ACT physios meet with the Physiotherapy Board


The Physiotherapy Board of Australia (the Board) is continuing its focus on engaging with registrants, creating an opportunity for physiotherapists to meet the Board and to understand more about how it works.

The Board’s third stakeholder engagement event was held in Canberra on 29 March 2019. All ACT physiotherapists, and those from neighbouring postcodes, were invited. Of the 33,000 registered physiotherapists in Australia, 663 have their principal place of practice in the ACT.

More than 30 people, including physiotherapists in private and public practice, students, government stakeholders, representation from the accreditation authority and the professional association, and other allied health professionals, met over breakfast at AHPRA’s office in Barton.

AHPRA’s acting ACT manager, Margaret Grant, welcomed attendees, and Kim Gibson, the Board’s Chair, then gave a presentation outlining the structure of the National Scheme and the Board’s composition.

The main topics covered were an update about the advertising that is not permitted, an explanation of how recency of practice hours can work over three years, the continuing professional development requirements, the review of the code of conduct and the future strategic work of the Board. Attendees also watched an animated video for new graduates and heard about the ‘Let’s talk about it’ series of three new videos: one directed at practitioners who have had a notification made about them, one for the person making a notification, and one for people who have a concern but don’t know if AHPRA is the right place to go.

Physiotherapists have one of the lowest rates of complaints made about them compared to the other 15 regulated health professions in the National Scheme. This indicates that they are well-trained and aware of their professional obligations as registered health practitioners. However, in their working life, a physiotherapist may experience having a notification made about them. Any notification is usually a source of angst for the health practitioner involved, but it is important to know that in the vast majority of notifications no further action is taken and less than one per cent of practitioners have their registration suspended or cancelled.

There were lots of questions from the floor. Feedback from attendees indicated that these sessions were well received. They help to clarify the Board’s role—it’s not tasked to promote the profession or to take a punitive role, rather its primary reason for being is to protect the public. The Board also benefits from hearing directly from physiotherapists.

More than 150 people have attended these stakeholder events so far. The next one will be held in Brisbane in October. Invitees will be able to join via video link if they are unable to attend in person.

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