Chiropractic Board of Australia - 2020/21 annual summary
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2020/21 annual summary


  • 5,968 chiropractors
  • Up 3.3% from 2019/20
    • 0.7% of all registered health practitioners
  • 0.6% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 41.6% female; 58.4% male


Age: <25 = 3.1%, 25 to 34 = 30.7%, 35 to 44 = 26.5%, 45 to 54 = 21.8%, 55 to 64 = 12.0%, 65 to 74 = 4.9%, >75 = 1.0%



  • 99 notifications lodged with Ahpra
    • 140 registered chiropractors Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data, had notifications made about them
    • 2.3% of the profession

Sources of notifications

Sources of notifications: Patient, relative or member of the public 57.6%, Other practitioner 18.2%, HCE 14.1%, Employer 1.0%, Other 9.1%

  • 12 immediate actions taken

  • 5 mandatory notifications received
    • 3 about professional standards

Most common types of complaints

Most common types of complaints: Clinical care 27.3%, Boundary violation 12.1%, Communication 9.1%, Health impairment 7.1%, Breach of non-offence provision - National Law 7.1%, Documentation 3.0%, Other 34.3%

Notifications closed

Notifications closed: 80 notifications closed, 23.8% conditions imposed on registration or an undertaking accepted, 12.5% received a caution or reprimand, 1.3% registration cancelled, 8.8% referred to another body or retained by a health complaints entity, 53.8% no further action


  • 53 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year
  • 41 cases being monitored at 30 June:
    • 9 for conduct
    • 4 for health reasons
    • 9 for performance
    • 8 for prohibited practitioner/student
    • 11 for suitability/eligibility for registration

Criminal offence complaints

  • 18 criminal offence complaints made
    • 10 about title protection
    • 4 about practice protection
    • 4 about advertising breaches
  • 15 were closed

Referred to an adjudication body

  • 2 matters decided by a tribunal
  • No matters decided by a panel
  • 1 appeal

A report from the Chair

The Chiropractic Board of Australia continued to build on initiatives from the previous year to meet our strategic objectives. After considering several analyses, the Board announced a reduced registration fee while ensuring that finances were sustainable.

Regulatory response to COVID-19

The Board continued to work with Ahpra to provide information to the profession. Together with the other 14 National Boards and Ahpra, the Board published a joint vaccination position statement to help practitioners and students understand what’s expected of them in giving, receiving, advising on and sharing information about COVID-19 vaccines.

In response to the initial national COVID-19 emergency, the Board eased the requirements for continuing professional development and recency of practice for the 2020 renewal year.

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, about the impact of the pandemic on the profession, approved programs and students.

Standards, codes, guidelines and policies

Together with National Boards and Ahpra, the Board jointly revised the Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service and the Advertising and compliance enforcement strategy for the National Scheme. The guidelines were finalised after an extensive review, including public consultation, to ensure they effectively and clearly explain the requirements for advertising a regulated health service.

The Board began public consultation on a revised Code of conduct, jointly with 11 National Boards and Ahpra. The Code of conduct sets out the expected professional behaviour and conduct for chiropractors and promotes safe care to help protect the public. Chiropractors were part of multi-profession focus groups to provide feedback on the Code of conduct.

The Board, jointly with National Boards and Ahpra, carried out a public consultation on revised Regulatory principles for the National Scheme and released a position statement: No place for sexism, sexual harassment or violence in healthcare.

Stakeholder engagement

The Board held two virtual information forums during May for chiropractors in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory. To support the information forums, the Board released a video to provide information about what is expected of chiropractors, with a focus on continuing professional development, advertising and use of social media. The virtual forums gave chiropractors an opportunity to engage with the Board after the face-to-face forums were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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. Students of chiropractic programs now receive the Board’s newsletter, which is issued to practitioners three times per year.

The Board was pleased to be asked to participate in the Responsible advertising by regulated health services episode of Ahpra’s Taking care podcast to highlight the importance of responsible advertising and the risks and opportunities in advertising a regulated health service.

Other news

The Board supports the National Scheme’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and cultural strategy 2020–2025 and is pleased that members have had the opportunity to start the Moong-moong-gak cultural safety training program.

Dr Wayne Minter AM

Page reviewed 22/11/2022