Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia - December 2021

December 2021

Issue 30 - December 2021


From the Chair

My final term as Chair of the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia (the National Board) finishes in late February 2022. I would like to share my reflections on the work of the National Board since I took over the role in December 2016.

It has been a unique opportunity and an honour for me to be appointed as Chair of the Board. Of course, as Chair I have been the person most visible, but there are 11 other members. To current Board members and those I have previously served with, thank you for your support. It has been important to me that all members on the Board discuss, debate, and at times challenge the prevailing thinking. This is how we make better decisions, remain contemporary, and improve regulation of the profession.

I am proud of the work the Board has done in my time as Chair, particularly the rollout of the national exam, the revision of professional capabilities and the publication of videos that aim to remind practitioners of the important role that medical radiation practitioners play in providing safe care.

Working with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) team has been a pleasure, and I acknowledge the support of Martin Fletcher (CEO) and the many staff who help make the National Scheme work.

I have been fortunate to meet many practitioners during my time as Chair and I’m confident that the new generations of medical radiation practitioners have a great deal to offer the profession, and I believe the work of the Board will help make that possible.

Medical radiation practitioners may not always get the recognition that other health professions do, but on behalf of the Board, thank you for your contribution to the care and safety of patients throughout the year. As always, to all those practitioners who will be giving up time with their own families over the holiday period to provide care for patients, our sincere thanks.

Wishing you a very merry Festive Season and a happy and safe 2022.

Mark Marcenko

Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia

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Board news

Clinical supervision training 2022 – Teaching on the Run

The Board offers Teaching on the Run (TOTR) workshops for medical radiation practitioners. The first program in 2022 will be delivered online over three half-day interactive sessions. Please visit our website find out more about Teaching on the Run.

What suits you?

We would like to understand your preferences for location and delivery of the 2022 workshops. Please help us by completing this short survey (two questions) by 20 December 2021.

Professional capabilities – looking at the impact on patient care and safety

The Board would like to hear about practitioners’ experiences following implementation of our revised Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice.

The professional capabilities identify the minimum knowledge, skills and professional attributes necessary for safe practice in diagnostic radiography, nuclear medicine technology and radiation therapy.

The changes took effect on 1 March 2020 and your feedback will help us understand their effect on patient and practitioner safety. We are particularly interested in your experiences of the capabilities relating to identifying urgent or unexpected findings and responding to the needs of deteriorating patients.

Information provided during the focus group sessions will be treated confidentially to facilitate full participation by practitioners. Participants will not be identified in any reports developed as part of the post-implementation review. We are asking practitioners to indicate their interest in attending an online focus group in February 2022 by emailing Accreditation.Policy@ahpra.gov.au by Friday 14 January 2022.

The focus groups will be held on Zoom and scheduled to maximise practitioner availability outside of normal daytime work hours. No preparation is needed before attending the focus group.

Stakeholder feedback

Feedback is also being sought from Board stakeholders who will be contacted directly in coming months about their availability for interviews or focus groups. If you are interested in participating, please email Accreditation.Policy@ahpra.gov.au.

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Registration

Renew online by 31 December to avoid lapsed registration

Medical radiation practitioners were due to renew their general, specialist or non-practising registration by 30 November 2021. From 1 December, if you apply to renew your registration you will have to pay a late payment fee as well as the registration fee.

If your application is received during the one-month late period, you can continue practising while your application is processed. For more information on renewal, including what’s new this year, see Board’s news item and the renewal FAQs on Ahpra’s website.

If you don’t apply to renew your registration by 31 December 2021, your registration will lapse. Your name will be removed from the Register of practitioners and you will not be able to practise as a medical radiation practitioner in Australia until a new application for registration has been processed and the national register is updated.

Latest workforce data released

The Board’s latest quarterly registration data has been released. The report covers 1 July to 30 September 2021. At this date, there were 18,180 registered practitioners (including 353 on the pandemic response sub-register): 14,253 diagnostic radiographers, 2,659 radiation therapists and 1,253 nuclear medicine technologists.

For more details, including registration data by principal place of practice, age and gender, visit our Statistics page.

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Students and graduates

Graduating soon? Apply now and be ready to work

Once you are registered, you can work as a medical radiation practitioner anywhere in Australia.

You must be registered with the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia before you can start practising and using one of the following protected titles:

  • medical radiation practitioner
  • diagnostic radiographer
  • medical imaging technologist
  • radiographer
  • nuclear medicine scientist
  • nuclear medicine technologist, or
  • radiation therapist.

How do I apply?

Create your account using the online services portal and complete your application

Upload your documents and pay the required fees. Check that you have provided all required documentation to prove you’ve met the registration standards, including certified copies of your photo ID.

Once we’ve received your graduate results from your education provider and we are satisfied that you have met all the requirements for registration, we will finalise your application.

When you are registered, we will publish your name to the Register of practitioners, and you can start working as a medical radiation practitioner.

Get your application right

Check out Ahpra’s graduate video to help you get your application right.

You’ll find helpful advice, tips for avoiding common causes of delay and downloadable information flyers on the Graduate applications page of the Ahpra website.

Photo ID

It's important that you provide correctly certified photo ID documents with your application – the wording is very specific.

‘I certify that this is a true copy of the original and the photograph is a true likeness of the person presenting the document as sighted by me.’

To get it right the first time, download the guide Certifying documents and take it with you to the authorised officer.

Who can certify documents?

In addition to JPs, most registered health practitioners, public servants, teachers, lecturers and members of the legal profession can certify photographic ID documents. For the full list of authorised officers see the guide.

How long does it take to assess my application?

We can’t finalise your application until we receive your graduate results from your education provider.

If you’ve submitted everything you need to prove you’ve met the requirements for registration, we aim to finalise your application within two weeks of receiving your graduate results.

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Alert

Services Australia notification: Upgrade to digital health and aged care channels

Services Australia is pleased to be working with Ahpra to prepare you for the upgrades the agency is making to its digital health and aged care channels.

Services Australia is upgrading its digital health and aged care channels. These upgrades will ensure that patient and provider information is secure, now and into the future.

To continue accessing the channels below, you’ll need to be using web service-compatible software by 13 March 2022:

  • Medicare Online
  • Australian Immunisation Register
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • ECLIPSE
  • PBS Online
  • Aged Care Online

Services Australia is also strengthening its authentication process by replacing Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) site certificates with Provider Digital Access (PRODA) for organisations. PRODA will help you do your electronic business with Services Australia securely.

If you use an alternative channel for your claims and don’t use software, you don’t need to do anything. These upgrades won’t affect you.

For more information about PRODA, visit www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/proda

What you need to do

Your software developer will have information on their transition and upgrade plans for your site. If you haven’t heard from them, contact them now and ask:

  • when will your web services-compatible software be available, and
  • if you will need to register your organisation in PRODA to authenticate to Medicare Online/ECLIPSE web services.*

*Users of PBS Online and Aged Care must register their organisation in PRODA to authenticate to their web services-enabled software.

If you use PBS Online, your software developer will contact you when more information is available.

It is important that you understand these changes, as they will affect your business if you use software to submit claims and data to Services Australia.

For more information, visit www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/hpwebservices

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National Scheme news

Annual report: Registered health practitioner numbers grow with paramedics leading the charge

A continued growth in the registered health workforce is highlighted in Ahpra’s 2020/21 Annual report.

While it was another year dominated by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the work of regulation continued and adapted to the impacts of the pandemic. A particular aim was to ensure that students were able to graduate with sufficient clinical experience despite placement delays. National Boards also looked to greater flexibility in some regulatory requirements, while maintaining their focus on patient safety.

Growth across the professions

As at 30 June 2021, there were 825,720 registered health practitioners across 16 regulated professions, 24,061 more than last year. This includes 26,595 health practitioners on the 2020 pandemic sub-register which offers a surge workforce for the health system response to COVID-19. Overall, 75% of registered practitioners are women.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation

Only 8,311 (1.1%) of all health practitioners identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. This is well short of the 3.3% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation in the general population.

Ahpra and the National Boards are working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and organisations to increase the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples across all registered health professions and to promote cultural safety and the elimination of racism in healthcare.

Medical radiation practice snapshot

A statistical summary and a report from the Chair that covers the work of the Board over the 12 months to 30 June 2021 is also available. The summary draws on data from the annual report.

This information provides a snapshot of the profession as at 30 June 2021, and includes the number of registered medical radiation practitioners, a breakdown by gender and age and outcomes of practitioner notifications. Profession-specific data tables are also available for downloading.

To view the snapshot of the medical radiation profession or to download the 2021/21 annual report, visit the Annual report webpage.

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Consent matters in healthcare: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

To mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), online news site Women’s Agenda published an editorial called Consent matters in healthcare. What to do if something feels wrong, co-authored by Gill Callister PSM, Chair of Ahpra’s governing board, Dr Anne Tonkin, Chair of the Medical Board of Australia, Rachel Phillips, Chair of the Psychology Board of Australia and Annette Symes, Presiding Member of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

When seeing a health practitioner, many people, especially women and girls, may feel at their most vulnerable. It’s important to discuss the safety of women, and what to do if something doesn’t feel right.

Many of the complaints made to Ahpra about inappropriate behaviour involve practitioners breaching the normal boundaries of the patient-practitioner interaction. Some involve touching patients inappropriately and without adequate informed consent from the patient. Sexual misconduct is an abuse of the treating relationship and can cause significant and lasting harm.

In the past three years, Ahpra and National Boards referred 150 health practitioners to a tribunal, and outcomes included cancellation of registration for up to five years. You can read the published summaries of these cases and others on the Ahpra website, and visit the Register of cancelled, disqualified and/or prohibited practitioners.

We know the majority of practitioners are doing the right thing, but we will continue to respond strongly to cases of sexual misconduct. Part of our role is ensuring that the public can have trust in registered health practitioners. We all have a role to play in preventing sexism, sexual harassment and violence in our communities, including in healthcare.

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Updated regulatory principles – supporting trust and confidence in regulated health professions

We’ve updated our regulatory principles to foster a culturally safe, responsive and risk-based approach to regulation.

The regulatory principles guide the National Boards and Ahpra when making regulatory decisions.

The changes reflect community expectations and new policy directions from the Health Council, as well as feedback from public consultation. They recognise that community confidence in the regulation of health practitioners is key to a safe and effective health system.

Overall, the changes:

  • reinforce that public protection is the paramount objective of the National Scheme
  • recognise the role of the National Boards and Ahpra in developing a culturally safe and respectful health workforce
  • consider the risks to the public including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and members of the community who are vulnerable to harm
  • embed fairness and transparency, and
  • highlight the importance of maintaining community confidence in regulated health professions and working with consumer bodies to achieve this.

More information about the review of the regulatory principles is available on the Ahpra website.

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Keep in touch with the Board

  • Visit our website for the mandatory registration standards, codes, guidelines and FAQs.

  • Visiting the website regularly is the best way to stay in touch with news and updates from the Board.

  • Lodge an enquiry form via the website by following the Enquiries link on every web page under Contact us.

  • For registration enquiries, call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 9285 3010 (for overseas callers).

  • To update your contact details for important registration renewal emails and other Board updates, go to the Ahpra website: Update contact details.

  • Address mail correspondence to: Mark Marcenko, Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

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Page reviewed 7/12/2021