November 2015

Issue 10


Chair’s message

Welcome to the last newsletter for 2015 from the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia (the Board).

The Board has continued to conduct its business of regulating the profession with increasing efficiency this past year, allowing it to reduce practitioners’ annual registration fees for the third time in a row. It’s also been a very busy year – we’ve held four information sessions around the country, with a fifth one scheduled in Perth at the end of November, and we’ve provided six supervisor training sessions free of charge to supervising practitioners to enhance their ability to supervise other practitioners, and these will continue next year.

As many of you will now be aware, the Board has published its revised Continuing professional development (CPD) registration standard, which will come into effect on 1 December 2015. Practitioners will need to meet the obligations of the revised standard by the next registration renewal period on 30 November 2016. The main changes to the standard are outlined in this newsletter.

The Board looks forward to another great year ahead and wishes you and your family all the best for the upcoming festive season.

Neil Hicks

Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia

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Conduct in relation to students and supervised practitioners

Throughout the year the Board’s information sessions have focussed on the obligations of practitioners around mandatory notifications. Some conduct is so serious and the consequences for patients and the public so dire that registered practitioners are obliged to report it.

Speaking up about bad practice or conduct protects not just patients, but anyone involved in the provision of healthcare services, including your colleagues. Many of you will be aware of the recent media articles about the treatment of practitioners-in-training by some registered health practitioners. Conduct of this type is entirely at odds with good professional practice and destroys the necessary trust that must exist between student and mentor.

The Board’s message to all registered medical radiation practitioners is simple - the predation of students and junior practitioners by senior practitioners is often illegal, and always ethically wrong.

The Board encourages anyone who has concerns about the conduct of a registered practitioner, particularly if those concerns relate to predatory behaviour, to make those concerns known to the Board by making a notification to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law), (s.237), protects registered practitioners from liability where they make a notification based on a reasonable belief and made in good faith.

For practitioners in NSW, you contact the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission on 1800 043 159.

For practitioners in Queensland, you contact the Office of the Health Ombudsman on 133 646 (133 OHO).

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Video for MRP graduates

An information video for graduating students has been developed to enhance understanding of requirements when seeking general registration as a medical radiation practitioner. This video complements the information provided on the Board’s website and the recent webinar held for students nearing the completion of their approved programs of study in Australia.

The video will be released on the Board’s website soon.

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Revised CPD registration standard

At the end of October the Board published a revised Continuing professional development (CPD) registration standard, which will come into effect on 1 December 2015. The revised CPD standard will replace the current standard and will apply to all registered medical radiation practitioners. Practitioners will need to meet the obligations of the revised standard by the next registration renewal period on 30 November 2016.

The main changes in the revised CPD standard are:

  • provisional registrants must now meet the CPD standard
  • CPD programs no longer require Board approval
  • at least 35 hours of CPD must be substantive activities, and
  • increased focus on reflection

The revised standard was approved by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council on 27 August 2015 and was part of a scheduled review of standards. A public consultation was held as part of the review.

The Board will soon be publishing a revised Professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements registration standard, which will be in effect from mid 2016.

In February 2016, the Board will be publishing a revised Recency of practice registration standard. The revised standard will take effect on 1 December 2016 to allow medical radiation practitioners to become familiar with the requirements.

For more information, please read the news item on the Board’s website.

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National Scheme news

2014/15 National Scheme annual report

AHPRA and the National Boards have released their 2014/15 annual report on the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme), providing a comprehensive record of the operations of the National Scheme for the 12 months ending 30 June 2015.

The annual report provides a national snapshot of the work and finances of the National Scheme and is tabled in the parliaments of each state and territory and the Commonwealth.

AHPRA and the National Boards will also publish summaries of our work regulating health practitioners in every state and territory, and profession-specific profiles.

For more information, please read the news item on AHPRA’s website.

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Medical radiation practice profession profile

Later this year, the Board will publish a report of its work in regulating the medical radiation practice profession in the National Scheme during 2014/15.

The report provides a profession-specific view of the Board’s work to manage risk to the public and regulate the profession in the public interest. It is a profile of regulation at work in Australia for the 12 months ending 30 June 2015.

The data in this report are drawn from data published in the 2014/15 annual report of AHPRA and the National Boards, reporting on the National Scheme.

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Health profession agreement

The Board and AHPRA have published the 2015/16 health profession agreement (HPA) that outlines the partnership between the Board and AHPRA, and the services AHPRA will provide to the Board in 2015/16. The HPA also provides information about the Board’s financial operations and fees.

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AHPRA joins Facebook

Earlier this year AHPRA joined Facebook as another means by which we can engage with the public and practitioners. We’ll be sharing similar content on Facebook that we do on Twitter: news from AHPRA and the National Boards, along with photos from events and forums.

Visit our Facebook page.

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Queensland complaints data have been published

AHPRA and the National Boards have published detailed performance data about notifications management in Queensland.

A co-regulatory system has been in place in Queensland since July 2014 and all complaints about Queensland registered health practitioners are received by the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO). The Health Ombudsman is responsible for managing serious complaints relating to the health, conduct and performance of health practitioners in Queensland, and determines which complaints go to AHPRA and the National Boards after assessing their severity.

AHPRA provides quarterly data to the OHO about its performance in managing the complaints which come to AHPRA and the National Boards from the OHO. These data provide quantitative information about the number of complaints received and timelines for managing them.

The first report, which was published in May, includes detailed performance data about notifications management for the first three quarters from 1 July 2014 and 31 March 2015.

Analysis of these data, detailing matters managed by AHPRA and the National Boards, indicates:

  • complaint referral patterns from the OHO to AHPRA are variable month to month
  • on early trends, AHPRA is receiving 50 per cent fewer complaints than for the comparable period in 2013/14. This suggests the OHO is not accepting, is retaining and/or is closing most matters that the Ombudsman considers do not warrant further action. Of those we manage, more than 70 per cent require further regulatory action, and
  • investigation timelines continue to be a major focus for AHPRA and the Boards. Sixty seven of the matters open with AHPRA for longer than 18 months are about 25 practitioners. Multiple complaints about the same practitioner require more complex investigations.

AHPRA continues to focus on decreasing the time it takes to investigate matters, finalising more old investigations and improving the notifier and practitioner experience.

AHPRA will publish more national performance data throughout this financial year.

The Queensland report is published on the AHPRA website Statistics page.

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Royal Commission on child sexual abuse

The Board and AHPRA have been following the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse and its implications for the regulation of health practitioners. The issues raised in the Royal Commission are serious and disturbing.

The Board and AHPRA are committed to learning from the evidence before the Royal Commission and its findings and are taking action to make sure our regulatory system is responsive to anyone who has been sexually abused by a registered health practitioner, who comes forward.

If you have a concern about a health practitioner call:

  • AHPRA on 1300 419 495 (all states and territories except NSW and Qld)
  • NSW – 1800 043 159, or
  • Qld – 133 646 (133 OHO).

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Keep in touch with the Board

  • Visit the Board 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 9275 9009 (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 26/11/2015