August 2013

Issue 3


Chair’s message

It is just over one year since medical radiation practitioners in all states and territories became registered under one national system. As with any new system, there have been some teething issues, and a lot of information for practitioners to digest, but I am grateful to AHPRA for effectively managing the change process, and very appreciative of all those practitioners who have welcomed the new National Registration and Accreditation Scheme and what it offers.

The introduction of registration standards applying to all practitioners, a streamlined national registration process, and clear avenues for complaints, will all play a role in protecting public safety and improving workforce flexibility into the future.

The registration standards are being reviewed as part of a scheduled process and the Board has consulted widely on the provisional registration and supervised practice standards as well as the capabilities guidelines. The Board continues to engage with key stakeholders, including the licensing authorities in all states.

As part of our move to a consistent registration cycle, renewals will occur for some states in November. By 2014, all medical radiation practitioner renewals will fall due in November.

I wish also to express my appreciation to Board member Mrs Myrtle Green, who is resigning from the Board this month. Mrs Green’s wisdom and experience have been of great value in all the Board’s deliberations and we are all grateful for her contribution over the past two years.

Neil Hicks
Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia

The Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia

Medical Radiation Practice Board members.

From left to right: Rosie Yeo, Marcia Fleet, Christopher Hicks, Susan Baldwin, Mark Marcenko (Deputy Chair), Neil Hicks (Chair), Tracy Vitucci, Christopher Pilkington, Robyn Hopcroft, Liz Benson, Kar Giam. Absent: Myrtle Green.

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Notifications guides published

In June AHPRA published new guides for health practitioners and the community about how notifications (or complaints) are managed in the National Scheme. The guide for practitioners and a series of fact sheets aim to explain to practitioners what happens when AHPRA receives a notification on behalf of a National Board. The information complements the direct correspondence that individuals receive if a notification is made about them.

The practitioners’ guide clearly explains what happens after a concern has been raised about a health practitioner, who decides what happens, how AHPRA works with health complaints entities (on behalf of the Board) and what practitioners can expect from those processes.

AHPRA has also developed a guide for the community about making a notification about a health practitioner. This guide for notifiers, Do you have a concern about a health practitioner? A guide for people raising a concern, will be an early focus for feedback from the newly established Community Reference Group for AHPRA and the National Boards.

Both guides are published online on the AHPRA and National Boards’ websites in a wholly revised section on complaints and notifications.

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Information sessions for practitioners

Three information sessions for medical radiation practitioners will be held in coming months in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. These sessions will provide information about the Board's ongoing work, with a particular focus on complaints processes now applicable to medical radiation practitioners under national registration, and an opportunity for questions about all aspects of our work.

Melbourne information session – Alfred Hospital

Monday 23 September, 5.30pm to 7.30pm

Seminar Room,
Ground Floor, AMREP Education Centre
Alfred Hospital
55 Commercial Road
Melbourne VIC 3004

Sydney information session – Westmead Hospital

Monday 21 October, 5.30pm to 7.30pm

Lecture Theatre 2
Level 2, Education Block
Enter via main hospital entrance
Westmead Hospital
Cnr Hawkesbury Rd and Darcy Rd
Westmead NSW 2145

Brisbane information session – Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital

Monday 25 November, 5.30pm to 7.30pm

Seminar Rooms 1 and 2
Education Centre, Block 1
Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
Cnr Butterfield St and Bowen Bridge Rd
Herston QLD 4029

These sessions are free to practitioners, but bookings are essential, so please email Board-MRP-RSVP@ahpra.gov.au to register your interest. Attendance at an information session may be included in your CPD activity log.

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Consultation update

Consultation is an important part of the Board's engagement with practitioners, members of the public and other stakeholders. The feedback provided in written responses, meetings and information sessions is greatly valued and informs all aspects of the Board's work.

Meeting with stakeholders

In past months, Board representatives have held meetings with stakeholders including the boards of the Australian Institute of Radiography (AIR) and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine (ANZSNM), state-based environment protection agencies and radiation legislative bodies, Health Workforce Australia, the Health Services Union and the MRPBA Accreditation Committee.

Recent public consultations

Consultation on the Board's proposed Supervised practice guidelines and the Capabilities for medical radiation practitioners closed on 22 July. Other recent public consultations included the Code of conduct, Guidelines for advertising, a social media policy and revisions to the Guidelines for mandatory notifications.

To access the consultation papers, please visit the Consultations page on the website.

Future consultations

Public consultation on the review of the English language skills registration standard and the Criminal history registration standard is planned for later in 2013.

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Audit of compliance with registration standards

All registered practitioners are required to comply with the National Board’s registration standards. The registration standards are published on the National Board websites under Registration standards.

AHPRA is fine-tuning a process and tools to audit practitioner compliance with mandatory registration standards on behalf of National Boards. Each time a practitioner applies to renew their registration they must make a declaration that they have met the registration standards for their profession.

Practitioner audits are an important part of the way that National Boards and AHPRA can better protect the public by regularly checking these declarations for a random sample of practitioners. Audits help to make sure that practitioners are meeting the standards and provide important assurance to the community and the Boards.

We will keep stakeholders up to date with detailed information on the audit page on the AHPRA website. We are working closely with all National Boards to make sure practitioners are prepared, informed and supported. We will also be working and consulting with unions, professional associations and large employers as we make random audit routine in the National Scheme.

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Accreditation Committee report and request for consultation submissions

The Medical Radiation Practice Accreditation Committee was established by the National Board to exercise accreditation functions under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law). The Accreditation Committee is different to other Board committees in that its powers are directly attributed to it from the National Law, rather than as a delegated authority from the Board.

The committee met for the first time at the end of January 2013. Additional members were subsequently appointed and the first meeting of the full committee was held in March 2013.

The committee’s functions are set out in the National Law. It operates under terms of reference set by the National Board. In summary, the committee is to:

  • develop accreditation standards for approval by the National Board 
  • assess programs of study and the education providers offering them to determine whether they meet the approved accreditation standards 
  • accredit programs of study and provide reports to the Board about the committee's accreditation of programs 
  • monitor programs of study that have been approved by the Board, and 
  • make recommendations and give advice to the Board on matters relevant to the committee's work.

The committee has continued to meet regularly and its initial focus has been to develop accreditation standards for medical radiation practice programs of study and the education providers offering them. The accreditation standards, and a document describing the accreditation process, were released for public consultation at the end of July. The consultation documents can be accessed on the Board’s Accreditation Committee page.

The due date for written submissions is Friday 6 September. If you would like to comment, please email your submission to Accreditation.Unit@ahpra.gov.au.

Following feedback from the public consultation, the Accreditation Committee may adjust the draft accreditation standard before submitting it to the National Board for approval.

For further information about the Accreditation Committee, including its terms of reference and membership, see the Accreditation Committee page. You are also welcome to sign up for updates through the site if you would like to stay informed about accreditation issues for the medical radiation practice profession.

Associate Professor Marilyn Baird
Chair, Accreditation Committee

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Keep in touch with the Board

This newsletter remains a key point of contact, so please ensure you provide us with your current email address. To update your contact details, go to Online services, use your unique contact number (User ID) and follow the prompts. Your User ID is not your registration number. If you do not have a User ID you can complete an online enquiry form, or call 1300 419 495.

If you have any feedback on the newsletter, or would like further information about items in the newsletter, please contact newsletters@ahpra.gov.au.

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Page reviewed 24/03/2015