Chiropractic Board of Australia - Chiropractic Board leads the way as an evidence-based regulator

Chiropractic Board leads the way as an evidence-based regulator

12 Apr 2018

The role of the Chiropractic Board  of Australia (the Board) is to keep the public safe. One way it does this is by looking at the data collected by the National Scheme about registered chiropractors.

The Board strongly supports evidence-based regulation and regularly looks at trends found in National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) data when making decisions about registration and the notifications (complaints).

Newly-published research from The University of Melbourne Medical School is a welcome addition to the Board’s conversation on the types and trends of complaints received about chiropractors.

Published in Chiropractic and Manual Therapies, the retrospective cohort study looked at all formal complaints about registered chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists in Australia lodged with health regulators from 2011-2016.

For chiropractors it found that while the majority of chiropractors had no complaints made about them to the regulator, 1.3 per cent attracted more than one and accounted for almost 36 per cent of the their professions’ total.

Chiropractic Board of Australia Chair Wayne Minter AM maintains that evidence is important to all parts of health practitioner regulation. He would like to remind registered chiropractors that they must use acceptable evidence about chiropractic practice to inform their care of patients.

‘The public is entitled to receive safe, ethical, evidence-based and competent care from chiropractors. Though gathering data on the complaints received about chiropractors and using that information to help protect the public is not new for the Board, each piece of additional research helps paint the picture for practitioners and the public of what is and is not acceptable conduct, performance and behaviour,’ Dr Minter said.

The Board continually looks at complaints data closely and reminds chiropractors of the important obligations they have through codes and guidelines, including its Code of conduct. Where there is evidence that practice of a chiropractor or a group of chiropractors may be unsafe or create a significant risk of harm to the public, the Board will act.

‘The Board has provided clear guidance throughout many of its codes and standards by directing practitioners towards an evidence-informed approach to practice. We are a risk-based regulator and not a punitive body, therefore we work with the profession to educate and inform practitioners on their obligations. However, when a concern is raised it is taken seriously and investigated. If regulatory action is required it is taken,’ Dr Minter said.


The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and National Boards publish a range of data and information about registered practitioners which they use as part of their role to make regulatory decisions to protect the public. Data can be found in:

  • annual reports
  • profession-specific reports
  • performance reports
  • quarterly registration data
  • previous data requests
  • previously published research
  • summaries of panel decisions deemed to be of educational and clinical value, and
  • summaries for most court and tribunal decisions, with a full library of published hearing decisions from adjudication bodies (other than panels) available on the AustLII website.

You can find more information on the AHPRA website Data access and research page.

For further information

  • Lodge an online enquiry form.
  • For registration enquiries: 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 3 9275 9009 (overseas callers).
  • For media enquiries: (03) 8708 9200.
Page reviewed 12/04/2018