New professional capabilities for podiatrists and podiatric surgeons

01 Sep 2021

The Podiatry Board of Australia (the Board) has published new professional capabilities for podiatrists and podiatric surgeons. These will come into effect 1 January 2022.

The new professional capabilities identify the professional behaviours all podiatrists and podiatric surgeons should demonstrate to practise safely and ethically. They apply to all podiatrists and podiatric surgeons across all areas of podiatry practice, including clinical and non-clinical roles.

It is important that all registered podiatrists and podiatric surgeons understand that they need to maintain at least the threshold level of professional capability in all areas relevant to their practice and that they must maintain the currency of their skills and knowledge through continuing professional education.

Board Chair A/Prof Cylie Williams said ‘the new professional capabilities reflect contemporary podiatry practice and importantly make cultural safety a key component of safe healthcare particularly with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

'This is also the first time we have national professional capabilities for podiatric surgeons.

'The capabilities are central to practice from graduation throughout your career, I strongly urge all podiatrists and podiatric surgeons to familiarise themselves with the new documents.’

The key updates in the new professional capabilities:

  • describe the threshold or minimum level of professional capability required for registration as a podiatrist or podiatric surgeon
  • describe the knowledge, skills and attributes a podiatrist or podiatric surgeon requires to practise independently in Australia and to provide safe, high quality, culturally responsive, person-centred care
  • describe the key features of safe and competent podiatry and podiatric surgery practice in a range of contexts and situations of varied complexity and uncertainty
  • make cultural safety a key component of safe healthcare particularly with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Professional capabilities are an important part of regulating the profession. They may be used by the Board as a reference point for threshold capability when exercising its statutory functions, including for:

  • registration of suitably qualified and competent individuals as podiatrists or podiatric surgeons in Australia,
  • re-registration of individuals who were previously registered as a podiatrist or podiatric surgeon in Australia,
  • assessment of overseas qualified practitioners seeking registration in Australia, and
  • assessing registered podiatrists or podiatric surgeons who need to show they are competent to practise.

They can also be used by:

  • podiatrists and podiatric surgeons to reflect on their practice and plan their professional development activities
  • employers and insurance companies to determine what should be expected of a competent podiatrist or podiatric surgeon
  • education providers to inform the design of programs of study to produce safe and competent new graduates, and
  • patients and members of the public to identify the expected behaviours that a podiatrist or podiatric surgeon should demonstrate.

The professional capabilities were developed by the Podiatry Accreditation Committee for the Board. This included an extensive review and consultation with practitioners, professional associations, education providers and other stakeholders. The capabilities were approved by the Board in July 2021.

The Board thanks the Podiatry Accreditation Committee and our stakeholders who participated in the consultations including two important focus groups.

The new professional capabilities, together with FAQ are being published well in advance of them coming into effect on 1 January 2022. The Board encourages all practitioners to get familiar with the professional capabilities.

For more information

 
 
Page reviewed 1/09/2021