Osteopathy Board of Australia - Raising awareness of practitioners’ obligations under the National Law was a priority for the Osteopathy Board of Australia in 2016/17
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Raising awareness of practitioners’ obligations under the National Law was a priority for the Osteopathy Board of Australia in 2016/17

15 Nov 2017

The Annual Report for AHPRA and the National Boards for the year to 30 June 2017 is now available to view online.

Over the past year, registration with the Osteopathy Board of Australia (the Board) grew by 6.5% to 2,230 registered osteopaths. This contingent now comprises 0.3% of all health practitioners in the National Accreditation and Registration Scheme (the National Scheme), according to information published today in the annual report by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). 

The 2016/17 annual report produced by AHPRA and the 14 National Boards is a comprehensive record of the National Scheme for the year ending 30 June 2017. The Board works in partnership with AHPRA to regulate optometrists across Australia.

‘A key focus for us this year was to share knowledge that will enhance osteopaths’ understanding of their obligations under the National Law,’ said Dr Nikole Grbin, Chair of the Osteopathy Board of Australia. ‘This work included rolling out detailed messaging about what is allowed and is not allowed when advertising osteopathic services.’

An awareness-raising campaign, which included Guidelines for advertising regulated health services was implemented due to a large number of bulk complaints made about advertising made during the year. Of 252 complaints that could fall under the category of ‘statutory offence’ this year, 250 were about potential breaches of the law in relation to advertising osteopathic services.

‘The Board has made sure to communicate with the profession and to keep an up-to-date list of resources, including codes, guidelines and policies, to help practitioners stay on top of requirements,’ said Dr Grbin.

A snapshot of the profession in 2016/17:

  • Easy to renew: This year saw the largest online registration renewal rate ever achieved across all 14 registered health professions. Over 98.5% of all registered health practitioners renewed online and on time, with 98.3% of osteopaths renewing online.
  • Increased registration year on year: Osteopaths comprised 0.3% of all health practitioners registered in Australia, and the registrant base continues to grow (up 6.5% from 2015/16 to 2,230 registrants).
  • Students on the register: As at 30 June 2017, there were 1,929 registered osteopathy students (up 9.7% from 2015/16).
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders on the register: According to a workforce survey that practitioners can choose to fill out at the time of registration/renewal, 0.7% of osteopaths are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (15 practitioners nationally).
  • Complaints received about osteopaths: 14 notifications (complaints or concerns) were lodged with AHPRA about osteopaths in 2016/17. This equates to 1.1% of the profession.
  • Immediate action was taken once during the year to suspend or cancel an osteopath’s registration while a matter was investigated.
  • Of the 13 matters closed about osteopaths in 2016/17: 15.4% resulted in the Board accepting an undertaking or conditions being imposed on an osteopath’s registration; 15.4% resulted in a caution or reprimand, and 69.2% resulted in no further action being taken.
  • Statutory offence complaints: There were 252 statutory offence complaints made about osteopaths in 2016/17 (up from 12 in 2015/16). The vast majority (250) were about advertising breaches; two related to use of a protected title.
  • Active monitoring cases as at 30 June 2017: Seven osteopaths were monitored during the year for health, performance and/or conduct.

The 2016/17 annual report provides a nationwide snapshot of the work of AHPRA and the National Boards and highlights a multi-profession approach to risk-based regulation, with a clear focus on ensuring that the public are protected.

‘There are now almost 680,000 registered health practitioners across Australia,’ said AHPRA CEO Mr Martin Fletcher. ‘This Annual Report highlights our strong and shared commitment with the Board to ensure the public has access to a competent, qualified registered health workforce and to take decisive action when required to keep the community safe.’

To view the 2016/17 annual report, along with supplementary tables that segment data across categories such as registration, notifications, statutory offences, tribunals and appeals, and monitoring and compliance, see Annual Report microsite.

In the coming weeks, AHPRA and the National Boards will also publish summaries of our work regulating health practitioners in each of the 14 registered health professions. Jurisdictional reports, which present data on registered health practitioners in each state and territory will be published in December.

For more information

Page reviewed 15/11/2017