advisor for an individual assessment of your prior qualifications and experience.


This certificate course meets the minimum 50 hours CPD annual requirement across all three mandatory CPD activity types, provided an outcome measurement activity with a minimum of five hours is completed. You may use an optional HealthCert outcome measurement activity or develop your own.

Outcome measurement activities are not a requirement of Professional or Advanced Certificates.

Upon successful completion of the course requirements, course participants will receive the Professional Certificate of Chronic Disease & Conditions and CPD hours.

This certificate course:

  • Is reviewed by Griffith University to comply with RACGP and ACRRM standards.
  • Qualifies for CPD hours from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
  • Qualifies for CPD hours from the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).
  • Is recognised by the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP).
  • Is recognised by the Hong Kong College of Family Physicians (HKCFP). The HKCFP recognises all courses
    endorsed by the RACGP. Points are calculated differently.
  • Is a self-submitted activity in Dubai. The number of CPD hours must be stated on the certificate. Please contact for more information.
  • Is a self-submitted activity in the UK. CPD events overseas, applicable to a doctor’s scope of practice, may be submitted for revalidation. Please confirm with your Responsible Officer.
  • Is a self-submitted activity in Canada through the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Contact for more information.
  • Meets World Federation of Medical Education standards.
  • Has been independently developed with subject experts and does not receive education grants from any pharmaceutical company.

To learn more about the delivery of certificates in Australia and overseas, please visit our FAQs.


Professional Diploma Pathway

This course is the first stage of the three-part professional diploma pathway. The full pathway is Professional Certificate of Chronic Disease & Conditions, Advanced Certificate of Chronic Disease & Conditions, and Professional Diploma of Chronic Disease & Conditions (coming soon).


University quality-assured and CPD-accredited education provider

This organisation is an RACGP-accredited CPD provider under the RACGP CPD Program.

Reviewed by Griffith University
RACGP Major Provider
Qualifies for CPD Hours with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine

Frequently asked questions

Don't see your question? Explore other faqs or talk to us.

What are the costs and payment options of the course?

Fees will vary based on the program and study option selected (fully online vs online + optional practical workshop). Payments can be made upfront or in monthly instalments. Special rates and various payment options are available. GP registrars and doctors in training enjoy a scholarship of up to $500. Talk to us to learn more.

What is the Alumni Support Program?

Completion of any HealthCert course or attendance at an event will enable you to access the HealthCert Alumni Program which includes:

  • Access to special alumni rates for new courses when they are released.
  • Special alumni price for HealthCert Conferences.
  • Exclusive advanced access to HealthCert events.
  • Regular Alumni Webinars pertaining to the course(s) you have attended. These will provide content review of the course and an opportunity to discuss case studies.
  • Access to the video lectures as seen during the course(s) that you have attended.
How will I receive my certificate?

HealthCert Education is pleased to issue digital credentials for alumni. Digital credentials are a permanent online record of your successful completion of a HealthCert course and are issued to all course participants in addition to PDF certificates. If you are based in Australia, you also have the option to order a hard copy of your digital certificate for a small additional fee.

How long will the course take to complete?

The recommended study duration of this certificate course is 84.5 hours, which includes study of the pre-course activities and readings, online lectures, live tutorials, and online assessment. This self-paced course offers the flexibility of 100% online study in your own time, at your own pace, in your own home or office, with no mandatory face-to-face requirements. You are not required to be online at specific times but can view and replay video lectures at your convenience.

Is this course recognised in my country?

All HealthCert courses meet World Federation of Medical Education standards. This certificate course qualifies for CPD hours from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) in Australia. It is recognised by the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) in New Zealand. It is recognised by the Hong Kong College of Family Physicians (HKCFP) in China. It is a self-submitted activity in Dubai and the United Kingdom. It is a self-submitted activity through the College of Family Physicians in Canada. If you live or work outside one of the above-mentioned countries, please contact us on to discuss whether this course can be recognised in your country.

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Our Education Advisors can assist you with any queries and tailor our education pathway to suit your current expertise, interests and career goals.

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