Welcome to the last newsletter for 2018. We have had a particularly productive year. I would like to especially thank the retiring Board members, Cathy Loughry, Paul Tinley and Ebenezer Banful for their dedication to the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) and the work of the Podiatry Board of Australia.
At this time of year there is a new cohort of podiatry graduates applying for registration as a podiatrist. If you are employing a new graduate podiatrist, I’d urge you to act as a positive role model and provide support for their professional development and ensure they are aware of their professional responsibilities as a registered podiatrist. This includes making sure they are aware of, and comply with the Board’s registration standards, policies, codes and guidelines.
It’s also the time of year where we start to reflect on our practice over the past year and think about what areas of continuing professional development should be considered for the coming year. It’s best to be proactive in identifying areas of your practice that could be further developed. It may be time for a refresher in a particular area of practice, or time to consider how an endorsement for scheduled medicines may benefit your patients and planning how and when you can start working towards gaining an endorsement. The Board has published supporting material to help practitioners working towards endorsement and will continue to develop and publish new material, so please check our website regularly to ensure you are aware of the information and templates available.
We’ll continue to keep you up to date with any changes to our standards and guidelines; new public consultations; upcoming Board projects and events and other relevant regulation and registration matters. As always, we welcome your feedback.
Chair, Podiatry Board of Australia
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Australian Health Ministers have recently announced new appointments and reappointments for the National Boards. The appointments are for a period of three years.
Three members of the inaugural Podiatry Board of Australia have retired following completion of their third consecutive term – Ms Cathy Loughry (Chair for two terms); Dr Paul Tinley and Mr Ebenezer Banful. Ms Ann Herriot has retired after completing one term.
We acknowledge and thank Cathy Loughry for her leadership as Chair of the Board over the last six years and thank all outgoing members for their valuable contribution and commitment to the regulation of the podiatry profession.
Dr Cylie Williams has been reappointed for a second term and appointed as the new Chair of the Board. Dr Paul Bennett has been reappointed for a third term and Dr Janice Davies, Ms Julia Kurowski and Mrs Kathryn ‘Kate’ Storer have been reappointed for a second term
We welcome the new members of the Board – Mr Andrew van Essen, a practitioner member from South Australia; Mr Peter Gaughwin, a community member from South Australia; and Dr Kristy Robson, a practitioner member from New South Wales.
A full list of appointments for the National Boards is available in the COAG Health Council communique.
The Board has published several templates to support podiatrists and podiatric surgeons using Pathway B of the Board’s new Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines, which came into effect on 1 August 2018. You can find these templates on the endorsement for scheduled medicines page of our website.
One of these templates is the Prescribing Self-Assessment Tool, which has been designed to support your learning by providing an opportunity to reflect on your current skills and knowledge, compared to those recognised as essential for safe and effective prescribing of medicines.
By reviewing the expectations of a prescriber, as described in the accepted national prescribing competencies set out in the self-assessment tool, you will identify areas in which you feel you meet the competencies; and the specific knowledge and skills that require improvement before finishing your period of supervised practice and submitting your application for endorsement.
The process will direct you to actively seek experiences during your period of supervised practice that will improve the skills and/or knowledge you have identified as needing improvement and will contribute to your learning as you progress toward endorsement. The process may also contribute to the development of your reflective journal.
Although optional, completion of the self-assessment is strongly encouraged by the Board as an important component of your learning. Ideally, this process will be done at the start of your period of supervised practice; after submission of your first three clinical case studies for initial assessment; and towards the end of your period of supervised practice.
This will enable you to observe the improvements in your skills and knowledge required to support your safe and effective prescribing practice.
The Board’s Code of conduct (the code) sets out the professional standards we expect of all podiatrists and podiatric surgeons. The principles and guidance outlined in the code should underpin all aspects of your podiatry practice. As outlined in the code, providing good podiatry care includes practising in accordance with the current and accepted evidence base of the profession, including clinical outcomes and facilitating the quality use of therapeutic products based on the best available evidence and the patient’s needs.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is part of the Australian Government Department of Health and is responsible for regulating therapeutic goods including medicines, medical devices, blood and blood products. Practitioners must comply with the TGA’s regulatory requirements.
The TGA has provided the following information about the regulatory requirements that apply for autologous platelet-rich plasma (PrP) products.
PrP separates and concentrates the cells from whole blood, without manipulating them, thus these meet the definition of ‘blood components’. Blood components means therapeutic components that have been manufactured from blood (including red cells, white cells, stem cells, platelets and plasma), except for products derived through fractionation of plasma. ‘Blood and blood components’ are exempt from the requirement of manufacture under a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) licensed facility if they:
Any other health practitioners administering or manufacturing these products would need to be under the professional supervision of a medical practitioner to allow supply under the exemptions. Where storage occurs and supervision of that storage by the same medical practitioner cannot be guaranteed, the blood or blood components are not exempt.
Where the criteria for the exemption are not met, the PrP use will be fully regulated as a blood component or a biological by the TGA.
Advertising for PrP to the public is not prohibited, but advertising must comply with the requirements of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 and the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code.
Further guidance on TGA regulations applying to Autologous platelet-rich plasma and conditioned serum regulation is published on the TGA website. If you have questions about compliance with these regulations you can contact the TGA at email@example.com.
The Board publishes quarterly data profiling Australia’s podiatry workforce. The data report for the July to September 2018 quarter was recently published on our website. The report includes a number of statistical breakdowns.
As at 30 September 2018, there were 5,168 registered podiatrists and podiatric surgeons in total. Of these, 5,029 held general registration as a podiatrist; 35 held both general registration and specialist registration as a podiatric surgeon; and 104 held non-practising registration. Ninety-nine practitioners had their registration endorsed for scheduled medicines.
Podiatrists and podiatric surgeons have until 30 November 2018 to renew their registration on time. This applies to general, specialist and non-practising registration. The quickest and easiest way to renew is online.
Renewal applications received in December will incur a late payment fee in addition to the annual renewal fee. A full fee schedule is published on the Board’s website.
If your application for registration is received on time or during the following one-month late period, you can continue practising while your application is processed.
If you do not apply to renew your registration by 31 December 2018 your registration will lapse and your name will be removed from the national register of practitioners. You will not be able to practise your profession in Australia.
See our Registration renewal webpage for further information.
When you renew your registration, you must declare whether you have met the Board’s continuing professional development (CPD) requirements.
The requirements for CPD are set out in the Registration standard: Continuing professional development which can be found on the Board's website, together with the Guidelines: Continuing professional development and CPD FAQ.
You need to ensure that you have met these requirements by the time you renew your registration.
The Board has a range of resources for education providers, students and interested others to help them understand what it means to be a registered podiatrist in Australia. These include guidance on when it is necessary to be registered as a podiatry practitioner, a fact sheet on becoming registered, and an information video for graduating students.
You can find all of these and more on our General registration webpage.
All registered health practitioners inform the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and their National Board about their principal place of practice. Sometimes, AHPRA needs more information about all the places a practitioner practises and will issue a ‘practice information notice’ to find out. This usually happens after a complaint has been made and the Board is considering what kind of support or supervision is available in different practice locations. Any restrictions imposed on a practitioner’s registration to protect the public need to be workable and accurately reflect their practice context.
AHPRA has published a new guideline that applies to all registered health practitioners, which makes clear what information you need to provide in response to a practice information notice, issued under s132 of the National Law.
The Guideline − Informing a National Board about where you practise was developed after broad public consultation and is available on the Board’s website.
AHPRA and the Podiatry Board have started accepting an updated format of test results for the Occupational English Test (OET).
All National Boards have a registration standard for English language skills, which require applicants for initial registration to demonstrate English language skills to be suitable for registration. The OET is one of the English language skills tests accepted by the Podiatry Board.
The English language level being tested by OET remains the same. Test takers are not being measured differently, with the only change being the way the OET scores are described. As such, the National Boards’ English language skills registration standards referring to OET have not changed. Rather, updates have been made to internal systems and relevant application forms to accommodate and reflect the new numerical scale. You can read more in the news item.
Paramedicine will become a nationally regulated profession on 1 December 2018, Health Ministers have announced. From this date, the title ‘paramedic’ will become protected by law, so only people who are registered with the Paramedicine Board of Australia will be able to call themselves a paramedic.
More information is available on the Paramedicine Board website.
In early 2019, AHPRA will conduct a pilot audit to check health practitioner compliance with advertising requirements.
The pilot audit has been modelled on the well-established approach to auditing compliance with core registration standards and involves adding an extra declaration about advertising compliance for two professions when applying for renewal of registration in 2018. (The National Law1 enables a National Board to require any other reasonable information2 to be included with a renewal application.)
The National Boards for chiropractic and dental are taking part in the pilot audit.
When applying to renew their registration, chiropractors and dental practitioners will be required to complete a declaration about their advertising compliance. The pilot audit will not delay a decision on the application for renewal.
Random audits of advertising compliance will advance a risk-based approach to enforcing the National Law’s advertising requirements and facilitate compliance by all registered health practitioners who advertise their services.
Regulatory Operations Executive Director Kym Ayscough said the audit for advertising compliance would provide opportunities to extend the current action under the Advertising compliance and enforcement strategy launched in April 2017.
This pilot audit will potentially improve compliance with advertising obligations across the entire registrant population, not just those who have had an advertising complaint,’ Ms Ayscough said.
‘It will also provide opportunities to become more proactive in preventing non-compliant advertising by registered health practitioners.’
The audit will be carried out by AHPRA’s Advertising Compliance Team from January 2019 and will involve a random sample of chiropractors and dental practitioners who renewed their registration in 2018.
‘One of the audit’s main objectives is to analyse the rate of advertising compliance for those practitioners who advertise and who have not been the subject of an advertising complaint in the past 12 months,’ Ms Ayscough said.
Other objectives of the audit are:
A pilot audit report addressing the above objectives and including data analysis and recommendations will be prepared for National Boards to consider the pilot outcomes and implications for future compliance work.
For information about your advertising obligations see AHPRA’s advertising resources page.
1 The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory.
2 Section 107(4)(e) of the National Law.