14 Feb 2014
The National Boards have published revised guidelines and codes of conduct, and a new social media policy, which come into effect from mid-March.
Revised guidelines and codes of conduct, and a new social media policy, containing important information for all registered health practitioners have been released today and come into effect from mid-March 20141.
Registered health practitioners need to familiarise themselves with this guidance to ensure their practice meets National Board expectations from mid-March.
The documents were released by the National Boards regulating registered health practitioners in Australia through the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme). They are the:
The guidelines, Social media policy and code were published on National Board websites today and will come into effect in mid-March 2014.
The guidelines and policy are common across all National Boards and apply to all registered health practitioners. Most National Boards have a shared code of conduct while some have different codes (see table).
The documents are the result of a scheduled review three years into the National Scheme and are the first set of revised documents to be released this year, with more to come later in 2014.
Physiotherapy Board of Australia Chair Paul Shinkfield said National Boards consulted widely late last year on the draft versions of the new guidelines, Social media policy and Code of conduct.
‘The National Boards have an ongoing focus on best practice regulation in the public interest, and in public protection,’ Mr Shinkfield said.
‘The experiences from the first three years of the National Scheme were applied when these documents were being reviewed to make sure that they are clear and make it easier for practitioners to understand their obligations, and for members of the community to understand what is expected of health practitioners.’
Mr Shinkfield said the new common advertising guidelines continued to allow physiotherapists who are Fellows of the Australian College of Physiotherapy to advertise their specialist qualifications in a way that does not contravene the National Law.2
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Chief Executive Officer, Mr Martin Fletcher, said the decision was made to publish the documents now to help practitioners, employers and members of the community understand what National Boards expect from practitioners.
‘It’s important that practitioners know and understand their obligations. By publishing these documents five weeks before they come into effect, practitioners, in particular, can start to be ready for when they come into effect in mid-March. It’s also important for employers of health practitioners and interested members of the community to be able to see and understand this guidance,’ Mr Fletcher said.
Download a PDF of this Media release - Revised guidelines for practitioners released today effective from March 2014 - 14 February 2014 (271 KB,PDF)
1The Psychology Board of Australia reviewed its code last year and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and Optometry Board of Australia are reviewing their codes separately. See table for a list of which Boards have a shared and separate code.
2The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).