History

Until the early 1980’s, although Australia had two perfusion societies, the Victorian Society of Cardiovascular Perfusion and the New South Wales Society of Cardiovascular Perfusion, providing educational meetings and scientific forums, it had no national body.

In 1982 the Perfusionists of Australia decided to form this National Body. This culminated in the formation of the Australasian Society of Cardio-Vascular Perfusionists (ASCVP), whose membership included Perfusionists within Australia and New Zealand.

The Society had three main objectives:

  • To provide a means of scientific communication between Perfusionists.
  • To provide a regulatory body to uphold the standards of perfusion.
  • To provide, with formation of the ABCP, Certification through a common course in Perfusion

In 1987 a referendum was held, for all Clinical Perfusionists within the Society to ascertain their opinion as to:

  • The Structure of the ABCP and its members.
  • The proposed Grandfather Clause for Certification.
  • The entry requirements for the official Course.

The result of this referendum was that:

  • The Australasian Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP) was to be formed in collaboration with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), and the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the RACS, (now the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)).
  • Representation would comprise two surgeons from the RACS, two anaesthetists from the ANZCA and three Perfusionists from the Society (ANZCP).
  • The Grandfather Clause was for current Perfusionists with 5 years’ experience and a minimum experience of 500 cases who could show, from their respective units, their clinical competency.
  • The desirable prerequisite for candidates taking the ABCP’s course should be a Bachelor’s Degree in Science at a minimum.
  • A special educational advisory group was set up by the Society to prepare the preliminary information so that it could initiate negotiations with the relevant Colleges

In 1989 the ABCP was formed with the following members:
Mr. J.V. Pastoriza-Pinol (Alfred Hospital, Vic) ASCVP (Chairman)
Mr. S. Yarrow (Greenlane Hospital, NZ) ASCVP
Mr. P. Bernhardt (Westmead Hospital, NSW) ASCVP
Prof. T. Cartmill RACS
Mr. G. C. Shardey RACS
Prof. B. Baker ANZCA
Dr R. Walsh ANZCA

The ABCP’s first Chairman, Mr. Don Pastoriza-Pinol, initiated the Grandfather Clause Certification, and in 1990, forty-eight Perfusionists were certified by this process.

While work proceeded with the official course, a second method of certification was initiated to cover those practising Perfusionists who were ineligible for certification under the Grandfather Clause. This second system was certification by examination. The prerequisites were two years of perfusion with a minimum of 200 cases, and to show evidence from their unit of their clinical competency. The candidates sat a three-hour written examination which certified them by this process.

In determining the type of course and its subsequent construction, the ABCP had to consider the limited number of potential trainees and geographical distribution of cardiac units within Australia and New Zealand. It was thought unfair to expect candidates to travel to a training centre which could be 4000 km from their unit of employment and perhaps overseas. Thus, the course was designed as a combined theoretical / practical two-year postgraduate, assessed by a multiple choice exam, followed by a one hour oral exam, before four ABCP Examiners. This system of certification continued until the official ABCP Structured Course for Clinical Perfusion started in 1993. Twenty Perfusionists enrolled in the program which could be conducted within the candidate’s hospital.

The initial prerequisites were set as follows:

  • A Candidate must be employed as a trainee Perfusionist
  • A Candidate must have a B.Sc. degree (or equivalent)
  • Candidates must have assurances from their units to have time provided to study and attend tutorials, adequate resources and a Supervisor to manage their course.

The Course is reviewed and modified as necessary each year.

In 2002 the course was renamed the Australasian Diploma of Perfusion.In 2005 the ABCP in conjunction with the Swinburne University of Technology establish post graduate courses in Perfusion.

  • The Post Graduate Diploma in Science (Perfusion) and
  • The Masters in Science (Perfusion).

These courses were both established in July 2005. In February 2006 Swinburne University enrols its first students into the new courses. The pre Masters Diploma of Perfusion course support was ceased on December 31st 2008.

At the November 2006 AGM, the ASCVP becomes Australian and New Zealand College of Perfusion (ANZCP).

August 2008 saw the first graduates from the Swinburne Master’s Program

In November 2008 a motion was put at the ANZCP AGM to restructure the ABCP membership. This motion sought to reflect the changes that had occurred in Perfusion Education in Australia and New Zealand over the previous nineteen years. The motion was put that Perfusionists be solely responsible for the training, education, and registration of Perfusionists in Australia and New Zealand and that membership of medical practitioners on the Board should cease. The motion was unanimously passed and the ABCP now consists of four members, who are all ANZCP fellows.

Examiners

Mr Arthur Preovolos
Mr Mark Mennen
Ms Jane Ottens
Mr Clarke Thuys
Mr Chris Morley
Mr Michael Whitburn
Mr Stephen Bottrell
Mr Peter Angelopoulos
Assoc Prof Stephen Horton
Mr Andrew Lahanas
Mr Ray Miraziz
Mr Bruce Treagus
Prof Rob Baker

The ABCP can call upon other ANZCP certified Perfusionists, with more than five years post certification experience, to act as Examiners.