Chiropractic Board of Australia - 2019/20 annual summary
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2019/20 annual summary

Snapshot of the profession

  • 5,777 chiropractors
    • Up 4.1% from 2018/19
    • 0.7% of all registered health practitioners
  • 0.4% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 40.7% female; 59.3% male


Age: 1.9% < 25, 30.3% 25-34, 26.8% 35-44, 22.3% 45-54, 12.4% 55-64, 5.2% 65-74, 1.1% > 75

Audit outcomes

Audit: 89.0% fully compliant, 7.0% compliant (through education), 1.1% non-compliant, 2.8% no audit action required

Regulating the profession


  • 92 notifications lodged with Ahpra
    • 137 chiropractors Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data, had notifications made about them
    • 2.4% of the profession

Sources of notifications

Sources of notifications: 45.7% patient, relative or member of the public, 0.7% other practitioner, 10.9% HCE, 5.4% Board’s own motion, 17.4% other

  • 4 immediate actions taken
  • 8 mandatory notifications received
    • 5 were about professional standards

Most common types of complaint

Most common types of complaint: 28.3% clinical care, 10.9% boundary violation, 10.9% breach of non-offence provision National Law, 8.7% behaviour, 4.3% health impairment, 37.0% other

Notifications closed

Notifications closed: 84 notifications closed (8.3% conditions imposed on registration, or an undertaking accepted, 11.9% received a caution or reprimand, 2.4% registration suspended or cancelled, 1.2% fined, 7.1% referred to another body or retained, by a health complaints entity, 69.0% no further action


  • 46 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year
  • 39 cases being monitored at 30 June:
    • 14 for conduct
    • 1 for health reasons
    • 9 for performance
    • 6 for prohibited practitioner/student
    • 9 for suitability/eligibility for registration

Criminal offence complaints

  • 15 criminal offence complaints made
    • 5 about title protection
    • 1 about practice protection
    • 9 about advertising breaches
  • 20 were closed

Referrals to an adjudication body

  • 3 matter decided by a tribunal
  • No matters decided by a panel
  • 1 appeal

A report from the Chair 

Throughout the past year, the Chiropractic Board of Australia has continued its commitment to ensuring the public has access to safe and competent health services from registered chiropractors. We have engaged with practitioners and stakeholder groups to ensure the expectations and requirements of the Board and the National Law are being met by the profession.

Regulatory response to COVID-19

During the pandemic, the Board worked with Ahpra to provide information to the profession, including answers to common questions and regular updates. We communicated directly with chiropractors through the release of several e-bulletins and regular newsletters. 

To keep informed about the impact of the pandemic on the profession, the Board received regular updates from its stakeholders and regulatory partners including professional associations, the Chiropractic Council of NSW and the Council on Chiropractic Education Australasia. 


Together with the other 14 National Boards and Ahpra, the Board carried out public consultation on the Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service. We continued to work with Ahpra to ensure chiropractors understood and complied with their professional and legal advertising obligations. 

Standards and guidelines

Following Ministerial approval, the Board implemented the revised Registration standard: continuing professional development (CPD), which came into effect on 1 December 2019. As part of this implementation we released Guidelines: continuing professional development and other guidance material

Chiropractors were part of multi-profession focus groups who reviewed guidance material designed to help practitioners understand the requirements of the revised CPD registration standard. The material included updated FAQs, fact sheets and a CPD portfolio template.

Interim policy on spinal manipulation

In July 2019, the Board made a submission to the review of chiropractic spinal care on children under 12 years. The independent review was carried out by Safer Care Victoria. The recommendations from the review are being considered by Ministers. The Board will communicate further with the profession at the end of the review process.

Stakeholder engagement

In August, the Board presented at Chiropractic Australia’s national conference in the Gold Coast and in October presented at the Australian Chiropractors Association annual conference in Melbourne. 

The Board held two information forums during February and March in Melbourne and Perth, and postponed the remaining planned forums due to the pandemic. These forums provided chiropractors with important information about regulatory matters, including the revised CPD registration standard and advertising. They also gave chiropractors an opportunity to engage with the Board. 

We continued our program of presentations to final year students throughout the year to welcome them to the profession and help them understand the expectations and requirements of the Board and the National Law. 

Dr Wayne Minter AM, Chair

Page reviewed 22/11/2021