Podiatry Board of Australia - 2022/23 annual summary
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2022/23 annual summary

Podiatry in 2022/23

The term ‘podiatrist’ refers to both podiatrists and podiatric surgeons unless otherwise specified.

Registration

  • 6,038 podiatrists
    • Up 0.8% from 2021/22
    • 0.7% of all registered health practitioners
    • 41 are podiatric surgeons
  • 277 first-time registrants
    • 229 domestic (including new graduates)
    • 48 international
  • 0.6% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 59.0% female; 41.0% male

Age

Figure showing age groups of podiatrists. The biggest age group is 25 to 34 years, followed by 35 to 44 years.

Regulation

  • 49 notifications lodged with Ahpra about 41 podiatrists
  • 90 notifications about 71 podiatrists made Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data
    • 1.2% of the profession Australia-wide

Sources of notifications

Pie chart showing that more than two-thirds of notifications were raised by a patient, their relative or a member of the public.

Most common types of complaints

Pie chart showing that a quarter of complaints were about clinical care. The next biggest category was breach of non-offence provision under the National Law, at 16%.

Notifications closed

Pie chart showing that almost half of the 56 notifications closed resulted in no further regulatory action. More than 20% resulted in conditions being imposed on registration.

  • 1 immediate action taken
  • 4 mandatory notifications received
    • 3 about professional standards
    • 1 about impairment
  • 21 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year
  • 7 criminal offence complaints made
  • 1 notification finalised at tribunal
  • No matters decided by a panel
  • 1 appeal lodged

A report from the Chair

The Podiatry Board of Australia’s new professional capabilities for podiatrists and podiatric surgeons describe the minimum level of professional capability needed to practise safely. The new Code of conduct sets the Board’s expectations about professional behaviour and conduct.

Our messaging and engagement with the profession aimed to support practitioners to practise safely. This includes reminders about professional obligations under the Code of conduct, maintaining competence through professional development, effective infection prevention and control, and advertising obligations.

We also encouraged practitioners to use the professional capabilities to reflect on their practice, identify areas for improvement and seek professional development to address any gaps. We pointed to Board resources developed to support safe practice. Examples of these include the self-assessment tools for infection prevention and control, health records and advertising.

Resources to support practitioners

The Board worked with Ahpra to review our resources to support practitioners using Pathway B of the registration standard to obtain endorsement for scheduled medicines.

We published new and updated resources, including a checklist, a user-friendly clinical study template, a guidance document for clinical studies, a sample portfolio of evidence and FAQs.

Together with other National Boards and Ahpra we developed new resources, including a summary of the guidance in the Code of conduct about record management and a self-reflective tool to help practitioners assess their record-keeping practice.

In partnership with Ahpra, we also audited the advertising of a random sample of registrants and shared lessons from the audit with the profession.

Registration standard approved

The Board’s revised registration standard for specialist registration for the specialty of podiatric surgery was approved by the Ministerial Council on 23 April.

The review of the registration standard included consultation with key stakeholders. No substantive changes were made to the requirements for specialist registration. Minor editorial and structural changes improve readability and clarity.

Accreditation

On 1 July 2022, two new and four re-appointed members started a three-year term on the Podiatry Accreditation Committee.

The Board considered reports from the committee on monitoring of podiatry programs and on accreditation decisions to decide whether to approve the accredited program of study as providing a qualification for registration.

Stakeholder engagement

The Board published three newsletters and held quarterly meetings with the Australian Podiatry Association (APodA), Podiatry Council of New South Wales and Podiatry Accreditation Committee. A meeting was also held with the Podiatrists Board of New Zealand.

Face-to-face engagement resumed, which included meeting with local stakeholders in Brisbane, hosting a booth at the APodA national conference and giving a presentation to registrants. We welcomed the opportunity to meet registrants at the booth and answer questions about the Board’s work, including requirements for registration and endorsement.

Associate Professor Cylie Williams, Chair


 
 
Page reviewed 27/12/2023