2018/19 summary

Medical rediation practice in 2018/19

Snapshot of the profession

  • 16,683 medical radiation practitioners
  • Up 2.6% from 2017/18
  • 2.2% of all registered health practitioners
  • 0.6% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 68.1% female; 31.9% male

Divisions

  • 13,006 diagnostic radiographers
  • 15 diagnostic radiographers and nuclear medicine technologists
  • 2 diagnostic radiographers and radiation therapists
  • 1,194 nuclear medicine technologists
  • 2,466 radiation therapists

Age

Under 25 years old: 7%, 25-34 years old: 37.2%, 35-44 years old: 25.1%, 45-54 years old: 16%, 55-64 years old: 11.7%, 65-74 years old: 2.8%, Over 75 years old: 0.1%

Audit outcomes

Audit outcomes pie chart

  • 96.2% compliant: fully compliant with the registration standards
  • 3.8% no audit action required: during the audit period, practitioners changed their registration type to non-practising, elected to surrender their registration or failed to renew their registration

Regulating the profession

  • 31 notifications lodged with AHPRA1
  • Australia-wide, including Health Professional Councils Authority (HPCA) in NSW and Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) in Queensland data, 44 registered medical radiation practitioners – or 0.3% – had notifications made about them
  • 33 notifications closed
    • 6.1% had conditions imposed on registration or an undertaking accepted
    • 9.1% received a caution or reprimand
    • 6.1% referred to another body or retained by a health complaints entity (HCE)
    • 78.8% no further action taken
  • Immediate action taken 3 times
  • 4 mandatory notifications received
    • none about professional standards
  • 18 medical radiation practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year
  • 42 cases were being monitored at 30 June
    • 2 on the grounds of conduct
    • 6 for health reasons
    • 3 for performance
    • 2 prohibited practitioner/student
    • 29 for suitability/eligibility for registration
  • 3 criminal offence complaints were made and 2 closed
    • 2 new matters related to title protection
    • 1 to advertising breaches
  • Matters decided by a tribunal: 1
  • Matters decided by a panel: 0
  • Decisions appealed: 3

1Unless stated otherwise, all notification data is AHPRA data.

Sources of notifications: 32.3% Patient, relative or member of the public, 12.9% HCE, 12.9% Employer, 12.9% Anonymous, 9.7% Other practitioner, 19.4% Other

Most common types of complaint: 25.8% Clinical care, 16.1% Boundary violation, 12.9% Health impairment, 9.7% Documentation, 6.5% Offence against other law, 29.0% Other

A report on the year from the Chair

The year 2018/19 was another busy year. For medical radiation practitioners it also represented the end of the second CPD triennium. At the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia’s conference in Sydney at the end of 2018, we raised the prospect of changing to an annual CPD obligation; however most practitioners indicated a preference to retain the current triennium arrangements.

It is pleasing to see that the audit results continue to show the medical radiation practice profession is engaged with its obligations as practitioners in providing safe and competent care. The continued low rate of notifications for medical radiation practitioners, when compared to other health professions, makes medical radiation practitioners one of the safest health professions.

Revising the capabilities

In early 2018, the Board undertook preliminary work by examining how the Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice (first published in 2013) were operating as a regulatory tool, but also how practitioners, employers, education providers and the public used and applied the capabilities. In the latter half of 2018, the Board organised a stakeholder conference to look at some of the issues identified and propositions for how the Board might deal with some of the issues.

The Board undertook public consultation for 10 weeks between February and April. The Board held information sessions and a webinar to help stakeholders understand the proposed changes and what they mean for practice.

The Board has begun to finalise the revised capabilities, which are intended for publication in the latter half of 2019.

Engaging with stakeholders

The Board held its first conference in Sydney in November, with over 120 attendees, including registered practitioners, professional associations, education providers, community members and those working in various government organisations. Representatives of the Board engaged with practitioners at various professional gatherings including the Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (ASMIRT) conference and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine (ANZSNM) conference. Board members were able to directly engage with practitioners, employers, education providers and medical imaging equipment manufacturers on a range of regulatory matters, including the impact of technological change on practice.

In November, the Board published material that recognised the contributions that medical radiation practitioners make to safe patient care and supported the globally recognised World Radiographer Day.

Supervisor training program

The Board has been offering the practitioner-facilitated Teaching on the Run (TOTR) workshops to help in the development of supervisors since 2014. In 2018/19, the Board held training sessions in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The sessions are always well attended and the Board is looking to provide more opportunities in other states and territories in the coming 12 months.

The aim of the training program is to support supervisors in their workplace clinical teaching roles. The program uses an innovative blended-learning approach that combines face-to-face workshops and eLearning, and covers these modules: Clinical supervision, Planning learning, Assessment, Supporting learners, Clinical teaching, Skills teaching, and Effective group teaching.

Reducing red tape

In December, the Board decided to revise the way in which it has managed practitioners with conditions that impose restrictions on scope of practice. The revised process uses notations on the register to convey information to the public about a practitioner’s self-identified practice restrictions. The revised practice recognises the importance of individual professional responsibility and the capability of practitioners to appropriately moderate the way in which they practise.

Supporting safe practice

Culturally safe practice has been front and centre when looking at the revised Professional capabilities for medical radiation practitioners. We have been working with other National Boards and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group, and will look to provide further resources to support culturally safe practice.

Mr Mark Marcenko, Chair

 
 
Page reviewed 27/03/2020