Report from the Chair
Podiatry in Australia
Renew on time, online!
Continuing Professional Development
Endorsement for Scheduled Medicines
Audit pilot project
Consultation on Limited Registration Standards and Guidelines for Supervision of podiatrists
Contacting the Board
For the first time in Australia, all podiatrists will have had to renew their registration by the same date, 30 November 2011. This means that your registration calendar begins on 1 December and ends on 30 November each year.
The Podiatry Board of Australia has the responsibility for the registration of all podiatrists in Australia. Additionally, the Board manages and decides notifications (complaints), except in NSW where this is undertaken by the NSW Podiatry Council. The Board also approves programs of study for the profession after accreditation by the podiatry profession’s accreditation entity ANZPAC (Australian and New Zealand Accreditation Council).
Who’s AHPRA? The Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Authority (AHPRA) supports the ten, national, health practitioner Boards and implements the national registration and accreditation scheme. AHPRA’s offices in each capital city provide the shop-front for the Boards; undertakes ‘the business’ for each of the Boards; facilitates communication with the Boards, the health practitioners and members of the public.
Our Board will endeavor to produce two newsletters per year, I hope that you find this first edition useful. Additionally, the Board publishes a communiqué after each Board meeting. These are available from the Board’s website.
The Board will attempt to visit sites around Australia during 2012. I hope that you will be able to take the opportunity to attend one of the forums. I welcome your feedback to consultation papers and other issues.
Regards, Jason Warnock.
On 1 July 2010, Australia introduced the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) to regulate practitioners of ten health professions, including podiatry.
As at 30 June 2011, Australia had 3,461 registered podiatrists.
The Board will be releasing more detailed registration data in the AHPRA Annual Report, including practitioner numbers by state and gender, and notifications data. The Annual Report is expected to be published on the AHPRA and the Board’s websites in November.
30 November registration renewal
AHPRA recently launched its registration renewal campaign for the 3,461 podiatrists in Australia due to renew their registration by 30 November 2011.
Practitioners will receive at least three renewal reminder emails (where AHPRA has email addresses), and hard-copy letters reminding practitioners of their responsibility to renew will be sent to all practitioners who do not renew after their first email prompt.
To date, AHPRA has email addresses for more than 92% of registered podiatrists, which enables direct and effective communication about important issues.
When you renew your registration, go to www.podiatryboard.gov.au and please make sure to update your contact details, including your current email address.
Turn to page 2 for an explanation about what happens if you miss the renewal date.
What happens if I miss the renewal date?
Renewing on time: At or before 30 November 2011
You can keep practising as long as AHPRA has received your application by 30 Nov. 2011. You can check your application has been received on the AHPRA website.
Renewal fee only
Renewing during the late period: 1 to 30 December 2011
You can renew your registration during the late period but a late fee applies. You can keep practising as long as AHPRA has received your application by 30 December 2011. Please note that all State and Territory offices will be closed during public holidays over this period.
Renewal fee + late fee
Lapsed registration, Fast Track application: 1 to 31 January 2012
During this period your name will be removed from the register and you will no longer be able to practise. To be re-registered, you must lodge a new application for registration. A Fast Track application process is available during this period, but additional fees apply. The fast-track process is a streamlined process of re-registration. You will not be able to practise until your registration has been successfully processed.
Registration fee + Fast Track fee
Registering from scratch: 1 February 2012 onwards
From 1 February 2012 onwards you will need to lodge a new application for registration. Processing times for new applications depends on many factors, including whether the documentation submitted by the applicant is complete and whether the applicant makes disclosures relating to health or criminal history. You may not practise in Australia until your registration has been successfully processed, and your name has been published on the National Register of Practitioners at www.ahpra.gov.au.
Application fee + registration fee
For more information, please refer to the Registration Renewal FAQ, which is published on the Board’s website under the Policies, Codes & Guidelines tab.
The aim of continuing professional development is to enable podiatrists to maintain and expand their professional competence to meet their obligation to provide ethical, effective, safe and competent podiatric care and service to their patients or clients and the general public.
The Board’s requirements for CPD are set out in the Continuing Professional Development Registration Standard, which is available on the Board’s website under the Registration Standards tab. The Board’s Guidelines for continuing professional development and FAQ for CPD provide additional information on the Board’s requirements and are also on the Board’s website under the Policies, Codes and Guidelines tab.
The CPD Standard states:
The Board recognises that not all podiatrists transitioning to the national registration have been subject to CPD requirements. Accordingly, the initial period for complying with the requirements in points 1–4 above will be from 1 July 2010 until 30 November 2011.
The Board’s CPD requirements must be met by the time practitioners renew their registration, which is due on 30 November 2011. Podiatrists can claim CPD activities undertaken since 1 July 2010.
When podiatrists renew their registration, they are required to declare on the renewal of registration form whether during the preceding registration period they have met the Board’s CPD requirements. The Board may refuse to renew a practitioner’s registration if the CPD requirements have not been met.
Practitioners should familiarise themselves with these documents which clearly explain the Board’s CPD requirements and ensure that if they have not already met the requirements, that they are progressing towards meeting them by the time they renew their registration.
Under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act (National Law) as in force in each state and territory, the Board may endorse a podiatrist’s registration for scheduled medicines.
The following Board documents provide detailed information about the requirements for applying for an endorsement for scheduled medicines:
The Board recently revised its Information Package for Endorsement for Scheduled Medicines.
There has been no change to the requirements for an endorsement for scheduled medicines; however the revised information package, which is effective from 1 October 2011, provides additional guidance and further clarity to assist podiatrists and supervisors in relation to the Board’s requirements for an endorsement for scheduled medicines. Applications must be lodged in the formats provided in the Information Package (dated 1 October 2011) and with the appropriate application form.
These documents are published on the Board’s website and the Board recommends that you familiarise yourself with the contents of these documents.
AHPRA and the National Boards are developing a nationally-consistent approach to auditing health practitioners’ compliance with mandatory registration standards (criminal history, professional indemnity insurance, recency of practice and continuing professional development). A pilot will trial the framework for auditing compliance to meet relevant legislative requirements, set the scope and terms of reference for the audit, determine frequency, size and type of audits. It will also establish a methodology and process for reporting on findings.
AHPRA and the National Boards will be providing more detail to practitioners as the audit approach is further developed and details of the pilot are confirmed.
The Board usually holds its monthly meetings in Melbourne, however in 2012 the Board is planning to hold meetings in other capital cities as follows:
This will provide an opportunity for the Board to host forums to meet podiatrists and students; and provide information and answer questions on the National Scheme.
The Board will publish confirmed dates and further details about these meetings in its Communiqué
closer to the time.
The Board has previously developed and consulted on a range of registration standards that were approved by the Ministerial Council.
Under the National Law, the Board is required to undertake wide-ranging consultation on proposed registration standards and guidelines. The Board will soon be releasing for public consultation draft Guidelines for Supervision of podiatrists and draft Registration Standards for limited registration in the following categories:
The draft registration standards set out the requirements that would apply to each category of limited registration. The consultation documents will be published on the Board’s website and distributed to stakeholders. Interested parties will be invited to make written submissions on the proposed guidelines and registration standards.
After public consultation, the Board will finalise the registration standards and guidelines taking into account the feedback provided through the consultation process, and submit the final standards to the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council (the Ministerial Council) for approval. They will then be published on the Board’s website and take effect at that time.
The National Law includes new obligations in relation to advertising by registered health practitioners. The Board, along with the other nine National Boards, has developed advertising guidelines that clarify its expectations of practitioners in this area. The guidelines are published on the Board’s website.
The Board expects practitioners to ensure that any advertising they undertake complies with the guidelines.
To date the Board has taken a largely educative approach to help practitioners understand the law and the new requirements set down in its advertising guidelines.
The coming year will see a more structured approach to addressing concerns about advertising. This will include an escalating series of warnings to practitioners, initially reminding them of their obligations about advertising and ultimately, possible prosecution for non-compliance with the board’s standards. If a National Board deems that a practitioner’s failure to comply with a board’s request warrants it, matters related to advertising can also be progressed through the conduct, health and performance pathways.
AHPRA will also be working with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to ensure the most appropriate investigation and prosecution of false and misleading advertising.
The role of the National Board is to protect the public. Anyone with concerns about a health practitioner, or advertising by health practitioners that does not appear to be in the public interest, should contact AHPRA. The Board relies on the public and members of the profession to bring their concerns to its attention.
It is important to note that neither boards nor AHPRA review or vet specific advertising proposed by practitioners for compliance with advertising guidelines.
The Podiatry Board of Australia and AHPRA can be contacted by telephone on 1300 419 495.
An online enquiry form is available on both websites under Contact Us. Mail correspondence can be addressed to: Jason Warnock, Chair, Podiatry Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne Vic 3001.