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January 2019

Issue 21

Chair’s message

Hello, and welcome to our first newsletter for 2019.

Thanks to all who came along and made our first conference such a successful one. Held in Sydney on 27 November 2018, the conference looked at the interplay between regulation and practice. The key theme was the part the Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice play in regulation and some of the considerations that will influence future revisions of the capabilities.

We will be consulting on revised professional capabilities for medical radiation practice soon and will host information sessions in Brisbane and Melbourne in February. You can register your interest in attending one of these evening sessions now. More details, including information about a webinar, will be published on our website next month.

The annual report for AHPRA and the National Boards for the year to 30 June 2018 is available to view online. I recommend it for an overview of the work of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme), and you can read highlights in this issue. Profession-specific summaries will be published shortly and these will also be available for download from the AHPRA website. Meantime, we’ve included a summary of registration and regulation data from the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia.

With the festive break now well and truly behind us, I think it’s important to take stock of what we do, but also to recognise the important work and contribution of others. In November we put out a media release about World Radiography Day and the role that all medical radiation practitioners play in providing safe care. From all of us on the Board, thank you to all those medical radiation practitioners who worked hard to contribute to the provision of safe care to patients and their families in 2018. And to those practitioners who gave up time with their families over the festive season to care for patients, a very big thank you.

I look forward to sharing more with you about the Board’s work in coming newsletters. Until then, best wishes for 2019.

Mark Marcenko
Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia

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News from the Board

Regulation and Practice Conference and next steps

The Board held its first conference in Sydney on Tuesday 27 November 2018, with over 120 attendees including registered practitioners, professional associations, education providers, community members and those working in various government organisations.

A big thank you to all those who helped to make this event such a success, and a special acknowledgement to those who travelled from interstate to attend.

It was great to see such engagement from conference delegates, and the Board received some helpful and insightful feedback on some of the approaches being considered in the revised Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice.

This is prompting us to do more. We know that the revised professional capabilities are of interest to many. Responding to this interest we have planned information sessions in Brisbane on 18 February and in Melbourne on 19 February 2019 to coincide with the start of public consultation on the proposed changes.

You can register your interest in attending the information sessions now. Further details, including how to register for a webinar for anyone who is interested to learn more, will be published on our website next month so keep a look out for this.

Opening soon: Consultation on revised professional capabilities. Register for information sessions now

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Supervisor training in 2019

The Board has been providing training sessions for supervisors since 2014. While supervisors are not required to do training to act as a supervisor, the training sessions, which are facilitated by experienced medical radiation practitioners, provide real benefit for those who supervise medical radiation practice students and registered practitioners.

Our supervisor training program developed by the University of Western Australia’s TELL Centre, ‘Teaching on the Run’, consists of two types of training sessions. One covers general information about supervising in a clinical environment and the covers advanced topics. Some of the topics include:

  • clinical supervision
  • planning learning
  • assessment and providing feedback, and
  • supporting learners.

Dates for this year’s sessions are published on the Board’s website, with the first session to be held in Sydney in February. Please check the website for updates on session times and locations.

To register your interest please contact us by email at [email protected].

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Highlights from the Board’s annual report 2017/18

The annual report for AHPRA and the National Boards for the year to 30 June 2018 is published online. You can read more about this in National Scheme news below.

AHPRA and the National Boards will publish profession-specific summaries shortly and these will also be available for download from the AHPRA website. In the meantime, here are some registration and regulation highlights from the Medical Radiation Practice Board:

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16,257 medical radiation practitioners

  • Up 3.7% from 2016/17
  • 2.3% of all registered health practitioners
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24 notifications lodged with AHPRA about medical radiation practitioners

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0.2% of all registered medical radiation practitioners had notifications made about them

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24 notifications closed this year:

  • 25.0% resulted in conditions being imposed on a medical radiation practitioner's registration
  • 16.7% resulted in a medical radiation practitioner receiving a caution or reprimand by the Board
  • 58.3% resulted in no further action being taken
Exclamation mark icon. Immediate action was taken twice
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8 mandatory notifications were made:

  • 5 about standards
  • 2 about impairment
  • 1 about sexual misconduct
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17 medical radiation practitioners were monitored by AHPRA for health, performance and/or conduct during the year

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108 cases were being monitored by AHPRA as at 30 June 2018

  • 1 for conduct
  • 6 for health reasons
  • 4 for performance
  • 2 prohibited practitioners/students
  • 95 for suitability/eligibility for registration
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7 statutory offence complaints were made; 8 were closed

  • 6 of the new matters related to title and practice protection
  • 1 related to advertising breaches

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National Scheme news

AHPRA’s 2017/18 annual report is online

The annual report for AHPRA and the National Boards for the year to 30 June 2018 is available to view online. The report provides a nationwide snapshot and highlights the multi-profession approach to risk-based regulation across the work of the National Scheme. The scheme’s mission is to make sure that Australians have access to a safe and competent registered health workforce.

Insights from the year include:

  • More practitioners: There were 23,800 more registered health practitioners, totalling 702,741 health practitioners across the 15 regulated professions.
  • Assuring individuals seeking registration are trained, qualified and competent: Over 740 accredited approved programs of study delivered by more than 330 education providers.
  • Growth in notifications: This year, AHPRA received more notifications than in any other year since the National Scheme began (7,276), an increase of 5.5% nationally (1.6% of all registered health practitioners). The top three notifier complaints related to clinical care (41.0%), medication issues (12.6%) and health impairment (8.9%).
  • Improved management of notifications about practitioners: While we received more notifications than ever before, we also closed more than ever before during the year (7,105). AHPRA is committed to improving the notification experience for both notifier and practitioner.
  • Dealing with statutory complaints: This year, we received 416 new offence complaints relating to title and practice protection and 1,043 complaints related to advertising.
  • Ensuring public safety through monitoring and compliance: 5,005 practitioners had their registration monitored in 2017/18. The majority of active monitoring cases related to additional requirements about suitability and eligibility for registration.
  • Prosecutions to protect the public: AHPRA completed 13 proceedings in the Magistrates’ and Local Courts. All prosecution resulted in findings of guilt. 

To view and download the 2017/18 annual report, visit the AHPRA website.

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National Boards support more public information on the register

Changes to the national register of practitioners will make it easier to access public information about health practitioners across Australia.

The national online register of practitioners has accurate, up-to-date information about the registration status of all registered health practitioners in Australia including medical radiation practitioners. As decisions are made about a practitioner’s registration renewal or disciplinary proceedings, the register is updated to inform the public about the status of individual practitioners and any restrictions placed upon their practice.

Along with other National Boards, the Board has decided to introduce links to public tribunal decisions when serious allegations have been proven, in the interests of transparency and on the recommendation of the Independent review of the use of chaperones to protect patients in Australia.

No information about the notifications received by the National Boards and AHPRA will be published. The change is simply helping to make already publicly available information easier to find.

Further information is available in the media release on AHPRA’s website.

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Proposed changes to practitioners’ names published on the register

Governments recently consulted on possible changes to the National Law, one of which would allow AHPRA and the National Boards to publish the names that registered health practitioners use in practice and not just their legal name. The national online register of practitioners is a vital part of Australia’s system of regulating health practitioners to support patient safety.

The public and employers can look up the names of all health practitioners who are registered to practise, as well as information about any limits or restrictions placed on the way an individual practitioner is allowed to practise.

The national online register must remain an authoritative and trusted source of information about health practitioners. Consumers rely on it for accurate, up-to-date information to inform their healthcare decision-making and employers rely on it to validate their employees’ registration status.

Some health practitioners practise their profession using a name that is different from their legally recognised name published on the register (an alias). AHPRA has asked governments to consider changes to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law), that would enable registered health practitioners to nominate one or more aliases to be recorded on the public register.

AHPRA believes that recording additional names (or aliases) on the register will help to inform and protect the public by making it easier to identify a practitioner who may be registered and able to practise but who is not using their legal name.

AHPRA and the National Boards will keep practitioners and the public informed of any changes to the law and reporting requirements. For more information, read the media release on AHPRA’s website.

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AHPRA and National Boards welcome release of the Accreditation Systems Review final report

AHPRA and the National Boards have welcomed the publication of the Independent Accreditation Systems Review final report.

The Independent Accreditation Systems Review’s (the Review) final report makes significant, far-reaching recommendations to reform the accreditation system for regulated health professions in Australia. It proposes recommendations which range from relatively uncontentious and which the National Scheme bodies generally support, to those which are significantly more complex and contentious.

Health Ministers commissioned the Review following a review of the National Scheme as a whole.

For more information read the statement on the AHPRA website.

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Keep in touch with the Board

  • Visit www.medicalradiationpracticeboard.gov.au 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 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 9275 9009 (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 27/04/2023