Podiatry Board of Australia - Your questions answered

Your questions answered

Your questions about the Podiatry Accreditation Committee and the role of a committee member are answered below.

The National Scheme

The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) started in 2010. It regulates individual health practitioners, not health services themselves.

The National Scheme is governed by a nationally consistent law passed by each state and territory parliament – the National Law. This law allows health practitioner boards (National Boards) to set national standards of practice that must be met in order for practitioners to be registered.

15 health professions are regulated under the National Scheme. The podiatry profession joined the National Scheme on 1 July 2010.

One of the objectives of the National Law is to facilitate high-quality education and training of health practitioners. Accreditation is the primary way of achieving this.

The Podiatry Board of Australia (the Board) established the Podiatry Accreditation Committee (the Accreditation Committee) to assess and monitor whether a program of study provides practitioners with the knowledge, skills and professional attributes to practise in the profession.

 

The Committee

The Accreditation Committee is an independent body that exercises its assigned accreditation functions under the National Law for the podiatry profession. The committee:

  • develops accreditation standards for approval by the Board
  • assesses programs of study and education providers against the accreditation standards approved by the Board
  • makes decisions about accreditation of programs of study, and
  • monitors approved programs of study and education providers to ensure it continues to be satisfied those programs and providers meet the accreditation standards.

The Accreditation Committee includes people from a diverse range of backgrounds that can provide relevant skills and experience in podiatry practice, delivery of higher education, course design and evaluation, learning and assessment, clinical teaching of students, educational governance, program accreditation, health or educational regulation.

Importantly, the Board is looking to improve the diversity of the Accreditation Committee through appointing a person with relevant skills and experience who identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. This will help support the committee’s knowledge on culturally appropriate and safe healthcare.

Information about current Accreditation Committee members is published on the Accreditation page of the Podiatry Board of Australia website.

Accreditation standards are used to assess whether a program of study and the education provider delivering the program of study provides practitioners who complete the program with the knowledge, skills and professional attributes to practise their profession in Australia.

In the National Scheme, the accreditation authority develops the accreditation standards, which are approved by the relevant National Board. Accreditation authorities undertake wide-ranging consultation on the development of accreditation standards, in line with the Ahpra Procedures for the development of accreditation standards.

No. The only difference is governance arrangements.

All National Boards must decide whether accreditation functions are exercised by an external accreditation authority or through an accreditation committee established by the relevant National Board.

  • 11 professions have an external accreditation authority, such as the Australian Medical Council.
  • Five professions have an accreditation committee, including the Podiatry Accreditation Committee.

It is important to note that accreditation committees and external accreditation authorities exercise their assigned accreditation functions independently. Their responsibilities under the National Law are separate to the National Board’s responsibilities.

An accreditation committee assesses education providers and programs against the accreditation standard and decides whether to accredit the provider and program. The National Board considers the accreditation committee’s decision and its report before deciding whether to approve an accredited program as providing a qualification for registration or endorsement.

 

The role of Ahpra

The Program Accreditation team of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) provides expert guidance, advice and support to all accreditation committees. The team works with the committees to support them in exercising their functions through providing advice and support to assessment teams, report drafting and analysis, preparing agenda papers and providing expert advice and recommendations to the committees, and coordinating meetings.

 

The role of a committee member

The primary role of the Accreditation Committee is to make decisions about accreditation and monitoring arrangements.

As a member of the Accreditation Committee, you are involved in deciding whether programs of study ensure students develop the appropriate level of skills, knowledge and professional attributes to practise in the podiatry profession to the standards set by the Board.

Committee members are also placed on assessment teams. Assessment teams assess accreditation applications submitted by education providers against accreditation standards, and may include physical visits to facilities, or video conferences to gather further information.

Yes. Experienced committee members will provide guidance and mentoring for newer members. The Program Accreditation team is also available and will guide you through what is required and will help with onboarding, orientation sessions and any relevant administrative tasks (e.g. travel and accommodation where required).

This varies, depending on the accreditation committee’s agreed workplan of accreditation activities each year.

An accreditation committee typically meets three to four times a year, with a blend of face-to-face and videoconference meetings. Meetings typically last one day. There is also travel involved if a meeting is face-to-face, and this is usually half a day of travel each side of the meeting day. Meeting packs are prepared a week before a meeting and can take between two to four hours of reading time.

There is also out-of-session activity and correspondence between accreditation committee members and Ahpra’s Program Accreditation team throughout the year. As previously mentioned, members may also serve on accreditation assessment teams. This work can require onsite visits over several days and follow up report writing and review of materials.

Members are paid sitting fees for accreditation committee meetings and any activity they perform as an accreditation assessor.

Not necessarily. If you are appointed to an accreditation committee you bring with you a range of skills, knowledge and experience that will help the committee fulfil its functions. Each member of the committee must act impartially and in the public interest when exercising the committee’s functions. You must put the public interest before the interests of particular education providers, the profession, or relevant employers.

Committee members must comply with the conflict of interest requirements in the National Law and disclose any potential conflict of interests of interest.

Yes. An accreditation committee member may serve for a maximum of three (usually three-year) terms.

 

The recruitment process

Application information is available online.

For other National Scheme vacancies you can go to the recruitment page.

We no longer accept paper-based application forms. To be considered for an accreditation committee member vacancy you must complete an online application form.

A selection advisory panel will be convened to consider applications monthly throughout the application period. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed to ensure they have the necessary qualifications, skills and experience.

Following interviews, the panel will make recommendations of appointment to the Podiatry Board of Australia.

The recruitment process can take several months to finalise from the time you submit your application. This includes collating of applications, shortlisting, probity checking and approval of appointments by the National Board.

You will be advised of the outcome of your application via email.

The selection advisory panel will review applications and supporting information such as curriculum vitaes and responses to the selection criteria as outlined in the Information guide.

When making a recommendation to appoint an eligible and suitable person as a member of an accreditation committee, the panel must consider the skills, attributes and experience of the person that are relevant to the committee’s functions and the overall balance of skills, knowledge and experience on the committee.

Probity checks

Probity checks will be carried out to establish the suitability and character of an applicant, including:

  • a national criminal history check
  • an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) disqualification register check
  • a National Personal Insolvency Index check conducted through the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA), and
  • in the case of a practitioner member applicant, a check of the public register will be carried out to ensure the practitioner is of good standing.

Reference checks

Reference checks for shortlisted candidates will be conducted. Applicants are asked to nominate three referees who can support their application relevant to the requirements of the selection criteria. Referees must be advised in advance that they may be contacted by Ahpra staff.

Please note that current members of national, state, territory and regional boards and their committees, Ahpra staff and other applicants may be considered unsuitable as referees due to potential conflicts of interest that could arise in providing reference checks.

Yes. Accreditation committee members are eligible to be paid either a half or full-day sitting fee, which is inclusive of preparation time and up to four hours of travel time. The amount paid will depend on the length of the meeting, with meetings lasting over four hours being paid a full-day fee and meetings under four hours being paid a half-day fee. The Ministerial Council has applied an annual indexation to sitting fees based on the Consumer Price Index.

Below is a schedule of the current sitting fees

Role

Half day fee

Full day fee

Extra travel time

Less than 4 hours

More than 4 hours

Fees include preparation and up to 4 hours travel time

Between 4-8 hours

Over 8 hours

Board Chair

$412

$824

$412

$824

Board/committee and panel members

$337

$674

$337

$674

Please note: If you are successful in appointment to an accreditation committee and are a public sector or statutory employee you may not be eligible to be paid depending on your company policy.

 
 
 
Page reviewed 1/12/2021