The COVID-19 pandemic temporarily changed the way
we work as a Board. All Board and stakeholder meetings
were held via Zoom, and face-to-face events, which
had previously been well-attended in capital cities,
have been suspended until travel and public events are
safe. Conversely, it has been easier to attend regular
Think Tank virtual meetings of osteopathy stakeholders
from across Australia. Communication with registrants
on social media and video continues to have very high
open and click-through rates.
During the year, the Board continued to contact
registrants directly by newsletters and email with
information about the impact of COVID-19 and the
regulatory response for osteopaths, including some
extensions of regulatory requirements and introducing
hardship provisions for fees.
The Board carried out a joint public consultation with
other National Boards on the review of the shared Code
of conduct; and was also involved in the release of the
revised Guidelines for advertising a regulated health
service with other Boards.
The Australian Osteopathic Accreditation Council
(AOAC) consulted in three stages and presented the
Osteopathic accreditation standards to the Board
for approval. The major changes are: adopting a
five-domain framework; including English language
proficiency as a requirement for entry to an education
program; and increasing emphasis on cultural safety
that is integrated throughout the revised standards.
The revised Osteopathic accreditation standards
(2021) were approved by the Board in June.
AOAC also developed an essential evidence guide for
The AOAC reviewed the Standard pathway assessment
for registration in Australia (SPA) and the changes
were approved by the Board in April. The revised
Standard pathway assessment contains newly formatted
assessments and examinations that have greater
alignment to contemporary assessment practices and
are more accessible for candidates to undergo. Further
information about these assessments is on the AOAC
The Osteopathy Think Tank is organised by the
Osteopathy Association, which holds meetings every
two to three months with stakeholders regarding
issues, updates, projects and information sharing. The
Board and Ahpra have supplied registration growth and
As Chair, I presented information on regulation and
Board requirements for registration to final-year
students in the osteopathy programs by online
I attended the annual Osteopathic International Alliance
(OIA) Annual General Meeting, which was held virtually
this year, and I continue as a member of the Public
Relations Committee of the OIA.
We celebrated International Osteopathic Healthcare
Week in early May after it was postponed last year.
Dr Nikole Grbin