Download a PDF of these Guidelines for the further education and training of chiropractors when required under the National Law (105 KB,PDF)
These guidelines apply to further education and training that is required of chiropractors, under the provisions of the National Law1. This further education is mainly to be carried out by registered chiropractors for registered chiropractors, although other professionals with specific expertise may also be required in certain circumstances.
These guidelines are permissible in proceedings under the National Law. They may be used as evidence of what constitutes appropriate professional conduct or practice for the chiropractic profession in proceedings against a chiropractor under the National Law.
The sections of the National Law relevant to the development and use of these guidelines are set out in Appendix 1.
The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance about the further education and training of chiropractors under the provisions of the National Law. They provide a framework to support the management of customised further education and training programs for practitioners to take place in a counselling or mentoring relationship as appropriate.
These guidelines support these processes so that they are:
It is important to note that these processes and the scope of these guidelines are separate from, and distinct to, the process of supervision and the scope of the National Board’s Guidelines for the supervision of chiropractors.
Practitioners may be required by the National Board to undertake further education and training as required under the National Law for a variety of reasons2.
The National Board believes that a mentoring or counselling relationship with clearly defined learning objectives is an appropriate model, in most circumstances, when registered chiropractors are required to undertake further education under the National Law.
These guidelines may not be applicable when more formal or didactic further education is required by a practitioner.
These guidelines provide guidance on the:
The National Board endorses the principles of restorative and rehabilitative justice and therefore supports the application of educative and compliance-based approaches when it is appropriate to do so3.
The need for a chiropractor to undertake further education and training may become apparent from a health, conduct or performance process under Part 8 of the National Law. For example, it may arise from a tribunal or professional standards panel hearing.
The National Board considers that in many cases, further education is an opportunity for skill restoration and/or behaviour change in a practitioner who has been found to have engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct, professional misconduct or unsatisfactory professional performance in one or more areas of their professional practice.
Whether or not a practitioner is suitable to remain in clinical practice with identified weaknesses or deficiencies is a threshold decision to be made by a decision-making body under the National Law, separate to the operation of these guidelines. These guidelines do not intend to support or guide that decision. These guidelines apply to practitioners who are in clinical practice, supervised clinical practice or not in clinical practice.
As part of the disciplinary process, the provisions of s178 of the National Law provide that the National Board or its delegate may:
The need for a chiropractor to undertake further education and training may arise as part of the registration processes described in Part 7 of the National Law. The National Law gives the National Board the power to impose conditions on the registration of a practitioner, including the requirement for the practitioner to undertake further education and training.
The range of registration and notification matters under the National Law to which these guidelines may apply, may include but not be limited to, practitioners who:
These guidelines apply to both the Board-approved person providing the further education and training and the practitioner receiving it.
The scope of these guidelines is not intended to cover:
The National Board’s expectations of the arrangements for further education and training are outlined in the following principles.
The further education and training activities outlined below are designed to ensure that the learning outcomes and objectives of the approved plan are achieved. Further education and training activities should be specified in the approved plan.
Which activities are chosen will depend on a number of factors to be considered, by all parties involved, in the development of an approved plan. These factors include, but are not limited to, the:
Activities include, but are not limited to:
A Board-approved person is expected to:
The relationship between the Board-approved person and practitioner must be professional. The Board- approved person should be mindful of the requirements of teachers, supervisors and assessors that are set out in section 11 of the Code of conduct for chiropractors4.
Good practice involves avoiding any potential for conflict of interest in the mentoring and/or counselling relationship. For example, counselling someone who is a close relative or friend, or where there is another potential conflict of interest, could impede objectivity and/or interfere with the practitioner’s achievement of the learning outcomes.
It is critical that the Board-approved person has adequate time for this role. Accordingly, if a Board- approved person proposes to provide mentoring and/or counselling for a number of practitioners, the National Board may seek assurance from them that they have the capacity to provide an appropriate commitment to each practitioner.
The responsibilities of the Board-approved person include the following.
Should a Board-approved person fail to properly discharge their obligations under these guidelines and the approved plan, the National Board may consider revoking their status as a Board-approved person or taking other action.
The Board-approved person is only responsible for the professional conduct and performance of the practitioner as set out in the approved plan.
The responsibilities of the practitioner are as follows.
Should the practitioner fail to properly discharge their obligations under these guidelines and the approved plan, the National Board may consider disciplinary or other action.
The further education and training plan (approved plan) contains:
The recommended content and a template for the development of the approved plan are set out in Part B of Appendix 2.
The learning plan sets out the:
The approved plan must be approved by the National Board before starting the further education and training4F4 The National Board retains the discretion to amend any aspect of a proposed further education and training plan if necessary, including changing the nominated Board-approved person.
There should not be any break in the proposed plan of greater than four weeks without prior approval of the National Board. A break of greater than four weeks without approval may be deemed to be non-compliance with the agreement.
The reporting requirements must be included in the approved plan. However, the National Board may, at any time, exercise discretion about the frequency and structure of any report by advising all parties accordingly.
The approved plan will specify:
Reports will be required from both the practitioner and the Board-approved person. A Board-approved person may at any time provide a verbal report to the National Board if there are immediate concerns about the progress, conduct or performance of the practitioner. Any verbal report must be followed by a written report in due course.
Typically, the standard reporting schedule would involve:
Both the Board-approved person’s and the practitioner’s reports should provide detail on the progress made against the requirements listed in the approved plan. They should also explain whether or not the objectives of the approved plan are being achieved – and if not, the measures that need to be implemented to address these deficiencies.
Reports should also include any emerging issues identified by either party. Copies of any report should be provided to all parties.
A reporting template is provided at Appendix 3.
It may be useful to include an alternative Board-approved person when further education is initially arranged. This person can take over as a replacement should the Board-approved person be unable to fully discharge their duties. The alternative person will automatically be able to assume the Board-approved person’s duties if required (for example, because of significant illness or a substantial period of leave).
When an alternative Board-approved person takes over an existing approved plan the practitioner should:
A new Board-approved person must be approved by the National Board before they can take over an approved plan.
Practice means any role, whether remunerated or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a health practitioner in the profession. For the purposes of National Board’s Recency of practice registration standard, practice is not restricted to the provision of direct clinical care. It also includes working in a direct non-clinical relationship with clients, working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy development roles, and any other roles that impact on safe, effective delivery of services in the profession and/or use the individual’s professional skills.
Mentoring is a developmental partnership through which one practitioner (mentor) shares knowledge, skills, information and perspective to foster the personal and professional growth of another practitioner. The mentoring relationship is generally considered by the National Board to be more interactive and less formal than that of a supervisor role and has different responsibilities and obligations. For the purposes of these guidelines, mentoring is required to take place to achieve defined learning outcomes and objectives as set out in the approved further education and training by mentoring and/or counselling plan.
A Board-approved person is a suitably qualified and experienced practitioner that is approved by the Board for the purpose of further education. This person must be an experienced registered practitioner, with a minimum of three years’ practice as a registered practitioner and not be subject to any conditions, undertakings or reprimands that might affect their ability to be an effective educator/mentor/counsellor. Only in appropriate circumstances would a professional who is not a chiropractor be considered as a Board-approved person, such as for counselling or further education on specific content or in very remote locations.
The National Board maintains a list of approved persons in each state and territory for the purposes of further education. Additional people may be appointed to this list if required. The Board-approved person has a responsibility to adhere to the agreement they enter into with the National Board to administer the approved plan.
The practitioner is the registered practitioner who receives the further education by mentoring and/or counselling from the Board-approved person in accordance with an approved further education and training plan.
Counselling in this context is a learning-oriented process, which occurs usually in an interactive relationship between a counsellor and a counselee; with the aim of helping a practitioner to learn more about themselves, and to use such understanding to become an effective member of their healthcare profession. For the purposes of these guidelines, the counselling is to take place to achieve defined learning outcomes and objectives as set out in the approved further education and training plan.
An approved further education and training plan (approved plan) is a plan that is agreed between the Board-approved person and the practitioner which sets out the outcomes and objectives of the required further education and training and is subsequently approved by the National Board.
Further education and training for the purposes of these guidelines is further education and training by a Board-approved person under an approved plan that is distinct from that provided by an educational institution.
Supervision differs to further education and training in a mentoring or counseling relationship. It is a formal process of professional oversight, guidance, support and learning which enables a practitioner (supervisee) to develop knowledge and competence and assume responsibility for their own practice and enhance public protection and safety. Generally, a supervisor is not responsible for developing learning outcomes and formally conducting learning activities to achieve those outcomes as would be the case for a Board-appointed person in further education in a mentoring or counselling relationship.
A Board-approved person’s report is a document submitted in the format approved by the National Board at the intervals agreed in the approved plan and details progress against the approved plan.
The Board will review these guidelines at least every five years.
Date of issue: 22 February 2014
Date of review: 22 February 2019
Last reviewed: n/a
The Guidelines for the further education and training of chiropractors when required under the National Law have been developed by the Chiropractic Board of Australia (the National Board) under section 39 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).
39 Codes and guidelines
A National Board may develop and approve codes and guidelines—
40 Consultation about registration standards, codes and guidelines
41 Use of registration standards, codes or guidelines in disciplinary proceedings
An approved registration standard for a health profession, or a code or guideline approved by a National Board, is admissible in proceedings under this Law or a law of a co-regulatory jurisdiction against a health practitioner registered by the Board as evidence of what constitutes appropriate professional conduct or practice for the health profession.
83 Conditions of registration
178 National Board may take action
191 Decision of panel
196 Decision by responsible tribunal about registered health practitioner
Please refer to Appendix 2 on page 14 of the Chiropractic Board - Guidelines for the further education and training of chiropractors when required under the National Law (105 KB,PDF).
Please refer to Appendix 3 on page 20 of the Guidelines for the further education and training of chiropractors when required under the National Law (105 KB,PDF).
1The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).
2Under sections 83,179, 191, and 196 of the National Law
3The decision to apply an educative approach is based on whether the public is placed at risk.
4Available on the codes and guidelines page.
5A personal relationship or business partnership between the mentee/counselee and mentor/counselor is not encouraged but will be considered in context by the Board and may be accepted in limited circumstances such as remote locations etc.
6Available on the codes and guidelines page.
7http://cmcismentorprogram.wordpress.com/mentoring-program-manual/definition-of-mentoring, accessed 29 May 2012
8www.unesco.org/education/mebam/module_2.pdf (contextually modified), accessed 29 May 2012