Podiatry Board of Australia - 2018/19 annual summary
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2018/19 annual summary

Podiatry in 2018/19

Snapshot of the profession

  • 5,361 podiatrists
  • Up 4% from 2017/18
  • 0.7% of all registered health practitioners
  • 0.6% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 59.5% female; 40.5% male
  • ‘Podiatrists’ includes podiatric surgeons on this page unless otherwise stated.


Under 25 years old: 5.7%, 25-34 years old: 39.9%, 35-44 years old: 24.2%, 45-54 years old: 18.7%, 55-64 years old: 9.6%, 65-74 years old: 1.6%, Over 75 years old: 0.2%

Audit outcomes

Audit outcomes pie chart

  • 71.8% compliant: fully compliant with the registration standards
  • 23.8% compliant (education): compliant through education in one or more standards
  • 2.3% non-compliant: non-compliant with one or more standards
  • 2.1% no audit action required: during the audit period, practitioners changed their registration type to non-practising, elected to surrender their registration or failed to renew their registration

Registration type

Registration types: 5,209 general, 119 non-practising, 33 general and specialist (podiatric surgeons)

Regulating the profession

  • 53 notifications lodged with AHPRA1
  • Australia-wide, including Health Professional Councils Authority (HPCA) in NSW and Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) in Queensland data, 96 registered podiatrists – or 1.8% – had notifications made about them
  • 64 notifications closed
    • 25.0% had conditions imposed on registration or an undertaking accepted
    • 12.5% received a caution or reprimand
    • 9.4% referred to another body or retained by a health complaints entity (HCE)
    • 53.1% no further action taken
  • Immediate action taken 9 times
  • 10 mandatory notifications received
    • 8 about professional standards
  • 24 podiatrists monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year
  • 29 cases were being monitored at 30 June
    • 3 on grounds of conduct
    • 3 for health reasons
    • 9 for performance
    • 3 prohibited practitioner/student
    • 11 for suitability/eligibility for registration
  • 4 criminal offence complaints were made and 3 closed
    • 2 new matters related to title protection
    • 2 to advertising breaches
  • Matters decided by a tribunal: 0
  • Matters decided by a panel: 0
  • Decisions appealed: 0

1Unless stated otherwise, all notification data is AHPRA data.

Sources of notifications: 50.9% Patient, relative or member of the public, 17.0% Other practitioner, 13.2% Employer, 9.4% HCE, 3.8% Board’s own motion, 5.7% Other

Most common types of complaint: 43.4% Clinical care, 13.2% Behaviour, 7.5% Infection/hygiene, 5.7% Breach of non-offence provision – National Law, 5.7% Health impairment, 24.5% Other

A report on the year from the Chair

Revised standard took effect

The Podiatry Board of Australia’s revised registration standard for endorsement for scheduled medicines and associated guidelines took effect on 1 August 2018.

Supplementary materials to support podiatrists and podiatric surgeons using Pathway B of the new registration standard, such as FAQ and templates, were developed and published by the Board. This included a Prescribing Self-Assessment Tool, designed to support practitioners’ learning by providing an opportunity to reflect on their current skills and knowledge, compared to those recognised as essential for safe and effective prescribing of medicines. The aim of the tool is that practitioners will use it to identify areas in which they feel they have the required prescribing competencies, as well as to identify specific knowledge and skills that require improvement before finishing their period of supervised practice under Pathway B and submitting their application for endorsement. Although optional, completion of the self-assessment is encouraged by the Board as an important component of learning as practitioners progress through Pathway B to endorsement.

Two animated videos to present information about Pathway B in a different format were also developed and published by the Board. One video explains the steps for Pathway B, and the other highlights the role a mentor plays in supporting a practitioner’s learning during the supervised practice period under Pathway B.

The Board informed the profession about the requirements of the revised registration standard through its regular newsletters and communiqués, and presentations at association events in Perth and Adelaide. It also hosted a booth at the Australian Podiatry Conference 2019, where Board members answered questions about the requirements for endorsement and explained where practitioners could find information about the process on the Board’s website.

Accreditation functions

Following a scheduled review of accreditation arrangements that was undertaken across all National Boards, the Board decided in July 2018 that the accreditation functions for the podiatry profession will be exercised by an independent accreditation committee established by the Board for a five-year period from 1 July 2019.

The Australian and New Zealand Podiatry Accreditation Council (ANZPAC) continued to accredit and monitor podiatry and podiatric surgery education programs and assess overseas qualified podiatrists up to 30 June 2019. The Board, AHPRA and ANZPAC worked together to ensure a smooth transition of the accreditation work to the Podiatry Accreditation Committee (the committee) on 1 July 2019. After a competitive expression of interest and selection process, the Board appointed seven members to the committee. Committee members attended an induction day in June 2019 and the committee will start undertaking the accreditation functions from 1 July 2019.

Infection prevention and control

The Board continued to include messages in its newsletter reminding practitioners about the importance of effective infection prevention and control in providing quality healthcare for patients and a safe working environment for those who work in healthcare settings. Practitioners were encouraged to use the Board’s self-audit tool as a checklist to ensure their workplace is clean and hygienic and they are taking the necessary feasible steps to prevent or minimise the spread of infection.

Engaging with stakeholders

The Board continued to engage with its key stakeholders, including the Australian Podiatry Association; the Podiatry Council of New South Wales; ANZPAC; the Podiatrists Board of New Zealand; and local stakeholders in Adelaide and Brisbane. The Board also hosted a booth at the Australian Podiatry Conference 2019 in Adelaide and welcomed the opportunity to meet with registrants.

Dr Cylie Williams PhD, Chair


Page reviewed 12/11/2020