Issue 30 – September 2022
Welcome to our new-look newsletter.
The revised Code of conduct is now in effect and the professional capabilities for podiatrists and podiatric surgeons have been in effect since 1 Jan 2022. Both are important and relevant throughout your career.
The capabilities recognise cultural safety as a key component of safe healthcare, particularly with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The code provides guidance on how you can ensure culturally safe and respectful practice.
We encourage you to actively plan how you can include cultural safety training as part of your ongoing professional development.
Chair, Podiatry Board of Australia
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Patients who have been harmed by cosmetic surgery can now report their concerns to a hotline. The hotline is part of the response by Ahpra and the Medical Board of Australia to the Independent review into the regulation of medical practitioners who perform cosmetic surgery.
The specialised team is supporting the newly established Cosmetic Surgery Enforcement Unit. This team understands the challenges for patients who are unsure about whether to report their experiences and where to report their experiences. The team can help them to share relevant information and guide them through the process.
Read more in the news item.
Registration renewal is not far off and we hope you’re on track to meet the Board’s requirements for continuing professional development (CPD) by the time you apply to renew your registration.
This year we hope you’ve used the new professional capabilities to reflect on your practice and plan your CPD activities.
The professional capabilities recognise cultural safety as a key component of safe healthcare, particularly with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, so it is important that cultural safety and developing and maintaining your cultural competence is now included as part of your ongoing professional development.
You’ll find the professional capabilities and the CPD registration standard and guidelines on the Board’s website.
The revised Code of conduct for the podiatry profession came into effect on 29 June. The code gives important guidance to practitioners about the Board’s expectations and the standard of conduct the public can expect from podiatrists and podiatric surgeons. Revising the code included extensive consultation, which helped to create a more useful, accessible and contemporary document for both practitioners and the public.
We’ve included the National Scheme’s definition of cultural safety in the revised code as well as guidance on how you can ensure culturally safe and respectful practice. This inclusion highlights the important role you have in achieving equity in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians to close the gap.
The revised code also includes guidance about performance targets and similar business practices.
To ensure patient safety isn’t compromised, any performance targets or similar practices must be consistent with the Code of conduct. This is now clearly spelled out in the code.
To support you in understanding and applying the code, National Boards have developed supporting resources. These include a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and case studies which look at how the code could be applied in practice scenarios. National Boards have also developed a Code of conduct principles document, a one-page summary of the code, and encourage you to print a copy and place it somewhere visible. You can find these resources on the Resources to help health practitioners web page.
We have recently welcomed two new members and the reappointment of four inaugural members to the Podiatry Accreditation Committee.
The committee has been carrying out the accreditation functions for the podiatry profession since 1 July 2019. The terms of the inaugural committee members ended on 30 June 2022. We are pleased to announce the appointments to the committee, which are for a term of three years starting 1 July 2022. The following members have been reappointed:
The following new members have been appointed:
We acknowledge and thank outgoing members Dr Sara Jones and Dr Lloyd Reed for their valuable contribution and commitment to the work of the inaugural committee over the past three years.
For more information, visit the Podiatry Accreditation Committee web page.
Dr Kristy Robson lives on the land of the Wiradjuri people, in Albury, NSW.
Kristy is a clinician, academic and researcher who has been working in rural and regional Australia for the past 27 years. She is passionate about providing patient centred healthcare and has worked in the private, public and education sectors. Kristy has done research into ageing, enhancing mobility and preventing falls as well as having keen research interests in sustaining rural health workforce, interprofessional collaboration, and in developing interprofessional experiences for allied health students.
Before joining the Podiatry Board of Australia, Kristy held the role of Deputy President of the NSW Podiatry Council, the Board’s co-regulatory partner. Kristy explained that it was through that role that she was introduced to the broader scheme and the contribution she could make as a practitioner.
When asked about her experience on the National Board, Kristy told us she has found it extremely rewarding.
‘I have particularly valued the opportunities to contribute to the profession through important initiatives such as the new professional capabilities, endorsement for scheduled medicine pathways and supporting the National Scheme’s cultural safety strategy,’ Kristy said.
‘I’ve also strengthened my awareness and understanding of other professions through my experience on several multi-professional committees and groups.’
Kristy has found advocating at a national level on the complexities and challenges faced by rural and remote communities and practitioners to be especially important to her, having come from a rural and regional background.
In reflecting on how the Board and Ahpra can bring out the best of the National Scheme, Kristy said:
‘Continuing to develop codes and standards that apply to a range of professions is useful, as it provides for greater consistency in the way the professions work within the community.
‘I think it’s also important to increase awareness of the role of the Board and Ahpra within the community, particularly in vulnerable and minority groups, as well as with practitioners. It would be great to see more practitioners proactively engaging with the Board’s resources, particularly the policies, codes and guidelines, on a regular basis.’
In closing, Kristy shared with us her motto to live by: ‘Live life. Learn lessons. Be humble and kind.’
If you’re set to complete your podiatry course in the next three months, you can apply for registration now.
You can apply before you finish your studies so we can start assessing your application while we wait for your graduate results.
Registration with the Board is required before you can start work – and means you can work anywhere in Australia.
You can watch our video to help you get your application right – Applying for graduate registration.
You’ll also find helpful advice, tips for avoiding common causes of delay and downloadable information flyers on the graduate applications page of the Ahpra website.
Just a reminder that one of the requirements for registration is the completion of training that includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), management of anaphylaxis and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) conducted by an approved training organisation, so make sure you’ve completed this training before you apply for registration.
The Board’s quarterly registration data to 30 June 2022 is published on its website. At this date, there were 5,992 registered practitioners (including 73 podiatrists on the pandemic sub-register). Of these, 5782 have general registration as a podiatrist; 41 have both general registration and specialist registration as a podiatric surgeon; and 169 have non-practising registration. There are 186 practitioners with endorsement for scheduled medicines.
Read the latest report on our Statistics page.
National Boards are accepting the TOEFL iBT® Home Edition test for applications received until 21 February 2023.
COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have disrupted many English language tests and made it difficult for some applicants to use the English language test pathway to meet National Boards English language skills registration standards.
In response, earlier this year the National Boards established a temporary policy accepting the following additional language tests for a limited time:
National Boards have now updated this temporary policy which means that, along with the OET computer based and OET@home tests, the TOEFL iBT® Home Edition will also be accepted, for applications received until 21 February 2023.
All other requirements set out in the National Boards’ English language skills registration standards still apply. There are no changes to any other requirements in the standards, including minimum test scores.
There are more than 20,750 practitioners with temporary registration on the pandemic response sub-register (the sub-register) which enables them to return to practice and support the health system. They are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners, dental practitioners (all divisions), diagnostic radiographers, medical practitioners, midwives, nurses, occupational therapists, optometrists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, podiatrists and psychologists.
All practitioners on the sub-register are registered until 21 September 2022 and can work to the full scope of their registration, subject to any notations.
So that practitioners who are currently practising can support our health systems for longer, we have written to all practitioners on the sub-register to provide information about the options available to them to stay registered. These include opting in to extend their temporary registration until 21 September 2023, or formally applying for registration on the main register (the Register of practitioners) using a transition pathway. Both forms of registration will take effect on 22 September 2022.
National Boards and Ahpra continue to work with health departments during these challenging times to help as best we can. This includes our escalation of the assessment of applications for registration where critical workforce needs have been identified.
A new hub on the Ahpra website makes it easier to find helpful resources.
The Resources hub aims to support professional practice and help patients make safer health choices.
The hub includes information on requirements for advertising, social media, cosmetics, supervised practice and more. Information for practitioners and the public is clustered according to useful topics, to make it easier to find.
Our Taking care podcast series covers a wide range of current issues in patient safety and healthcare in conversation with health experts and other people in our community. We also publish transcripts of our podcasts. Recent episodes include:
Listen and subscribe by searching for Taking care in your podcast player (for example Apple Podcasts or Spotify), or listen on our website.
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