Osteopathy Board of Australia - March 2024
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March 2024

Issue 38 – March 2024

From the Chair

Image of Paul Orrock OsteoBA

Happy new year to all osteopath practitioners, new graduates and students. We will soon welcome new members to the Osteopathy Board when the Health Council approves the imminent appointments. In the meantime, I would like to extend our immense thanks to Andrew Yaksich, who has been the WA practitioner member of the Osteopathy Board since 2014. Andrew has brought a wealth of experience and insight to the Board and to our work in regulation.

Last month we sent a survey to all registered osteopaths, asking about your plans for your future in osteopathy. Have your say today! About four per cent of osteopaths do not re-register or retire each year and we would like to know more about what is inspiring you to stay in the profession or pushing you towards leaving. See below for further information about this survey.

Associate Professor Paul Orrock
Chair, Osteopathy Board of Australia

Priority news

Professional indemnity insurance is mandatory, not a discretionary cost for practice

Failing to hold professional indemnity insurance (PII) may be considered professional misconduct and a number of practitioners have recently been referred to relevant state tribunals for not holding PII.

Tribunals can be lengthy, expensive and time-consuming processes, and there may be serious outcomes for the osteopaths who failed to hold PII – including reprimands which are permanently on a practitioner’s record. Another option for tribunals is suspension and this has been exercised by tribunals with other professions.

The Board urges you to read our fact sheet Professional indemnity insurance requirements and take action to ensure you are fully covered.

  • Check your PII coverage now – is it current? Is it at an appropriate level?
  • If you have staff who are osteopaths, make sure they’re covered.
  • Check with each of your employers and take out your own PII if you are not already covered.
  • Set yourself a reminder for when your policy is due to be renewed.
  • If you’re a graduate, get your PII sorted out before you start practising.
  • If you’ve changed your credit card or bank details, or your contact details such as email address or phone number, check in with your provider to make sure your details with them are up to date and your regular payments are continuing.

What if you find out you’re not appropriately covered?

If you have a gap in PII and fail to notify Ahpra at the time but instead declare the gap later, you will have failed to comply with your obligations under the National Law.

If you are uncertain about the PII you need, seek professional advice from an insurance broker or legal advisor.

Board news

What are your plans for your future in the osteopathy profession?

The Board, in conjunction with Ahpra, is conducting a workforce survey to identify retention and attrition factors within the osteopathy profession. All osteopaths have been sent the survey if they are a registered osteopath or have ceased, forgot to renew, or were unregistered at some stage in the last five years. The survey takes less than five minutes to complete and closes Tuesday 12 March 2024.

We appreciate your help with this important survey.

One of the final questions is about the next phase of this research which will involve semi-structured interviews and will be an opportunity for practitioners to share greater detail about their experience. Osteopaths will be selected to constitute a representative sample of the profession.

Any questions, please contact Ahpra’s Research, Evaluation and Insights team (REIT) – research@ahpra.gov.au

Registration news

Latest workforce data published

The Board’s latest quarterly registration data report covers the period to 31 December 2023. There were 3,520 registered osteopaths nationally at the end of 2023, with 3,300 having general registration, eight osteopaths from overseas having provisional registration and 212 having non-practising registration.

For further data breakdowns by age, gender and principal place of practice, visit the Board’s Statistics page to read the report.

Students and graduates

Beware of identity theft – don’t post your registration certificate online

Successfully registering with Ahpra is the last green light for new graduates starting their career in their chosen profession. It’s an exciting step and one to feel immensely proud of. The temptation might be strong to celebrate by sharing your first registration certificate with the world – but think twice before posting.

Identity theft is rife. Every day, websites pop up selling fake Ahpra certificates of registration based on real ones that graduating practitioners have posted on their social media. Never post your identity documents online. You’ve worked hard to earn your registration; don’t let somebody steal it.

What’s new?

Updated vaccination and immunisation information for practitioners

Ahpra has published updated FAQs for practitioners about vaccination and immunisation on its website.

This follows a recent consultation by Ahpra and the National Boards with key stakeholders about what information would be helpful for registered health practitioners about vaccination and immunisation, taking into account public health advice and the high rates of vaccination against COVID-19 in Australia.

The updated information draws from the National Boards’ regulatory tools, including:

Position statements that were developed using the same regulatory tools and released at the height of the pandemic are still available as a record of the clear guidance provided to practitioners during a worldwide pandemic.

Kruk review recommends reform to ease workforce shortages

In December 2023, National Cabinet considered the findings of the Kruk review into health practitioner regulatory settings and qualification recognition for overseas-trained health professionals and international students who have studied in Australia.

The final report from Ms Robyn Kruk AO made 28 recommendations for reform and focused on opportunities to streamline health practitioner regulation to ease skills shortages in critical health professions. The Osteopathy Board will be working with other National Boards, stakeholders and Ahpra to look for opportunities to streamline registration for overseas trained osteopaths.

Read more in Ahpra’s media release on the Ahpra website.

The final report of the Kruk review is published on the Australian Government’s regulatory reform website.

Have your say on the role of consumers in accreditation

The Ahpra Accreditation Committee invites you to give feedback on its draft proposed principles to strengthen the involvement of consumers in accreditation.

The committee is developing the principles to ensure meaningful involvement of consumers in accreditation activities in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. This will support diversity of input into accreditation functions and enable responsive and person-centred processes that value and respect the views of consumers.

The consultation is open until 18 April 2024. Find out more about this consultation and provide feedback at the Accreditation Committee’s Current consultations webpage.

Keep in touch with the Board

  • Visit www.osteopathyboard.gov.au for the mandatory registration standards, codes, guidelines and FAQs. Visiting the website regularly is the best way to stay in touch with news and updates from the Board.
  • Lodge an enquiry form via the website by following the Enquiries link on every webpage under Contact us.
  • For registration enquiries, call Ahpra on 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 9125 3010 (for overseas callers).
  • To update your contact details, see important emails about registration renewal and get other Board updates, log in to the Ahpra portal using your User ID and password.
  • Address mail correspondence to: Assoc Prof Paul Orrock, Chair, Osteopathy Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.
Page reviewed 1/03/2024