Osteopathy Board of Australia - September 2019
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September 2019

Issue 24 - September 2019

Chair’s message

Nikole Grbin Osteopathy Board chair

For those osteopaths interested in the work of regulation, AHPRA is recruiting osteopaths as clinical advisors to help AHPRA staff with the clinical aspects of regulatory matters. Our newsletter has an article on this new initiative, and we hope to see applications from across the country, as you can do this work remotely.  

The Osteopathy Board Chair position and some member positions are now advertised by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council: see the Board member recruitment page on AHPRA’s website. Please consider these rewarding roles with the Board.

We have listened to your feedback and advertising resources are now are now all located on one page on the Board’s website. See Advertising a regulated health service in the Codes and guidelines section.  

With other National Boards, we have launched three important public consultations: revised mandatory notifications guidelines, revised advertising guidelines and a proposed supervised practice framework. Our article explains how to provide feedback.

Dr Nikole Grbin
Chair, Osteopathy Board of Australia

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Board news

Clinical advisor positions now available

AHPRA is currently advertising clinical advisor roles and seeking expressions of interest from experienced registered osteopaths who will be engaged as contractors.

The positions will be available in any location and are flexible in nature. The clinical advisor will contribute to a risk-based approach by giving AHPRA staff clinical input on notification, compliance and registration matters. Duties include:

  • providing clinical input to AHPRA staff on the management of regulatory matters
  • reviewing briefing information sent to external parties
  • reviewing responses from practitioners, and
  • helping AHPRA staff understand and interpret clinical material.

These positions are advertised on the AHPRA careers website, Seek and on social media and close 7 November 2019.

These are not Board member positions. This is a role to help AHPRA staff with the clinical aspects of regulatory matters and this assists the Board by ensuring clinical input is provided in matters they are considering.

These are new roles within AHPRA and developed from work with other National Boards. If you are interested in regulation or have experience in this area we encourage you to apply. Applications are sought from all registered osteopaths including those who live in the co-regulatory jurisdictions of NSW and Queensland.

Once clinical advisors are appointed, induction and training will be given. The advisors will work remotely and support and have contact with AHPRA regulatory operations staff via telephone, Skype and email.

Here are some examples of where and when clinical advice may be needed: 

Stage Clinical input
Intake and assessment
  • Clinical screening when a notification (complaint) is first received
  • Contribute to determining issues that require a response from a practitioner
  • Contribute to the interpretation and review of information provided by a practitioner
  • Review and advise on clinical records
  • Assist in determining what further questions or information needs to be addressed
  • Contribute clinical knowledge during investigation case conferencing
Performance assessments 
  • Assist in developing the scope of the performance assessment
  • Contribute to understanding the assessor's report and its findings.
  • Assist in interpreting or understanding any reports from practitioners or supervisors
  • Assist in determining education or performance activities that may help the practitioner to comply with conditions imposed on their registration
  • Review a CV to see if activities would count towards recency of practice
  • Review a CPD portfolio

The work will be ad hoc. It is not required for every notification and for others it will be at multiple points across the management of a matter.

The number of notifications per year is under 20 (excluding NSW), but this also means the work is not too onerous or would divert you from your main employment or business. There is also an expectation that advisors are to be available at short notice for high-risk notifications. By employing a pool of advisors, the work will be shared and this will also reduce the likelihood of any conflicts of interest.

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Board positions advertised online

Vacancies are currently advertised for the Board Chair and practitioner members from Victoria, South Australia, and the smaller jurisdictions from either Tasmania, Northern Territory or Australian Capital Territory.

All National Board appointments are made by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council. If you are interested, please visit the AHPRA National Boards recruitment page to download the information guide and application form. More information is provided about eligibility requirements specific to these advertised vacancies, National Board member roles, and the application process.

For enquiries, please contact statutory appointments. The closing date is Monday 21 October 2019 at 5pm AEST.

Board sets registration fee for 2019/20

The registration fee has again been frozen at $376. The fee for practitioners whose principal place of practice is New South Wales is $525. A full fee schedule is published on the Board’s website.

The National Scheme is funded by health practitioners’ registration fees. More detailed information about the Board’s financial operations is outlined in the health profession agreement between the Board and AHPRA for 2016/20, which is published on the Board’s website.

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Advertising resources now in one spot

In response to feedback, all our advertising resources are now located on a dedicated Advertising page on our website.

We also have links to profession-specific information, such as examples of non-compliant advertising, as well as links to the common advertising resources developed to help registered health practitioners across all professions.

Advertising refers to actions by people or businesses to draw attention to their services. The ways people and businesses can promote services are almost limitless and include all forms of printed and electronic media.

If you are advertising a regulated health service, your advertising must not:

  • be false, misleading or deceptive, or likely to be misleading or deceptive
  • offer a gift, discount or other inducement, unless the terms and conditions of the offer are also stated
  • use testimonials or purported testimonials about the service or business
  • create an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment, or
  • directly or indirectly encourage the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of regulated health services.  

If you’re not sure you’re meeting your obligations, or if you’ve been contacted by AHPRA about your advertising, there are steps you can follow to make sure you comply with your professional and legal obligations.

For further details see the advertising resources on AHPRA’s website.

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Get to know your colleagues – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners

Members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board (ATSIHPBA) recently gave a update to the Board at its August 2019 meeting about the Board, the profession and its practitioners.

The ATSIHPBA want to help the osteopathy profession understand the value that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners can bring to Australian healthcare to make it culturally safe and help close the gap. Below are some simple facts about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners and their profession to help osteopaths know more.

Fact box – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners

  • Programs of study that lead to registration as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner are the only ethnically based health training programs of their type in the world and have been recognised and named as such by the United Nations.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners work across organisations in many roles and act as cultural brokers and make healthcare settings, including hospitals, more culturally safe.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners are one profession under the same roof as many other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals, and they account for a small proportion of the total Indigenous health workforce (which includes Aboriginal Health Workers, Liaison Officers, and others).
  • They predominantly work for public hospitals and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.
  • The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA) is the professional body which works hard to promote the profession.
  • Tasks Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners are qualified to perform include immunisations, screening of physical, social and emotional wellbeing, administering and supplying medications, advocating for clients, health promotion and providing advice, support and training on culturally safe health services.
  • They complement the roles of other health practitioners, including osteopaths. The cultural liaison and expertise they provide is invaluable. Their patient rapport and insight into culturally safe and responsive approaches to care helps non-Indigenous clinicians to achieve the best health outcomes for the patient.
  • New Accreditation standards starting next year will enable programs offering qualifications higher than the current Certificate IV level to apply for accreditation.
  • Challenges to the profession include retention, lack of career mapping, employers not harnessing their full scope of practice, and completing their study in the time allowed (for cultural reasons and because of travelling distance). However, registrant numbers are steadily rising.

The ATSIHPBA would like to continue to work with AHPRA and the osteopathy profession to help spread the word about the culturally safe workforce which is qualified, competent, registered and ready to go to work in both clinical and non-clinical roles.

Here are some things that you, as an osteopath, can do to help:

  • Ask a question: ask your health service, employer or other team members, ‘How many Aboriginal Health Practitioners do we employ?’ or ‘Did you know we could make our practice more culturally safe by employing an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner, and do our bit towards closing the gap?’
  • Make them a priority: prioritise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health workforce agenda.
  • Share the message: distribute the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice profession brochures. The brochures explain their role to employers.

Engaging the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce to work in partnership with osteopaths is a crucial opportunity to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

If you would like to find out more about the profession please contact Executive Officer Jill Humphreys at jill.humphreys@ahpra.gov.au or on (03) 8708 9066.

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Latest registration statistics released

The Board has released its latest quarterly registration statistics for the period 1 April to 30 June 2019. Registrant numbers have increased to 2,546. This is an increase of almost 1,000 osteopaths in eight years. We are a fast-growing profession.

For more information, including data breakdowns by division, age group, gender and principal place of practice, visit the Board’s Statistics page.

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National Scheme news

Important consultations now open – feedback invited

Three public consultations are now open asking for people to have their say on revised guidance to help practitioners and others understand their mandatory notification obligations, understand their obligations when advertising a regulated health service and to support a responsive and risk-based approach to supervised practice.

Alongside other National Boards and AHPRA, the Board is conducting consultations on: 

  • revised Guidelines for mandatory notifications
  • revised Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service, and
  • a proposed Supervised practice framework (excluding Psychology and Pharmacy Boards).

We invite osteopaths and osteopathy stakeholders to give feedback to these important public consultations. To ensure everyone has the chance to respond the closing dates for public consultation are staggered as follows:

  • Guidelines for mandatory notifications − closes 6 November 2019
  • Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service − closes 26 November 2019
  • Supervised practice framework − closes 17 December 2019

The consultation papers are available on the Consultations page of the Board’s website. To make it easier to participate, you can use the online survey option to send us your feedback.

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Keep in touch with the Board

  • Visit www.osteopathyboard.gov.au for the mandatory registration standards, codes, guidelines and FAQ. 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 web page under Contact us.
  • For registration enquiries, call the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) on 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 8708 9001 (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: Dr Nikole Grbin, Chair, Osteopathy Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

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Page reviewed 24/09/2019