Podiatry Board of Australia - 2020/21 annual summary

2020/21 annual summary

Snapshot

‘Podiatrists’ includes podiatric surgeons, unless otherwise stated.

  • 5,783 podiatrists
    • Up 3.1% from 2019/20
    • 0.7% of all registered health practitioners
  • 0.8% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 59.0% female; 41.0% male

Age

Age: <25 = 5.9%, 25 to 34 = 39.9%, 35 to 44 = 24.3%, 45 to 54 = 18.1%, 55 to 64 = 9.8%, 65 to 74 = 1.7%, >75 = 0.2%

Registration status

5,604 general
143 non-practising
36 general and specialist
5,783 total


162 endorsed for scheduled medicines

Regulating

Notifications

  • 43 notifications lodged with Ahpra
    • 63 registered podiatrists Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data, had notifications made about them
    • 1.1% of the profession

Sources of notifications

Sources of notifications: Patient, relative or member of the public 53.5%, Other practitioner 11.6%, Employer 11.6%, HCE 7.0%, Other 16.3%

  • 3 immediate actions taken

  • 6 mandatory notifications received
    • 3 about professional standards

Most common types of complaints

Most common types of complaints: Clinical care 41.9%, Breach of non-offence provision - National Law 11.6%, Communication 7.0%, Offence against other law 7.0%, Health impairment 4.7%, Confidentiality 4.7%, Other 23.3%

Notifications closed

Notifications closed: 44 notifications closed, 15.9% conditions imposed on registration or an undertaking accepted, 20.5% received a caution or reprimand, 9.1% referred to another body or retained by a health complaints entity, 54.5% no further action

Monitoring

  • 25 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year
  • 21 cases being monitored at 30 June:
    • 1 for conduct
    • 3 for health reasons
    • 7 for performance
    • 1 for prohibited practitioner/student
    • 9 for suitability/eligibility for registration

Criminal offence complaints

  • No criminal offences complaint made  
  • 1 were closed

Referred to an adjudication body

  • No matters decided by a tribunal
  • No matters decided by a panel
  • 2 appeals

A report from the Chair

Issues this year

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to have an impact on the podiatry profession. The Board recognised the professionalism of practitioners during the everchanging public health requirements so the public could safely access essential podiatry care.

All meetings of the Board and its committees were held virtually.

Regulatory response to COVID-19

We temporarily modified some of our regulatory requirements to support practitioners during the pandemic while still ensuring public safety. Modifications included providing extensions for practitioners working towards endorsement for scheduled medicines, and some requirements for registration, such as:

  • adopting a flexible approach to continuing professional development (CPD) and recency of practice (RoP), and not taking action if a practitioner was unable to meet the CPD and RoP standards
  • offering a payment plan for registration fees for practitioners experiencing financial hardship.

The Board worked with Ahpra to provide information on COVID-19 including answering common questions and publishing guidance on telehealth use. National Boards and Ahpra published a joint statement to help practitioners and students understand what’s expected of them in giving, receiving, advising on and sharing information about COVID-19 vaccination.

New and revised code and guidelines

Revised advertising guidelines and new Guidelines for blood-borne viruses for registered health practitioners and students took effect during the year. We consulted on a revised shared Code of conduct together with some other National Boards.

Accreditation

The Podiatry Accreditation Committee reported to the Board on the monitoring of podiatry programs and consulted on professional capabilities and accreditation standards for the podiatry profession.

Stakeholder engagement

The Board’s program of stakeholder engagement includes regular meetings with the Australian Podiatry Association, the Podiatry Council of New South Wales, and the Podiatry Accreditation Committee.

We put on hold some of our planned face-to-face engagement activities and engaged virtually instead. Engagements included: discussions with podiatrists in Tasmania; a video message from the Chair on social media during Foot Health Week; and a discussion with a member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heath Practice Board who told us about practitioner roles and how our professions can work together to improve healthcare for Indigenous Australians.

In June, Ahpra and National Boards published a joint statement reminding practitioners that there is no place for sexism, sexual harassment or gendered violence in healthcare.

Engaging with students and graduates

Students have now begun receiving the Board’s newsletter. We published a video for new graduates about the Board’s role, registration standards, staying connected with the profession and lifelong, reflective learning.

Other news

The Board welcomed new community member Professor Andrew Taggart, who was appointed in September.

Associate Professor Cylie Williams

 
 
Page reviewed 9/05/2022