The overwhelming majority of continuing education programs for allied health professionals are based in capital cities. In Australia the health professions appear to be moving towards Mandatory Continuing Education (MCE). MCE requires professionals to participate in designated amounts of education.
Accessing education that is relevant to rural and remote practice and complies with MCE is a challenge for rural and remote health professionals. Flexible delivery courses enable health workers to continue learning without taking them away from where they are needed most. Flexible delivery overcomes barriers of distance and cost in postgraduate education and has improved access to university study. Advances in innovative technologies are considered a partial solution to problems in delivering health care and continuing postgraduate education to rural and remote areas. However, use of flexible delivery with innovative technologies still should result in presentation of courses that encourage optimum learning.
One key element in MCE is the development of information literacy in professionals. Information literacy is the ability to recognise the need for information; to find, organise, evaluate and use such information for effective decision-making or problem-solving and to apply these skills to independent lifelong learning. Information literate people have the key to unlock information regardless of how that information is packaged. This paper examines information literacy in the context of MCE for rural and remote health professionals.