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August 2022

Issue 29 - August 2022

From the Chair

Wayne Minter

Welcome to the Chiropractic Board of Australia’s newsletter.

In June, we were pleased to return to face-to-face information forums with a forum in Sydney jointly hosted with the Chiropractic Council of New South Wales. The Board hosted an online forum at the end of July to explore how clinical governance and partnering with consumers might be used for safety and quality improvements in practice. This forum was recorded and will be available on the website shortly.

Thank you for your ongoing interest in the Board’s work to keep the public safe and uphold the standards of the profession. We are planning more face-to-face forums in early 2023 and look forward to seeing you at our future events.

Dr Wayne Minter AM
Chair, Chiropractic Board of Australia

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Board news

Code of conduct for chiropractors now in effect

The revised Code of conduct for chiropractors came into effect on 29 June, with resources to help practitioners understand and apply the code also published. The code sets out the Board’s expectations of professional behaviour and conduct for chiropractors. You have a professional responsibility to apply this code in practice, helping to keep the public safe.

The code introduces a new section on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and cultural safety. This includes the National Scheme’s definition of cultural safety as well as guidance on how you can ensure culturally safe and respectful practice. This inclusion highlights the important role chiropractors have in achieving equity in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians to close the gap.

To support you in understanding and applying the code, supporting resources have been developed. These include FAQs and case studies which look at how to code could be applied in practice scenarios. National Boards have also developed a Code of conduct principles document, a one-page summary of the code, and encourage you to print a copy and place somewhere visible. You can find these resources on the Resources to help health practitioners page.

To read the code please visit the Shared Code of conduct page on the Ahpra website.

What does the code mean in practice?

The core of good practice is a chiropractor’s duty to make the care of patients their first concern through safe and effective practice. The code helps the public to trust that registered chiropractors are held to a high standard of conduct.

Each principle in the Code of conduct is followed by practical information about how to apply it to your practice. Underpinning the code is the expectation that chiropractors will use their professional judgement to achieve the best possible outcomes in practice.

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Chiropractic-specific resources on the Code of conduct

We have released a new webinar about the Code of conduct on our website. The content of this webinar is based on the Board’s presentation at the recent information forum held in Sydney.

Specific chiropractic resources have been developed to support the new code coming into effect. The following fact sheets, which include case studies, are now accessible through the Board’s website:

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Have your say on the English language skills registration standard

Public consultation on the English language registration standards (ELS standard) is now open. The ELS standard is one of five core registration standards required by all National Boards and applies to all applicants at initial registration, whether they have qualified in Australia or overseas.

Public consultation is open until 7 September 2022. You can read the consultation paper and supporting FAQs on our Current consultations page. Details on how to submit your feedback can also be found here.

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Get to know your Board

Dr Michael Shobbrook AM, ACT practitioner member

Michael Shobbrook 

Dr Michael Shobbrook AM, chiropractor, was appointed to the Chiropractic Board of Australia in November 2021. We asked him about his background, his role as a practitioner member on Ngunnawal Country and his vision for the profession.

What is your background?

I graduated from Macquarie University in 1993 and have worked in private practice since that time. I have worked in city and regional areas across three states, in solo practice, multi-practitioner and multi-profession environments.

In 2002 I joined the ACT Chiropractors' and Osteopaths' Board and, at the start of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, became Chair of the Council on Chiropractic Education Australasia. I’ve served in various roles, including as President of the ACT Chiropractors' and Osteopaths' Board, Chair, Council on Chiropractic Education Australasia (CCEA), President of the Council on Chiropractic Education International (CCEI), and recently as Deputy Chair of the Health Professions Accreditation Collaborative (HPAC) Forum.

Outside the profession, I have a busy family life with six wonderful children (and one grandchild). As they’re growing up, I am also enjoying extra time for travel and taking on some new interests in solar energy and electric vehicles.

What attracted you to the role of practitioner member on the Board?

Working in the National Scheme in accreditation for over a decade, I recognise the importance of good governance and positive regulation, having seen the benefits and challenges of a national scheme through an accreditation focus. I was keen to contribute in a different way, as a Board member, and use some of the skills and knowledge I’ve gained towards meeting the Board’s community objectives.

What Board roles and functions are you passionate about?

The Board has numerous functions under the National Law and being new to the Board I’m happy to see where my skills and knowledge are a good fit. I have a good working knowledge of professional standards and competencies and have now learnt more about complaints and notifications that arise in the profession. Seeing the application of standards in this context has been interesting and something that, hopefully, we can continue to educate the profession about.

In general, I enjoy the collegial approach of working with other Board members, focusing on objectives that benefit the communities we work with, especially in an environment that supports multiple professions. The increasing emphasis on cultural safety within and across professions is also terrific to see.

What is your vision for the profession?

The National Scheme provides an opportunity for chiropractors to contribute to and learn from interprofessional activities.

I’d like to see the profession continue to grow its value and trust in the communities we serve, through high standards of practice, both nationally and internationally.

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Latest workforce data released

The Board has published its latest quarterly report covering workforce data from 1 April to 30 June 2022.

As at that date, there are 6,147 registered chiropractors, of whom 5,735 have general registration. There are 412 who have non-practising registration.

The workforce consists of 2,562 (41.7%) female and 3,585 (58.3%) male practitioners.

For further information, including data breakdowns by principal place of practice and age, visit the Statistics page on our website.

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Students and graduates

New Board resources released – get a head start before you graduate

There are newly released resources about the revised Code of conduct for chiropractors which contain useful information and practical tips for practice. As you will transition to practising chiropractors in the near future, the Board encourages you to get a head start on being familiar with the standards, codes and guidelines which apply to registered practitioners.

In this newsletter, you can find the links to the new publications on the revised code in the Board news section above.

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National Scheme news

Senate Committee tables its report

The Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee has tabled its report on the inquiry into the Administration of registration and notifications by Ahpra and related entities under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.

Ahpra actively engaged with the inquiry, with representatives of Ahpra, the Agency Management Committee and Community Advisory Council all appearing. There were public submissions and stakeholder appearances.

We will consider the recommendations directed to Ahpra and National Boards and contribute to the Australian Government response, as requested.

The report is available on the Inquiry web page.

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Check out the new Resources hub

A new hub on the Ahpra website means it’s now easier to find helpful resources.

The Resources hub was launched in late June and aims to support practitioners’ professional practice and the public to make safer health choices. It consolidates multiprofession policy resources for practitioners and the public and makes resources easier to find.

The hub also links to National Board websites for profession-specific guidance and information.

Information is grouped for practitioners and the public so visitors to the hub can quickly locate the information relevant to them. For example, telehealth guidance for practitioners and what the public should look out for in health advertising.

New resources will be added to the hub as they are developed.

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Want more information?

  • Visit our website for news about the profession and for registration standards, codes, guidelines, policies and fact sheets.
  • Lodge an online enquiry form.
  • For registration enquiries call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia).
  • Address mail correspondence to: Dr Wayne Minter, Chair, Chiropractic Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne VIC 3001.

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Page reviewed 10/08/2022