Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia - December 2013
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December 2013

Issue 4

Chair’s message

Welcome to the final newsletter for 2013 from the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia (the Board). This edition of the newsletter will update you about important topics such as continuing professional development, professional indemnity insurance and supervised practice.

The last few months have been very busy with the Board publishing Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice, which identifies the skills, knowledge and professional attributes required of entry-level practitioners. The Accreditation standards for medical radiation practice for assessing and accrediting university medical radiation science programs of study were also approved by the Board.

Thank you to the many practitioners who have attended one of our information sessions over the past few months. We certainly value hearing direct feedback from registrants and we hope you found the information provided helpful as well.

I am pleased to advise that the Australian Institute of Radiography (AIR) and the Australian and New Zealand Society for Nuclear Medicine (ANZSNM) will continue to run their supervised practice programs under contract to the Board in 2014. Meanwhile, the Board has issued a supplementary consultation on an amendment to its Supervised practice registration standard, which has previously been available for public comment.

The Board is in the process of making appointments to its Workforce Innovation and Reform Working Group and we look forward to engaging with stakeholders early in the New Year on these important workforce issues.

As you may have noticed during your registration renewal, the Board reduced the registration, renewal and application fees for general and provisional registrants, while continuing to undertake significant initiatives to ensure a robust regulatory environment for medical radiation practitioners. We take very seriously our obligations to manage registration processes cost effectively and sustainably, and after careful consideration we determined that the lower fees were appropriate for this year.

It is also encouraging to see some of the Board’s initiatives being implemented and setting the stage for further advances in the profession.

I hope that you have a safe and happy festive season.

Best wishes,

Neil Hicks

Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia

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Information sessions

Over the past few months, the National Board has held information sessions for practitioners in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Mackay, Adelaide and Canberra. As well as providing general information about registration, the sessions gave practitioners an opportunity to ask questions about registration requirements. Main areas of interest were continuing professional development (CPD), professional indemnity insurance (PII) and notifications.

The presentation, with voiceover, is available to download from the Board's website. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the FAQ web page.

Further information sessions are planned in 2014.

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Snapshot of the profession

The Board publishes quarterly data updates on the registered medical radiation practice workforce. Statistics from the September update show that there are 13,068 registered practitioners in Australia. Of these, 159 are non-practising.

There are 681 medical radiation practitioners with provisional registration. 

Medical radiation practitioners: State and territory by registration type

Medical Radiation Practitioners: Registration Type by State 
State  General 
Non-practising  Provisional  Total  % By State 
    Postgraduate training or supervised practice  Public interest         
ACT  220      230  1.65% 
NSW  4,127    27  420  4,575  32.9% 
NT  101      110  0.79% 
QLD  2,688      117  2,806  20.18% 
SA  1,027      10  1,043  7.5% 
TAS  258      12  272  1.96% 
VIC  3,321            25.37% 
WA  1,241            8.98% 
Not Stated  80            0.66% 
Total  13,063  159  681  13,905   

Medical radiation practitioners: Registration numbers by division by state and territory

  ACT  NSW  NT  QLD  SA  TAS  VIC  WA  No PPP*  Total 
Diagnostic Radiographer  159  3,500  97  2,229  835  201  2,652  1,009  79  10,761 
Diagnostic Radiographer and Nuclear Medicine Technologist      11      17 
Diagnostic Radiographer and Radiation Therapist               
Nuclear Medicine Technologist  18 377  127  71  17  283  64  963 
Nuclear Medicine Technologist and Radiation Therapist                 
Radiation Therapist  53  697  11  436  137  53  590  174  2,160 

Diagnostic radiographers make up the largest group of practitioners (10,761), with radiation therapists the next largest group at 2,160.

Further details about the registered workforce are available on the Board's website. December 2013 statistics will be uploaded shortly after publication of this newsletter.

*No principal place of practice.

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Continuing professional development

Continuing professional development (CPD) activities underpin the development of personal and professional qualities practitioners require throughout their professional lives.

The National Board’s CPD standard requires a practitioner to undertake a minimum of 60 hours of CPD activities over three years and 10 hours every year. Alternatively, practitioners can comply with the requirements of a Board-approved CPD program.

Evidence of CPD activities must be provided if requested for audit - including evidence of self-reflection about the activities. A sample logbook template can be found on the Board’s CPD web page.

Alongside the template, an example logbook is now also provided to help clarify the breadth of CPD options.

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Professional indemnity insurance

The Board’s Professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements registration standard requires practitioners to have $10 million PII cover. This insurance can be through your employer, third party organisations or an insurance company. It is your responsibility to ensure you have appropriate arrangements in place. For more information about PII, please see the Board’s position statement on PII on its policy web page

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AHPRA and the National Boards are developing a nationally consistent approach to auditing health practitioners’ compliance with mandatory registration standards. Pilot audits have been conducted in some professions which were designed to determine the frequency, size and type of audits required and to establish an audit methodology.

Each time you apply to renew your registration you must make a declaration that you have met the registration standards for the profession. Practitioner audits are an important part of the way that the Board can protect the public by checking compliance with the Board’s mandatory registration standards through a random sample of practitioners. An audit will help to make sure that practitioners are meeting the required standards and provide important assurance to the Board and the community.

If you are selected for audit you will be notified in writing and requested to provide evidence that you meet the requirements of the standard(s) being audited.

For more information about audits please see the Board’s audit web page.

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Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice

The Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice are now published on the Board’s website. These capabilities identify the knowledge, skills and professional attributes needed to safely practise diagnostic radiography, nuclear medicine technology and radiation therapy.

Some of the Board’s registration standards, codes and guidelines will refer to these capabilities, as will the Board’s accreditation standards that will be used both to assess courses that qualify graduates to register in the profession and the education providers that offer those courses.

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Graduate applications now open online

AHPRA is now calling for online applications for registration from students who are in their final year of an approved program of study.

Students who will be completing approved programs of study in medical radiation practice at the end of 2013 are urged to apply for registration four to six weeks before completing their course. An email to individuals on the Student Register urging them to apply early and online has been sent by AHPRA on behalf of the Board.

Applications can also be made by completing a paper application form. All applications, online or in hard copy, require students to post some supporting documents to AHPRA to complete the application. Students are encouraged to read the information on AHPRA’s website.

Graduates must meet the Board’s registration standards and need to be a registered medical radiation practitioner before they can start practising. New graduates are registered and eligible to start work as soon as their name is published on the national register of practitioners.

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Supervised practice

The Board has finalised arrangements for supervised practice in 2014.

AIR will offer the Supervised Practice Program (formerly known as the NPDP) to eligible graduates of diagnostic radiography and radiation therapy programs of study.

ANZSNM will offer the Professional Development Year to eligible graduates of nuclear medicine programs of study.

Additional details about the programs can be found on the Board’s website.

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Call for expressions of interest - appointment to accreditation assessment teams

The Medical Radiation Practice Accreditation Committee establishes teams of assessors to assess education providers and programs of study against accreditation standards. The committee is seeking expressions of interest from individuals interested in being included on a list of approved assessors for accreditation assessment teams.

The committee is looking for people who have a background in medical radiation sciences, and people who have a sound knowledge of education and experience in teaching but who may not have a background in medical radiation sciences.

The committee is seeking applications now in order to organise training for the first group of assessors appointed. However, applications may be submitted at any time. For more information including selection criteria and how to submit an expression of interest, please go to the Accreditation Committee’s web page.

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Keep in touch with the Board

  • Visit the Board's website for the mandatory registration standards, codes, guidelines and FAQ. Visiting the website regularly is the best way to stay in touch with news and updates from the Board.
  • Lodge an online enquiry form.
  • For registration enquiries, call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 8708 9001 (for overseas callers).
  • To update your contact details for important registration renewal emails and other Board updates, go to the AHPRA website.
  • Address mail correspondence to: Neil Hicks, Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

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Page reviewed 16/12/2013