Welcome to the November issue of Registrant update on behalf of the Physiotherapy Board of Australia (the Board).
In this issue, we highlight some essential matters for all physiotherapists, including renewing your registration, contributing to the Board’s panels or Registration and Notifications Committee and the implementation of updated registration standards for continuing professional development, professional indemnity insurance and recency of practice.
Since our July newsletter, the Board has continued to refine its risk-based approach to regulation using our Regulatory principles. These principles are designed to shape thinking about regulatory decision-making in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme). They are endorsed by all the National Boards and AHPRA’s1 Agency Management Committee.
The Board has continued to explore with key stakeholders from the profession the potential case for developing a submission to health ministers for approval to grant endorsements on the registration of eligible physiotherapists to prescribe scheduled medicines.
Currently, the Board does not have approval from Australian health ministers to endorse the registration of physiotherapists for scheduled medicines. There are many steps that must be taken by the Board and others over a potentially significant period of time to obtain this approval. These include a formal submission to ministers after wide-ranging public consultation on the scope of the proposal and the additional regulatory standards and processes that would need to apply.
The primary role of the Board is to protect the public, so any case that is developed for physiotherapist prescribing must ensure that the public will be safe. It is also critical that the case provides an overall net benefit to the health of the Australian people and that it is cost-effective.
Should prescribing by physiotherapists become a reality in the future, there will be no requirement for all physiotherapists to prescribe. However, if you choose to prescribe you would need to meet initial and ongoing education requirements and meet other standards, codes and guidelines to ensure you remain competent and safe. If you choose not to prescribe there would be no impact on your registration as a physiotherapist.
In closing, I would like to wish you and your families all the very best for the upcoming festive season.
Chair, Physiotherapy Board of Australia
1Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
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Registration renewal for physiotherapists is due on 30 November 2015.
If you haven’t already renewed your registration, remember to renew before 30 November if you want to continue to practise. Online renewal is quick and easy.
There is a late fee for renewal applications received in December, which reflects the cost of managing late renewals.
Under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law) if you do not renew your registration within one month of their registration expiry date you must be removed from the Register of Physiotherapists. Your registration will lapse and you will not be able to practise in Australia until a new application for registration is approved.
If you have provided an email address to the Board or AHPRA you will have been sent email reminders. Paper reminders have also been sent to practitioners who have not yet renewed.
For more information:
AHPRA is calling for online applications for registration from students who are in their final year of an approved program of study. Students due to complete study at the end of 2015 are urged to apply for registration before finishing their course.
An email reminder to apply early and online will be sent by AHPRA on behalf of the Board to final-year students on the Student Register. Applications can also be made by completing a paper application form.
All applications, online or in hard copy, require students to post supporting documents to AHPRA to complete their application. Certain applicants will need to apply for an international criminal history check before submitting their registration application. Students are encouraged to read the information on AHPRA’s website under Graduate applications.
Graduates must meet the Board’s registration standards and need to be a registered physiotherapist before they start practising. New graduates are registered and eligible to start work as soon as their name is published on the national register of practitioners.
The Board invites you to express interest in being added to a list of panel members to be called on when a performance and professional standards panel or a health panel hearing is required.
These panels may be infrequent, but being involved is an opportunity to become familiar with the types of notifications that the Board receives and the legislation that governs physiotherapy practice, decision-making and administration under the National Law. It is also a good way to be introduced to the work of regulators.
There is training available for panel members once appointed. Appointments to the list of approved persons are currently advertised by the Board.
For more information, visit the Panel member recruitment page on AHPRA’s website.
The closing date is Monday 7 December 2015.
The Board also invites you to express your interest in becoming a member of its national Registration and Notifications Committee (RNC).
The RNC is delegated the authority by the Board to consider matters relating to individual physiotherapists – whether it is a complex registration matter or consideration of a notification (complaint) about a physiotherapist. It is a seven-member committee made up of both practitioner and community members.
The RNC meets monthly via phone and sometimes face-to-face in Melbourne, and there is training available for RNC members once appointed. Appointments to the RNC are currently advertised by the Board.
For more information, visit the Committee member recruitment page on AHPRA’s website.
The registration standards have been revised following consultation and have now been approved by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council.
The registration standards are published on the Registration Standards page of the Board’s website.
The requirements for physiotherapists for PII and CPD have not changed.
For PII, you continue to be required to self-assess how much PII you need for your chosen scope of practice, and to have appropriate run-off cover. The document has been revised only in terms of its format and language.
The requirements for physiotherapists for CPD also remain the same. That is, you continue to be required to undertake at least 20 hours of CPD of your choice – but it must relate to your chosen scope of practice and you must reflect upon it. You will be required to provide evidence of having met the standard should you be audited and you have to make a declaration upon renewal that you have met this standard.
You will notice that with the CPD and PII registration standards, while the requirements remain the same, the language has been made more user-friendly and the format has changed slightly to ensure greater consistency of documents across all of the regulated health professions in the National Scheme.
The start date for the introduction of the CPD standard is December 2015.
The start date for the introduction of the PII registration standard will be mid 2016.
The RoP registration standard has changed significantly but will not come in to effect until the 2017 registration year (that is, from 1 December 2016). Until then, the standard requires that – should you be audited or investigated as a result of a notification (complaint) made about you – you can provide evidence that you have practised in the previous five years.
From 1 December 2016, you will be required to meet the following requirements in order to maintain your registration as a physiotherapist.
There will be more information and advice provided about the revised RoP registration standard during 2016 to prepare everyone for the start of the new standard.
For more information, please read the news item on the Board’s website.
The Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council met on 7 August 2015 at the COAG Health Council meeting to consider the final report of the independent review of the National Scheme.
The purpose of the independent review was to identify what is working well in the National Scheme and the opportunities to improve and strengthen the operation of the scheme to regulate health professions to protect the public.
Ministers expressed strong support for the work of the National Scheme, noted that it was now embedded in the health system and was among the most significant and effective reforms of health profession regulation in Australia and internationally.
AHPRA and the National Boards are now working on an implementation plan for those recommendations adopted by health ministers.
More information about the review can be found on the COAG Health Council website and on AHPRA’s website.
AHPRA and the National Boards have released their 2014/15 annual report on the National Scheme, providing a comprehensive record of the operations of the National Scheme for the 12 months ending 30 June 2015.
The annual report provides a national snapshot of the work and finances of the National Scheme and is tabled in the parliaments of each state and territory and the Commonwealth.
AHPRA and the National Boards will also publish summaries of our work regulating health practitioners in every state and territory, and profession-specific profiles.
For more information, please read the news item on AHPRA’s website.
In December, the National Board will publish a report of its work in regulating the physiotherapy profession in the National Scheme during 2014/15.
The report will provide a profession-specific view of the Board’s work to manage risk to the public and regulate the profession in the public interest. It is a profile of regulation at work in Australia for the 12 months ending 30 June 2015.
The data in this report are drawn from data published in the 2014/15 annual report of AHPRA and the National Boards, reporting on the National Scheme.
The Board and AHPRA have published the 2015/16 health profession agreement (HPA) that outlines the partnership between the Board and AHPRA, and the services AHPRA will provide to the Board in 2015/16. The HPA also provides information about the Board’s financial operations and fees.