Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia - May 2024
Look up a health practitioner


Check if your health practitioner is qualified, registered and their current registration status

May 2024

Issue 37 - May 2024

From the Chair

Welcome to the first newsletter for 2024, a little later in the calendar than usual.

I extend a warm welcome to new Board members Monique Gaspar, Suzanne McGavin and Shannon Crick. We look forward to working with you. I wish to acknowledge the contributions and wise counsel of Roger Weckert, Caroline Wright and James Green. Thank you to you all.

We were in Christchurch for the ANZSNM conference at the end of April, which was full of learning and collaboration. It was also a rare honour to experience ANZAC day in New Zealand and to see the wreaths around the cenotaph.

We are in Darwin in May for the ASMIRT conference, and we look forward to seeing you there. Come and meet the team – we’re in booth 20, where there’s extra space to sit down and have a quiet cuppa!

In this edition we look at what practice means in recency of practice. There’s information about our webinar series for students and we have space in Teaching on the Run workshops in Brisbane and Newcastle. And with the focus on workforce there’s also an opportunity to participate in research on radiation therapist career sustainability.

See you in Darwin!

Cara Miller
Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia

Priority news

Health ministers make new appointments to National Board

Recently health ministers communicated their decision on appointments and re-appointments to National Boards, including the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia.

Congratulations to Monique Gaspar (practitioner member Victoria), Suzanne McGavin (practitioner member Northern Territory) and Shannon Crick (practitioner member Australian Capital Territory) have been appointed for three-year terms.

Congratulations also to Anthony Buxton, Joan Burns and Travis Pearson who were reappointed for a further three-year term.

We wish to acknowledge and thank Roger Weckert, Caroline Wright and James Green for their significant contributions to the regulation of the profession.

Read the health minister’s communiqué for more details.

back to top

Board news

New members enhance cultural safety at National Board and Accreditation Committee

Image of Donisha Duff

Cultural safety is a major focus for the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia and two recent additions to the Board and the Accreditation Committee have further strengthened its expertise in the area.

Donisha Duff has joined the Board’s Accreditation Committee, after previously being appointed to the Board in 2018 as a community member.

Donisha is the CEO of the Queensland Indigenous Business Network and is Adjunct Associate Professor at Kurongkurl Katitjin, Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research at Edith Cowan University.

Donisha says she joined the committee to make healthcare culturally safe and appropriate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

‘When I was on the Board we developed a number of educational resources to raise awareness about cultural safety and why it was important,’ Donisha said. ‘I am now helping to review how universities are embedding this learning into Board- accredited courses.’

Donisha says her work will bring a much-needed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewpoint to the Board, with lived experience of both academia and healthcare areas. She says all practitioners can work to embed cultural safety in their practice.

Improving your knowledge and awareness of cultural safety is part of providing better healthcare that is appropriate for all. Your care can make a huge difference in how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience healthcare in this country.’

Nicole Gatt has also joined the team, becoming a Board community member in September last year.

Image of Nicole GattA proud Bundjalung and Dhunghatti woman living in Dharawal Land in South-west Sydney, she has worked at NSW Health for more than 10 years, now as a workforce educator.

‘I first became aware of the role when I was participating in Blue Band training for Respecting the Difference at the Ministry of Health, when it was suggested to me by the state coordinator,’ Nicole said.

‘I believed it to be a fantastic opportunity for my skillset to improve and to make meaningful contributions to health professionals at the national level.’

Nicole says the Board role has enabled her to influence and give her professional opinion at Board meetings with a focus on community and patient safety.

‘Being an Aboriginal woman, I can bring personal and professional experiences to topics covered by the Board. It is critical to build a medical radiation profession whose members feel they have the skills they require to do their job in a safe manner. Cultural safety focuses on both the professional capabilities and community safety and trust.

‘My aim in the future is to continue to advocate for the profession and the consumers accessing these health services.’

back to top

Teaching on the Run workshops coming up

The Board is proud to be supporting Teaching on the Run (TOTR).

TOTR workshops are designed for medical radiation practitioners and this national program helps improve the quality of the teaching, assessment and supervision of healthcare practitioners and students. It is suitable for all levels of qualified practitioners.

We have upcoming workshops in Brisbane (June) and Newcastle (August) that still have places available.

Registration is now open for all events, but spaces are limited, with waiting lists available if you miss out.

You can register here for the face to face workshops, or for more information about the program and the sessions please visit the Board's Supervised practice training page.

back to top

Research into radiation therapist career sustainability

Research in medical radiation practice helps to build and enhance the profession’s base of knowledge and expertise. The Board is supportive of research projects that are relevant to medical radiation practice and the Board’s role in regulating the profession and workforce arrangements.

We have agreed to provide information about a research project that is investigating Australian radiographers’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes towards evidence-based practice.

Participation in the research project is voluntary and all the information will be collected via an anonymous survey link. The participant information sheet for this research study is included at the start of the online survey. You can complete the 15-minute survey here.

Any questions should be directed to principal investigator Julie O’Shaughnessy by emailing [email protected]. The research supervisor Professor Zhonghua Sun can be contacted on [email protected].

Ethical approval was gained from Curtin University human research ethics office (HRE2024-0202).

Recency of practice – what is practice?

Whether you’re a practitioner applying for registration or a registered practitioner renewing your registration, you must address the requirements of the Recency of practice registration standard.

To meet this standard the Board must be satisfied that you have practised for 450 hours or more in the last three years.

What is meant by practice?

The Code of conduct for medical radiation practitioners, which is common to a number of other health professions, includes this definition of practice:

Practice means any role, whether remunerated or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a practitioner in their regulated health profession. For the purposes of this code, practice is not restricted to the provision of direct clinical care. It also includes using professional knowledge in a direct non-clinical relationship with patients, working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy development roles and any other roles that have an impact on safe, effective delivery of health services in the health profession.

What does that mean for me?

Most registered practitioners work in direct clinical care roles. If these practitioners have worked more than 450 hours in the last three years, they have met the requirements of the standard.

There is also a significant number of registered practitioners who, while not working in a direct care role, nonetheless have an impact on the safe and effective delivery of health services,

If you are working in the non-clinical role that is adequately connected to the delivery of health services and you have practised at least 450 hours in the last three years, you have met the requirements of the standard.

What does adequate connection with practice in the profession mean?

To meet the Recency of practice registration standard practitioners must be able to show that their practice has an adequate connection with practice in the profession. This will be determined by an individual’s circumstances. However as general guidance, it means that the practitioner’s role has an impact on the safe and effective delivery of health services.

Typically, this includes working in ultrasound, mammography and MRI but also includes management, education or policy roles. It may also include working as a radiation scientist or in radiation regulation or working as a clinical applications specialist. Examples where there is no adequate connection include working as a lawyer or an accountant, volunteer aid worker, parenting duties, or veterinary care services.

I am practising in a non-clinical role, what does that mean for me?

For those in non-clinical roles, if your role changes to a clinical role, there is a greater onus to ensure that you are managing your scope of practice safely.

As a registered practitioner you have an obligation both under the Code of conduct and the Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice to manage your scope of practice safely and effectively.

This means that if you decide (or are required) to change your scope of practice, or you are moving from a specialised role to a broader or more generalised scope of practice, than you have obligations to ensure that you do so honestly, conscientiously and with paramount regard for patient safety.

The obligations can be summarised as follows:

  • Practitioners have a duty to keep their skills and knowledge up to date, refine and develop their clinical judgement as they gain experience, and contribute to maintaining public confidence in the profession.
  • Practitioners are expected to reflect regularly on whether they are practising safely and effectively, on their relationships with patients and colleagues, and on their own health and wellbeing.
  • Scopes of practice vary according to different roles; for example, practitioners, researchers and managers will all have different scopes of practice. Practitioners have a responsibility to recognise and work within the limits of their skills and competence.
  • Ensure that, when moving into a new area of practice (or resuming a previous or broader scope of practice), you have sufficient training and/or qualifications to achieve competency in that area.

Students and graduates

Student webinars on regulatory obligations

To help students develop a good understanding of their current regulatory obligations as a student and their future obligations as a registered practitioner, the Board will be hosting a series of webinars.

We will send students an email about four weeks before the webinar, with information about how to register for the event.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Information for 1st and 2nd year students – Thursday 1 August 2024

As a 1st or 2nd year student you will be into the swing of university life which at times can be very busy. With so much to learn and remember during your studies, doing your own research into the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) may not be high on your agenda. But did you know that you have regulatory obligations as a student?

This webinar will introduce you to the role of professional regulation and how it affects you. The webinar will cover:

  • professional regulation and student obligations
  • awareness of registration standards and the Code of conduct for registered practitioners, and
  • cultural safety considerations for students.

We will be contacting you again in the next few weeks with weblinks to register for the webinar.

Information for graduating students – Thursday 4 September 2024

If you are a 3rd or 4th year student looking to prepare for registration and practice after university, this webinar is for you.

This webinar will focus on:

  • what it means to be a registered practitioner
  • professional obligations
  • the process for applying for registration and a medical radiation practitioner
  • what happens if a complaint is made about you, and
  • other helpful information.

Beware of identity theft – don’t post your registration certificate online

Successfully registering with Ahpra is the last green light for new graduates starting their career in their chosen profession. It’s an exciting step and one to feel immensely proud of. The temptation might be strong to celebrate by sharing your first registration certificate with the world – but think twice before posting.

Identity theft is rife. Every day, websites pop up selling fake Ahpra certificates of registration based on real ones that graduating practitioners have posted on their social media. Never post your identity documents online. You’ve worked hard to earn your registration; don’t let somebody steal it.

Registration news

Latest workforce data released

The Board’s quarterly registration data to 31 December 2023 has been published. At this date, there were 19,251 registered medical radiation practitioners, of whom 18,634 have general registration. This figure includes 15,728 diagnostic radiographers, 2,908 radiation therapists and 1,341 nuclear medicine technologists.

There are 131 practitioners who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (0.7%).

For more data, including registration by principal place of practice and age, visit our Statistics page to read the report.


Consultation on embedding good practice in clinical placements and simulation-based learning

Ahpra’s Accreditation Committee is seeking feedback on its draft guidance on embedding good practice in clinical placements, simulation-based learning and virtual care in initial education for student health practitioners. The guidance will support improvements in these important components of every health practitioner’s initial education.

The committee wants to ensure that our student health practitioners have access to high quality clinical placements, simulation-based learning and virtual care educational experiences. These activities enable students to develop the capabilities they need for contemporary practice, and to provide patient-centred care safely and competently.

The aim of the guidance is to help National Scheme entities, in particular National Boards and accreditation authorities, improve student education in these areas.

Find out more about this consultation and provide feedback on the committee’s Current consultations page. The public consultation runs till close of business (AEST) Friday, 21 June 2024.

What’s new?

Regulators come together as one million Australians turn to medicinal cannabis treatments

Maintaining a balance between access to medicinal cannabis and its safety is a priority for health regulators across Australia amid a growing number of prescriptions and the emergence of telehealth, online prescribing and direct-to-consumer health services. Australia’s medicine regulation system is complex, with different agencies responsible for overseeing the medicines themselves, the health professionals who prescribe and provide them, and the premises where they are stored and dispensed.

In February, Ahpra and several of the National Boards convened a forum in Melbourne that brought together health regulators to share information and regulatory intelligence, discuss any current risks to the public, and determine how all regulators can best work together.

The use of unregistered medicinal cannabis products has spiralled in recent years, from around 18,000 Australians in 2019 to more than one million in January 2024. The number of prescribers accessing the Authorised Prescriber and the Special Access Scheme has also risen sharply to more than 5,700 medical and nurse practitioners prescribing and dispensing medicinal cannabis products that have not been evaluated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for safety, quality, or efficacy.

The forum attendees agreed to continue discussions with the aim to monitor issues and identify any gaps in the regulatory and wider health response to this rapidly growing industry. In particular:

  • improving data and information sharing among Australia’s regulatory agencies
  • gaining a better understanding of the drivers of the recent rapid rise in access to these products
  • enhancing communication to prescribers, including clinical guidance, on the safe and effective use of medical cannabis products
  • examining ways of better educating consumers about medicinal cannabis medications, and
  • encouraging more research to drive the production of clinical guidelines for medicinal cannabis.

Read more in the communiqué on Ahpra’s website.

Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Statement of Intent is published

The Ahpra Accreditation Committee has published its Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Statement of Intent. The statement of intent aims to embed interprofessional collaborative practice across the continuum of healthcare settings.

The statement is a fundamental step towards achieving effective team-based and coordinated care across Australia. It is a commitment to improving the outcomes for patients and consumers by reducing the risk of fragmented and uncoordinated care.

Interprofessional collaborative practice is healthcare practice where multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds work together and with patients, families, carers and communities to deliver the highest quality of care that is free of racism and other forms of discrimination.

The statement represents a joint commitment from 53 stakeholders across the health and education sectors to take action.

Read more in the news item.

Partnership with Weenthunga Health Network guiding critical reform work to eliminate racism in healthcare

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have the right to access and work in healthcare that is culturally safe and free from racism. Ahpra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Unit is supporting the Cultural Safety Accreditation and Continuing Professional Development Working Group and Weenthunga Health Network, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consultancy, to co-design and develop nationally consistent standards, codes and guidelines on cultural safety for registered practitioners.

The Cultural Safety Accreditation and Continuing Professional Development Framework and Strategy is a multi-year project, grounded by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of being, knowing and doing. By embedding cultural safety in accreditation and continuing professional development requirements for all 16 regulated health professions in the National Scheme, we will ensure consistency and accountability to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and health workers.

Recently a tribunal found a health practitioner guilty of racist and culturally unsafe practice. This outcome is in line with a recent strengthening of the National Law, which means that tribunals and other health regulatory decision-makers must consider racist and culturally unsafe practices when deciding matters of professional misconduct.

Cultural safety is patient safety.

Myths and misconceptions about notifications – getting the help you need

Too often, practitioners struggle in silence when they are dealing with a health, mental health or drug and alcohol issue – or even just the day-to-day challenges of being a health practitioner.

The best thing you can do – for yourself, for your family, and for your patients – is to seek help early and to actively engage in recommended treatments. This might be from your own GP, another health practitioner or from one of the many independent practitioner support services available.

There is a common misconception that if you seek help, your treating practitioner will automatically be required to report it to Ahpra and your registration may be affected.

The threshold for when treating practitioners need to make a mandatory notification about health is very high and only necessary when the public is at substantial risk of harm. The need for a mandatory notification to be made is not often met.

If you are managing your health and getting the help you need, you can usually continue to practise. The Board wants you to be healthy and safe to practise and encourages you to seek help early when you need support.

Stay in touch with the Board

  • Visit the Medical Radiation Practice Board website for news about the profession, information on the National Scheme and for registration standards, codes, guidelines, policies and fact sheets.
  • Lodge an online enquiry form.
  • For registration enquiries call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 9125 3010 (for overseas callers).
  • Address mail correspondence to Cara Miller, Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne VIC 3000.


Page reviewed 10/05/2024