Osteopathy Board of Australia - Media release
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Media release

14 Feb 2014

The National Boards have published revised guidelines and codes of conduct, and a new social media policy, which come into effect from mid-March.

Revised guidelines, code and policy released today, effective from March 2014

Revised guidelines and codes of conduct, and a new social media policy, containing important information for all registered health practitioners have been released today and come into effect from mid-March 20141.

Registered health practitioners need to familiarise themselves with this guidance to ensure their practice meets National Board expectations from mid-March.

The documents were released by the National Boards regulating registered health practitioners in Australia through the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme).

They are the:

  • revised Guidelines for advertising regulated health services
  • revised Guidelines for mandatory notifications
  • revised Code of conduct, and
  • new Social media policy.

The guidelines, Social media policy and code were published on National Board websites today and will come into effect in mid-March 2014.

The guidelines and policy are common across all National Boards and apply to all registered health practitioners. Most National Boards have a shared code of conduct while some have different codes (see table).

The documents are the result of a scheduled review three years into the National Scheme and are the first set of revised documents to be released this year, with more to come later in 2014.

Osteopathy Board of Australia Chair, Dr Robert Fendall, said National Boards consulted widely late last year on the draft versions of the new guidelines, Social media policy and Code of conduct.

‘The National Boards have an ongoing focus on best practice regulation in the public interest, and in public protection,’ Dr Fendall said.

‘The experiences from the first three years of the National Scheme were applied when these documents were being reviewed to make sure that they are clear and make it easier for practitioners to understand their obligations, and for members of the community to understand what is expected of health practitioners.’

Dr Fendall said the Board would provide more information on the advertising guidelines and Social media policy, as they apply specifically to osteopaths, in its next electronic newsletter to registered osteopaths.

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Chief Executive Officer, Mr Martin Fletcher, said the decision was made to publish the documents now to help practitioners, employers and members of the community understand what National Boards expect from practitioners.

‘It’s important that practitioners know and understand their obligations. By publishing these documents five weeks before they come into effect, practitioners, in particular, can start to be ready for when they come into effect in mid-March. It’s also important for employers of health practitioners and interested members of the community to be able to see and understand this guidance,’ Mr Fletcher said.

Published today

National Board  Code of conduct (revised)  Advertising guidelines (revised)  Mandatory notifications guidelines (revised)  Social media policy (new) 
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice  Shared code 
(383 KB,DOCX) 
Chinese Medicine  Shared code 
(398 KB,DOCX) 
Chiropractic  Shared code with minor modifications 
(721 KB,DOCX) 
Dental  Shared code 
(702 KB,DOCX) 
Medical  Separate code, Good medical practice 
(701 KB,DOCX) 
Medical Radiation Practice  Shared code with minor modifications 
(364 KB,DOCX) 
Nursing and Midwifery  Separate code, review progressing separately 
Occupational Therapy  Shared code 
(350 KB,DOCX) 
Optometry  Shared code with minor modifications, review progressing separately   
Osteopathy  Shared code 
(726 KB,DOCX) 
Common to all National Boards
(164 KB,DOCX)
Common to all National Boards
(724 KB,DOCX)
Common to all National Boards
(117 KB,DOCX)
Pharmacy  Shared code with minor modifications 
(715 KB,DOCX) 
Physiotherapy  Shared code 
(732 KB,DOCX) 
Podiatry  Shared code 
(712 KB,DOCX)
Psychology  Separate Code of ethics, reviewed last year     

FAQ and additional information

  • FAQ (118 KB,DOCX) on the transition from the current to the new/revised documents.
  • Document (513 KB,DOCX) showing the differences between the current and revised Mandatory notifications guidelines.
  • Document (634 KB,DOCX) showing the differences between the current and revised shared Code of conduct.

For more information

Download a PDF of this Media release - Revised guidelines for practitioners released today effective from March 2014 - 14 February 2014 (270 KB,PDF)

1The Psychology Board of Australia reviewed its code last year and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and Optometry Board of Australia are reviewing their codes separately. See table for a list of which Boards have a shared and separate code.

Page reviewed 14/02/2014