Osteopathy Board of Australia - October 2012
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October 2012

Issue 4 – October 2012

Renewal of registration – a first time for declarations!
New declarations at renewal of registration
Satisfying the recency of practice registration standard
Continuing professional development
Registration renewal

Renewal of registration – a first time for declarations!

All osteopaths must renew their registration by 30 November 2012. This is the usual cycle for renewals, but this year there are a number of new declarations that need to be made at the same time. It is important that you take the time to read the following articles in this newsletter as they relate to the declarations osteopaths need to make for the first time about:

  • recency of practice
  • continuing professional development (CPD), and
  • holding current senior first aid (level 2).

New declarations at renewal of registration

Registration standards for all of the regulated health professions have been in place since the beginning of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) on 1 July 2010. For osteopaths, the CPD and recency of practice registration standards were designed to be phased in and this registration renewal period is the first time osteopaths will need to answer certain questions on these standards, including the following.

  • If you graduated more than six months ago, have you completed practice of at least 400 hours over the previous three years in your current domain of practice as an osteopath?
  • During your preceding period of registration, have you met the Board’s continuing professional development (CPD) requirements?
  • If your registration is granted, do you commit to completing the pro rata requirements for continuing professional development (CPD) during your period of registration consistent with the Board’s Continuing professional development registration standard?
  • I understand that I am required to hold a current first aid certificate at the minimum standard of a Senior First Aid (Level 2) or equivalent when I make any application for renewal.

Other questions relate to those registration standards previously asked, including declarations about criminal history and current professional indemnity insurance.

You must not make a false declaration. If it means waiting to renew your registration until close to 30 November 2012 in order to complete any remaining CPD hours or a first aid course, then you should do so, but only if you intend to renew on-line. If you have not complied with the registration standards by 30 November 2012 then you cannot answer ‘yes’ to one or more of those questions (even if you think you might comply in the near future) and your registration application will need to be assessed further before it is finalised, during which time you remain registered. If you will not be able to answer ‘yes’ to all such questions, do not leave renewal of registration until the last minute but call AHPRA on 1300 419 495. You may have to undertake extra activities required by the Board (see below) and the Board takes a reasonable approach to these matters.

In future, a proportion of osteopaths will be audited each year in relation to their compliance with registration standards. In such audits, your annual declarations and records relating to CPD, recency of practice, and professional indemnity insurance will be scrutinised.

Satisfying the recency of practice registration standard

The Recency of practice registration standard states that applicants who have practised for at least 400 hours in their current domain of practice as an osteopath in the previous three years will meet the standard for general registration or re-registration as an osteopath.

This means, for example, that an osteopath who is practising as an academic must have at least 400 hours of practice in that domain to satisfy the registration standard. Similarly, an osteopath who is practising in the clinical domain must have 400 hours of practice in that domain to satisfy the standard. An osteopath will have to satisfy the recency of practice standard in their main domain of practice in order to satisfy general registration requirements. If they wish to change domains, say from academic to clinical, they will have to satisfy recency of practice standards in the clinical domain as well.

An osteopath who has not undertaken 400 hours of practice in their current domain in the previous three years will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and may be required by the Board to:

  • undertake an assessment of their competency to practice, or
  • practise under supervision, or
  • undertake specified amounts or types of CPD before returning to practice, or
  • undertake any other activity specified by the Board.

A plan for professional development and re-entry to practice will be different for each osteopath and can be tailored to the practitioner’s particular circumstances and their individual learning needs. The purpose of any re-entry plan is to ensure that the osteopath is returning to safe practice with appropriate supports in place.

The Board will soon publish Information for osteopaths: satisfying recency of practice and returning to practice and associated template and forms: Plan for continuing professional development and re-entry to practice in the Registration Standards section of the website. These documents explain further what is required when an osteopath who has had a break from practice applies for general registration, or when an osteopath who is currently registered under general registration has undertaken insufficient hours of practice in their current domain of practice within the previous three years. It also applies to an osteopath who works in two domains (e.g. academic and clinical) and who does not have a total of 400 hours in either one of the two domains.

Continuing professional development

Osteopaths are required to undertake and make a declaration on continuing professional development (CPD). The Board’s requirements are published on the website in the CPD registration standardGuidelines for CPD and CPD Fact Sheet.

The Osteopathy Board’s CPD requirements are:

  • 25 hours CPD, including four hours undertaking mandatory topics approved by the Board, and
  • a current senior first aid certificate, which is updated every three years, with the CPR component being updated every 12 months. The hours required to do a first aid course are additional to the total of 25 hours of general CPD.

In each CPD cycle of 12 months, an osteopath is required by the Board to complete a minimum of four hours of professional development relating to one or more of the following mandatory topics:

  • Osteopathy Board of Australia registration standards, codes and guidelines and overview of the National Law
  • risk management
  • record keeping
  • informed consent
  • effective communication
  • professional boundaries, and/or
  • confidentiality and privacy.

Osteopaths must also maintain an up-to-date portfolio of CPD activities, which must be retained for at least three years.

If an osteopath switches to non-practising registration because they are taking a break from practice, they are not required to undertake or make a declaration on CPD during that non-practising registration period. If an osteopath has been non-practising and plans to return to work and is then registered for general registration part-way through a registration period, they must complete six hours of CPD for every three months of general registration remaining in the registration period. They must also be current in the first aid requirements.

If an osteopath works part-time, they must satisfy the total annual 25 CPD hours and current first aid requirements. There is no pro-rata of CPD based on hours of work per week.

For example, as osteopath taking maternity or paternity leave may take a month or two off work but maintain their general registration. They would be required to meet the full annual requirements of CPD for general registration. On the other hand, they may decide to take off a longer period from practice and go to non-practising registration where they do not have to continue to undertake CPD (as it is not a requirement of non-practising registration).

The Board may grant an exemption from the CPD requirements in exceptional circumstances. Osteopaths seeking exemption must apply in writing as soon as they realise they have issues meeting the CPD registration standard, and provide valid supporting documentation with their application. All applications for exemptions will be determined on a case by case basis. Note that this only applies to general registration

The Board may refuse to renew registration if an osteopath has not met the Board’s CPD requirements. In 2013, the Osteopathy Board will commence random annual audits of CPD compliance. If the audit reveals that an osteopath has not complied with the Board’s CPD requirements, the Board can further investigate the matter.

Registration renewal

Osteopaths across Australia are reminded that their registration is due for renewal by 30 November 2012.

The Board urges the more than 1,600 osteopaths due to renew their registration to do so online and on time. The quickest and easiest way to renew registration is online, with 84% of osteopaths using this secure service last year.

Osteopaths should check that their contact email details are up to date so they receive renewal reminders from AHPRA. These reminders are confirmation that online renewal is open.

Osteopaths who do not want to renew their registration can simply ignore the reminders from AHPRA or go online to ‘opt out’ of renewing. Using the ‘opt out’ service puts a stop to renewal reminders.

Under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, practitioners who do not renew registration within one month of their registration expiry date must be removed from the National Register of Practitioners. Their registration will lapse and they will not be able to practise osteopathy in Australia until a new application for registration is approved.
Neither the Board nor AHPRA have any discretion about this so our advice is clear: renew online and on time.

Future newsletters will only be sent to registered osteopaths by email and will be also available on the Board’s website under ‘News’.

Page reviewed 26/09/2022