21 June 2024

The diabetes annual cycle of care is a checklist designed to help keep diabetes under control to reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.  

If you have diabetes, your GP can help you manage your condition through a GP management plan which may allow you to receive a Medicare rebate when seeing some health professionals.  

Steps you can take to reduce the risk of complications

  • As part of your daily diabetes management, you can undertake checks of your blood glucose levels (BGLs). Your GP will advise you what your BGL target is and how often you should test. The HbA1c test (also known as glycosylated haemoglobin) demonstrates an overall view of your blood glucose management average over the previous 10 to 12 weeks. Generally, 7 per cent or lower is ideal. This can be checked at least once a year, and up to four times a year.  
  • It is also important your blood pressure is checked because high blood pressure can cause diabetes-related complications. For someone with diabetes, target blood pressure is less than 130/80. It should be checked regularly, at every doctors’ visit. 
  • There is also an increased risk of damage to kidneys over time. A yearly urine microalbumin test can be used to detect early signs of kidney damage in people who are at risk of developing kidney disease.
  • Having high cholesterol (blood fats-lipids) can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. It is best to have your lipids checked every 12 months. 
  • Diabetes can cause complications to your eyes if left untreated. This damage can be prevented by keeping your BGL’s, HbA1c and blood pressure within target ranges. Have your eyes checked by an optometrist every one to two years or if you notice any change in your vision.
  • Your feet can also be affected by your diabetes. Make sure to look for changes every day, and see a podiatrist at least once a year.

Chart to help you manage your condition

  Check How  Often
Foot assessment for high-risk feet Every 1-3 months
Foot assessment for moderate risk feet Every 3-6 months
Blood pressure At least every 6 months
Weight At least every 6 months
Waist circumference At least every 6 months
HbA1c At least every 6-12 months
Foot assessment for Very-low and low-risk feet At least every year
Kidney health At least every year
Blood fats At least every year
Healthy eating review At least every year
Physical activity review At least every year
Medication review At least every year
Smoking At least every year
Diabetes management At least every year
Eye examination At least every two years
Emotional health As needed

You can find more information about other parts of the diabetes annual cycle of care at

Your diabetes annual cycle of care fact sheet | NDSS