Medical Radiation Practice Accreditation Committee member, Professor Sarah Lewis, reflects on her role and the work of the committee. Professor Lewis has been Deputy Chair of the committee for the past five years. She is a diagnostic radiographer based at the University of Sydney where her official title is Professor of Medical Imaging.
Professor Lewis’s current role is as the Associate Dean of Research Performance (Faculty of Medicine and Health). Previously, she was the Head of Discipline, Medical Imaging Science. Professor Lewis has a PHD in diagnostic radiography and a Master of Education (Assessment and Program Design).
I have worked in academia for a considerable time, with my focus on educational design and assessment. Having developed a number of whole programs at a Bachelor and Masters level, I felt by joining the committee I could combine my experience as an academic with my love of being a diagnostic radiographer.
The committee does diverse work. While the bulk of our work is assessing and monitoring medical radiation practice programs of study from a variety of education providers, we also contribute to consultancy and strategy around accreditation across all registered professions, provide expert advice to the National Board on accreditation and broader matters such as the professional capabilities for the profession. As Deputy Chair, I would estimate I do one to two days of work per month, so perhaps 20 days a year in total. I have also contributed and represented the committee at the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme review and at the Health Professions Accreditation Collaborative Forum , which develops strategies across all national accreditation councils and committees of shared importance, such as for cultural safety.
An eye for detail. It is important to be thorough and fair when assessing applications for accreditation against the standards. As the accreditation standards are outcomes focused, you need to be open to innovative approaches to students’ learning, different models of academic working and being transparent in your decision-making. It’s important to be able to appreciate the perspectives of students, education providers and the profession as accreditation is a feature of public safety and confidence.
The camaraderie and interprofessional workings of the people on the accreditation committee. It has representatives from all the MRPs, academic or clinical, plus specialist educationalists and I continue to learn from the expertise that the group has. The accreditation committee enjoys brilliant support from the Ahpra Program Accreditation team and it is a pleasure to see the diligence and accuracy that they apply to their work. Our work helps me remember why I enjoy being an academic and a radiographer. Looking across the curriculums of other education providers, you see some great innovations and students-as-partners initiatives which help stimulate your own thoughts about continuously developing your own teaching methods.
Go for it! Have the mindset that you will balance the skills of attention to detail with the broader picture. You need to try and leave your ‘day job’ behind and put on your committee hat. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the accreditation committee.
There are current vacancies on the Medical Radiation Practice Accreditation Committee. To apply, go to Committee member recruitment. Applications close 3 October 2021.