Osteopathy Board of Australia - 2022/23 annual summary
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2022/23 annual summary

Osteopathy in 2022/23

Registration

  • 3,325 osteopaths
    • Up 5.7% from 2021/22
    • 0.4% of all registered health practitioners
  • 256 first-time registrants
    • 241 domestic (including new graduates)
    • 15 international
  • 0.8% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 54.1% female; 45.9% male

Age

Figure showing age groups of osteopaths. The largest group is aged 25 to 34 years, followed by 35 to 44 years.

Regulation

  • 20 notifications lodged with Ahpra about 20 osteopaths
  • 29 notifications about 29 osteopaths made Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data
    • 0.9% of the profession Australia-wide

Sources of notifications

Pie chart showing that 70% of notifications were raised by a patient, their relative or a member of the public.

Most common types of complaints

Pie chart showing that about one-third of complaints were about clinical care. 20% were about a boundary violation.

Notifications closed

Pie chart showing that almost two-thirds of the 29 notifications closed resulted in no further regulatory action. The next biggest category was caution or reprimand, at 17%.

  • No immediate actions taken
  • 1 mandatory notification received
    • About impairment
  • 6 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year
  • 1 criminal offence complaint made
  • 2 notifications finalised at tribunal
  • No matters decided by a panel
  • No appeals lodged

A report from the Chair

Issues this year

The Osteopathy Board of Australia saw a return to pre-COVID engagement levels as well as continued multiprofession collaboration with other Boards.

The Boards together continued the review of registration standards common to all health professions, including the English language skills standard. They also collaborated on publication of new Easy English information about the shared Code of conduct, which applies to osteopaths. With some of the other professions, the Board developed and published new resources to support practitioners to manage health records. Ahpra conducted a proactive advertising audit and shared the results with stakeholders.

Stakeholder engagement

Return to engagement

The Osteopathy Board met in Brisbane in July and in Sydney in September. On both occasions it was an opportunity to meet with the respective co-regulators in each state (OHO and OCNSW) and with Ahpra senior staff.

The Board held a breakfast forum for osteopathy registrants at the Adelaide Hilton on 24 February, with a third of registrants from South Australia attending. Ahpra staff attended to provide technical information on registration and notification questions. This was the first forum since 2019 and planning for future events has begun.

Local

The Chair participated in the quarterly Osteopathy Think Tank organised by Osteopathy Australia (OA), which is focused on education, workforce issues, research, data and information sharing, plus the current consultations and reviews within the National Scheme. The Chair continued to attend Osteopathic Research Alliance, which comprises academic and individual osteopathy researchers in Australia.

Regular virtual meetings were held with the Australian Osteopathic Accreditation Council (AOAC), the Osteopathy Council of NSW (OCNSW) and OA.

The Chair presented information in an online presentation on regulation and Board requirements for registration to final-year students. Three newsletters were sent to registered osteopaths and students.

All these local engagements remind students and registrants of their obligations and allow discussion of emerging issues such as the audit of advertising and the rise in professional indemnity insurance (PII) notifications.

International

The Board met in Wellington on 30 March and held a joint stakeholder meeting with the Osteopathy Council of New Zealand (OCNZ) on 31 March. The joint meeting provided valuable information-sharing on current and emerging issues, and shared approaches to the regulation of osteopathy. The Chairs, Executive Officer, Registrar and OCNZ had met regularly throughout the year, but this was an opportunity for all the practitioner and community members to have a wide-ranging discussion, and was important for succession purposes.

The Board Chair is a member of the Public Relations Committee of the Osteopathic International Alliance, which organises World Osteopathic Healthcare Week, celebrated in April 2023.

Accreditation

The Chair and CEO of the AOAC and the Board met every two months for a liaison meeting.

The Board reviewed and consulted on the assignment of the accreditation function for the osteopathy profession, which involves program accreditation and practitioner assessment, ahead of the end of the current assignment to AOAC in June 2024. An expression of interest process started in May.

Other news

The Board returned to the pre-COVID mix of face-to-face and virtual monthly Board and committee meetings.

Mrs Marcella Lazarus joined the Board as a community member in March.

Dr Nikole Grbin, Chair

 
 
Page reviewed 27/02/2024