Just over a year has passed since the introduction of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme and the Board is confident that most of the transition difficulties experienced by some of you have been resolved.
AHPRA has started sending out registration renewal notices by email and in hard copy. The quickest and easiest way for you to renew your registration is through online services on the AHPRA website. This is a new feature, available for the first time to Chiropractors. The Board is also conducting a survey to assist the Board in communicating more efficiently and effectively with you. If not already done so during renewal, the Board requests your support by completing this survey.
The Board will send you a newsletter a couple of times a year to keep you updated on matters relevant to chiropractors. This first edition will be sent by email and in hard copy on this occasion to those who do not have an email address listed in their records. Due to the costs involved, future newsletters will only be sent out by email and those practitioners who do not have an email address are encouraged to browse the Board’s website or have others download a copy for them.
The most common questions and issues that have been bought to the Board’s notice lately have been around CPD and advertising. This newsletter focuses on these two issues. The Board will be publishing on their website some updated FAQs and Fact sheets on these matters over the next few weeks (see the Board website).
The Board has commenced a project to review the Code of Conduct for chiropractors. A workshop will be held shortly involving key stakeholders and it is hoped that a revised Draft Code of Conduct will be available for general consultation and feedback part way through next year. Any feedback or comments on this new document would be welcome at that time. Future newsletters will alert you to when this consultation will take place.
The Board is currently consulting on Registration Standards for Limited Registration – Teaching & Research, Limited Registration in the Public Interest and the Definition of ‘Practice’. The Board welcomes any comments or feedback you wish to make. Current consultations are published on the website.
Dr Phillip Donato OAM
Chair, Chiropractic Board of Australia
On 1 July 2010, Australia introduced the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) to regulate practitioners of ten health professions, including chiropractic. As at 30 June 2011, Australia had 4,350 registered chiropractors.
The Board will be releasing more detailed registration data in the AHPRA Annual Report, including practitioner numbers by state and gender, and notifications data. The Annual Report is expected to be published on the AHPRA and the Board’s websites in November.
30 November registration renewal
AHPRA recently launched its registration renewal campaign for the 4,350 chiropractors in Australia due to renew their registration by 30 November 2011.
Practitioners will receive renewal reminder emails (where AHPRA has email addresses), and hard-copy letters reminding practitioners of their responsibility to renew will be sent to all practitioners who do not renew after their first email prompt. To date, AHPRA has email addresses for more than 75% of practitioners, which enables direct and effective communication about important issues.
When you renew your registration, please make sure to update your contact details, including your current email address.
What happens if you miss the date?
Renewing on time: At or before 30 November
You can keep practising as long as AHPRA has received your application by 30 Nov. You can check your application has been received on the AHPRA website.
Renewal fee only
Renewing during the late period: 1 to 30 December
You can renew your registration during the late period but late fee applies. You can keep practising as long as AHPRA has received your application by 30 December 2011. Please note that all State and Territory offices will be closed during public holidays over this period.
Renewal fee + late fee
Lapsed registration, Fast Track application: 1 to 31 January
During this period your name will be removed from the register and you will no longer be able to practise. To be re-registered, you must lodge a new application for registration. A Fast Track application process is available during this period, but additional fees apply. The fast-track process is a streamlined process of re-registration. You will not be able to practise until your registration has been successfully processed.
Registration fee + Fast Track processing fee
Registering from scratch: 1 February onwards
From 1 February onwards you will need to lodge a new application for registration. Processing times for new applications depends on many factors, including whether the documentation submitted by the applicant is complete and whether the applicant makes disclosures relating to health or criminal history. You will not be able to practise until your registration has been successfully processed.
Application fee + registration fee
For more information, please refer to the Registration Renewal FAQ, which is published on the Board’s website under the Registration Standards tab.
Under section 128 of the National Law, all registered chiropractors (except for those who hold non-practicing or student registration) are required to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to meet the requirements of the registration standard set by the Chiropractic Board of Australia. The Board has also issued guidelines on CPD.
Under the registration standard (unless otherwise exempted by exceptional circumstances), you must complete at least 25 hours of CPD per annual registration period. At least 50 per cent of these hours (12.5 hours) must be ‘formal’ learning activities. The balance may be ‘informal’ for ‘formal’ learning activities. You must also hold a current Senior First Aid (Level 2) certificate or equivalent.
All registered chiropractors will be required to make a declaration about their compliance with the CPD requirements when they renew their registration. The Board/AHPRA will conduct audits of practitioners to ensure they have complied with the standard, so practitioners must retain proof that they have complied with the CPD requirements for each period of renewal of registration.
Each individual practitioner has the responsibility of being able to justify to the Board as to the ‘hours’ content of their formal learning activities. The Board’s CPD Guidelines provide for ’formal learning’ activities to be assessed and approved by a Board-approved body(s) (including quantum of hours) to assist practitioners in this.
The National Law includes new obligations in relation to advertising by registered health practitioners. The Board, along with the other nine National Boards, has developed advertising guidelines that clarify its expectations of practitioners in this area. The guidelines are published on the Board’s website. The Board expects practitioners to ensure that any advertising they undertake complies with the guidelines.
This being the first year of the National Scheme, the Board has taken a largely educative approach to help practitioners understand the law and the new requirements set down in its advertising guidelines. The coming year will see a more structured approach to addressing concerns about advertising. This will include an escalating series of warnings to practitioners, initially reminding them of their obligations about advertising and ultimately, possible prosecution for non-compliance with the board’s standards. If a National Board deems that a practitioner’s failure to comply with a board’s request warrants it, matters related to advertising can also be progressed through the conduct, health and performance pathways.
The Board and AHPRA will also be working with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to try and ensure the most appropriate investigation and prosecution of false and misleading advertising.
The role of the National Board is to protect the public. The Board relies on the public and members of the profession to bring their concerns to its attention, as advertising, particularly through web-based media, is growing and can be difficult to monitor.
It is important to note that neither boards nor AHPRA can review or vet specific advertising proposed by practitioners for compliance with advertising guidelines.
The Chiropractic Board of Australia invites practitioners to participate in a short survey designed to ascertain member views on a range of topics and issues relevant to registered practitioners. Whilst your participation is voluntary, we encourage you to complete the survey as your input will be invaluable to assist the Board in better communicating and engaging with the profession. This survey is being conducted on our behalf by two specialist market research companies they will collect the data, analyse and report the results in an aggregated form only. They will not have access to your personal details. Please be assured that all the information and opinions you provide will be used only for research purposes. All responses are anonymous and treated in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2000. Your responses will not be individually identifiable and only aggregated information on groups of members will be made available to the Board. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and can be accessed on the Market Metrics website.
AHPRA is geared up to register new chiropractic graduates who will be completing their courses at the end of the year, ready to join Australia’s health workforce. To smooth the path from study to work, AHPRA is again encouraging graduating students to apply for registration early. Teams in AHPRA’s state and territory offices are working with education providers, health departments, employers and student associations to support our early, online application campaign.
Students enrolled in board-approved programs of study are encouraged to apply for registration four to six weeks before completing their course.
There are five simple steps to graduate registration:
More detail about graduate registration, including frequently asked questions and answers, links to online applications and a flyer are published on the AHPRA website.
AHPRA and the National Boards are developing a nationally-consistent approach to auditing health practitioners’ compliance with mandatory registration standards (criminal history, professional indemnity insurance, recency of practice and continuing professional development AHPRA and the National Boards will be providing more detail to practitioners as the audit approach is further developed and details of the pilot are confirmed.
The Chiropractic Board of Australia and AHPRA can be contacted by telephone on 1300 419 495. More information is available on the Chiropractic Board website and AHPRA website. An online enquiry form is available on both websites under Contact Us. Mail correspondence can be addressed to: Dr Phillip Donato, Chair, Chiropractic Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne Vic 3001.