May 2019

Issue 20 – May 2019


Chair’s message

Photo of Cylie WilliamsIn our first newsletter for 2019, we welcome a new community member to the Board, Ms Shellee Smith. We’re also letting you know about the new videos we’ve published to help you navigate Pathway B to endorsement for scheduled medicines. 

The Board is aware of the concerns of practitioners about the delays many of you have experienced with your application for endorsement under the old or transitional Pathway 2. We acknowledge that the timeliness of processing these applications is not at the standard we expect, and want to do better. We are monitoring this issue closely and working with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to improve our processes and reduce the timeframe for completing these applications. 

Cylie Williams
Chair, Podiatry Board of Australia

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Board news

New videos to support practitioners applying for an endorsement for scheduled medicines

The Board has published two new animated videos to help practitioners understand the application process for an endorsement for scheduled medicines under Pathway B of the registration standard. 

One video explains the key steps for Pathway B, and the other highlights the key role a mentor plays in supporting a practitioner’s learning during the supervised practice period under Pathway B.

The aim of the videos is to help podiatrists and podiatric surgeons understand the requirements to meet Pathway B by providing an accessible and engaging overview of the process.  

The videos can be found on our website.  For more information, read our media release.

Board booth at Australian Podiatry Conference 2019

The Board has a booth at the Australian Podiatry Conference 2019 being held at the Adelaide convention centre from 22−24 May and we look forward to touching base with practitioners who are attending.

Board members will be available to answer any questions you have about the Board’s requirements for registration and endorsement and to show you where to find key information on the Board website. We’ll have ‘postcards’ to hand out which explain how concerns (what we call notifications) about registered practitioners are handled.  

We’ll also be showing our new videos at the booth.

New community member appointed to the Board

We welcome a new community member to the Board, Ms Shellee Smith, who has been appointed for a three-year term from 11 April 2019. She attended her first board meeting on 1 May 2019.

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Patient Experience Week – are you communicating effectively?

To coincide with the recent Patient Experience Week, the Board thanks those podiatrists and podiatric surgeons who are practising professionally, communicating effectively and providing good care to their patients. Their patients can be safe in the knowledge that their podiatrist or podiatric surgeon will put the best interests of their patients first.

Patients should be able to expect that every time they see a podiatrist or podiatric surgeon that their practitioner will act professionally and provide safe and appropriate care. As outlined in the Board’s Code of conduct, good practice is centred on the patient. It involves practitioners understanding that each patient is unique and that practitioners need to work in partnership with their patients to address their needs and reasonable expectations. 

Making decisions about healthcare is the shared responsibility of the treating practitioner and the patient. Good communication is an essential component of this and should underpin every aspect of podiatry practice. It is important that patents are given sufficient information to enable them to make an informed decision about any treatment or management plans.

There is a specific section in the Board’s code (section 3.3) about effective communication, which outlines some key points about what effective communication in the practitioner-patient relationship involves.  

We encourage you to review the Board’s code, particularly the section on effective communication, and reflect on whether you are communicating effectively with your patients. 

You can find the Code of conduct under Policies, codes and guidelines on our website.

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Are you on track with your CPD?

The Board encourages podiatrists and podiatric surgeons to continue to help make a real difference to the safe care of patients by keeping your knowledge and skills up to date through regularly engaging in continuing professional development (CPD). As a registered health professional, you will understand that CPD is a process of lifelong learning that ensures your knowledge and skills are up to date.

To get the most out of your CPD you should reflect on your practice; identify any gaps in your knowledge and skills; identify your learning needs for the coming year; and plan your learning activities to address these gaps and learning needs. 

The Board has published a CPD learning plan to help you with planning your CPD for the year. You can find it under under Policies, codes and guidelines on our website.

Your CPR training must be current

Podiatrists are required to complete training that includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), management of anaphylaxis and use of an automated external defibrillator, and podiatric surgeons must complete training in advanced life support. 

The Board requires the CPR component to be refreshed annually to reflect the Australian Resuscitation Council’s recommendation. 

Are you meeting your infection prevention and control obligations?

The Board expects you to continue to maintain and update your knowledge throughout your career across all areas of your practice, and recommends that you regularly include a course in infection prevention and control as part of your CPD. This will help you attain and maintain contemporary knowledge of the required standards, policies and procedures in infection prevention and control.

The Board’s Guidelines for infection prevention and control are published on the under Policies, codes and guidelines on our website, together with a self-audit tool that you can use to see how well you comply with the Board’s guidelines.

We encourage you to use the self-audit tool as a checklist to ensure your workplace is clean and hygienic and you are taking the necessary feasible steps to prevent or minimise the spread of infection.

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Read the Board's annual report for 2017/18

Following tabling of the annual report for AHPRA and the National Boards each year, each National Board publishes a profession-specific summary, with more information on Board activities and profession-specific registration and regulation statistics. You can find the Podiatry Board report in PDF on the the Downloads page of the AHPRA annual report page.

Snapshot of the profession

The Board publishes quarterly data profiling Australia’s podiatry workforce. The data report for the October to December 2018 quarter is published on our website. The report includes a number of statistical breakdowns.

As at 31 December 2018, there were 5,243 registered podiatrists and podiatric surgeons in total. Of these, 5,102 held general registration as a podiatrist; 34 held both general registration and specialist registration as a podiatric surgeon; and 107 held non-practising registration. Ninety-nine practitioners had their registration endorsed for scheduled medicines.

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National Scheme news

Have your say: How should we define ‘cultural safety’?

AHPRA, the National Boards and Accreditation Authorities in the National Scheme have partnered with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders and the National Health Leadership Forum (NHLF) release a public consultation on a proposed definition of ‘cultural safety’.

Your feedback will help develop an agreed, national baseline definition that can be used as a foundation for embedding cultural safety across the National Scheme and by the NHLF.

There are 44 organisations represented in this consultation, which is being coordinated by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group (the Strategy Group) convened by AHPRA, and the NHLF.

The consultation continues the work of the Strategy Group, which aims to achieve health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Members of the Group include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders and members from AHPRA, National Boards, Accreditation Authorities and NSW Councils.

The consultation is open to 15 May 2019. Share your views and help define this important term for the National Scheme.

 For more information read the media release on the AHPRA website.

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National Boards and AHPRA host research summit

The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme 2019 Research Summit took place on 27 February at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The summit asked how research can be harnessed to strengthen regulation and improve patient safety to contribute to improved health outcomes.

Led by AHPRA and the National Boards, the all-day Research Summit hosted 17 speakers and drew more than 300 participants from national, state and territory board and committee members, AHPRA staff, co-regulatory bodies, representatives from accreditation authorities and key partners.

With the theme ‘Optimising research for regulatory effectiveness’, the Research Summit explored the National Scheme’s evolving approaches to risk assessment, lessons from research into notifications, and future opportunities to use smart data. At the heart of discussions was asking how we can use data and research to improve regulatory processes and, ultimately, contribute to safer care for patients.

Professor Zubin Austin from the University of Toronto, Canada, was a keynote speaker. His stirring address highlighted that competency assessment has emerged as a dominant issue for regulators, educators and employers worldwide. Professor Austin called for more attention to be focused on notions of teamwork, emotional intelligence, and genuine practitioner engagement as important concepts in defining and evaluating competency.

Read more in the media release about the summit.

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‘Let’s talk about it’ videos launched

AHPRA has launched a series of new videos to support the public and registered health practitioners as they go through the notification process.

The video series, called ‘Let’s talk about it’, explains what happens when concerns are raised with the regulator, gives easy-to-follow information about the notifications process and addresses common questions, so consumers and health practitioners know what to expect when they interact with AHPRA and National Boards.

There are three videos:

The videos sit alongside other written resources available on our website, see: www.ahpra.gov.au/Notifications.

You can view the videos on the AHPRA and National Board websites or from our YouTube and Vimeo channel, and join the conversation by following AHPRA on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn: use the hashtag #letstalkaboutit and tag @AHPRA.

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Legislative amendments on mandatory reporting and fake practitioners

The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (Qld) (the Act) has been passed by the Queensland Parliament. The amendments include revisions to the mandatory reporting requirements for treating practitioners and an extension of sanctions for statutory offences.

The changes to the National Lawintend to support registered practitioners to seek help for a health issue (including mental health issues). They will also increase the penalties (including the introduction of custodial sentences) for some offences under the National Law, including where a person holds themselves out to be a registered health practitioner when they are not.

AHPRA and National Boards will now work to implement these amendments. This will require working closely with professional bodies, employers and state and territory health departments to help spread the message that practitioners should be supported to seek help about their health issues.

The passing of the Act in Queensland marks the second set of legislative amendments to the National Law since the start of the National Scheme in 2010. When they take effect, the amendments will apply in all states and territories except Western Australia, where mandatory reporting requirements will not change. 

Read a news item about the amendments on the AHPRA website or the Act on the Queensland Legislation website.


1 The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory.

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Titles in health advertising – how to get it right

A new resource to help practitioners understand their legal obligations when using titles in health advertising addresses the uncertainty some podiatrists might have around this issue.

Misuse of a protected title, specialist title or endorsements is an offence under sections 113-119 of the National Law or may constitute behaviour for which health, conduct or performance action may be taken against a registered health practitioner under Part 8 of the National Law.

However, advertisers should also be aware that while use of some titles may not necessarily breach title protections under sections 113-119, they may be considered false, misleading or deceptive under the advertising provisions in the National Law (section 133).

The titles tool will help practitioners understand how titles can be used in advertising. It also outlines some of the common pitfalls that can result in titles being considered misleading under the National Law.

The titles tool is the latest in a series of resources and support materials developed by AHPRA and National Boards to help health practitioners, healthcare providers and other advertisers of regulated health services check and correct their advertising so it complies with the National Law.

The titles tool is available in the Advertising resources section of the AHPRA website.

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Keep in touch with the Board

  • Visit www.podiatryboard.gov.au for the mandatory registration standards, codes, guidelines and FAQ. Visiting the website regularly is the best way to stay in touch with news and updates from the Board.
  • Lodge an enquiry form via the website by following the Enquiries link on every web page under Contact us.
  • For registration enquiries, call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 9275 9009 (for overseas callers).
  • To update your contact details for important registration renewal emails and other Board updates, go to the AHPRA website: Update contact details.
  • Address mail correspondence to A/Prof. Cylie Williams, Chair, Podiatry Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne VIC 3001.

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Page reviewed 14/05/2019