A framework for better, safer practice

Abstract image of spirals

A framework for better, safer practice

Abstract image of spirals

Each year a relatively small percentage of registered health practitioners are required to undertake supervised practice, to ensure they are safe and competent to practise in their profession.

To support supervisors, supervisees and employers through the process of supervised practice, Ahpra and the National Boards (including the Physiotherapy Board of Australia) have developed the supervised practice framework.

Physiotherapy Board of Australia Chair Kim Gibson said the supervised practice framework supports consistency in processes and decision-making.

‘The framework outlines the principles which underpin supervised practice, the levels of supervised practice and the National Boards’ expectations of supervisees, supervisors and employers,’ she said.

‘It also explains Ahpra and the Boards’ compliance processes and gives guidance on how to effectively comply with supervised practice requirements.’

Kim said an effective supervised practice system is key to protecting the public and supporting better, safer health practice.

‘Supervised practice is an important part of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, particularly in relation to building trust and confidence,’ she continued.

‘It reassures the community, as well as National Boards and Ahpra, that a registered health practitioner whose practice is being supervised is safe and competent to practise and is not putting the public at risk.’

The framework:

  • gives guidance when supervised practice is required to meet registration requirements, conditions or undertakings
  • does not apply to students in approved programs of study
  • sets out core components that support high-quality, safe and effective supervised practice
  • supports consistent processes and decision-making within Ahpra
  • helps supervisees and supervisors to better understand what is expected of them.

The framework has been developed to reflect a responsive and risk-based approach to supervised practice across the National Scheme.

It includes clear and consistent descriptions of the four levels of supervised practice and the requirements to be a supervisor, as well as guidance on adequately managing the level of risk.

Supporting templates, including a supervised practice plan and report, have also been developed to supplement the framework and provide further guidance for supervisors.

Tips to assist supervisors:

  • The supervisee’s individual needs will determine the supervision—there is no standard amount of time set by the board for each person and each level of supervision. 
  • Everyone will be different, so the supervisor’s assessment of the individual supervisee’s skills and knowledge will determine the plan.
  • Supervisors should consider the supervisee’s foundation experience, scope they have worked in, scope they will be working in and gaps in practice or recency of practice issues.
  • Supervision plans should be realistic and achievable.
  • If close supervision is necessary, supervisors need to be able to be physically present and/or available.
  • The clinical environment, demographic and client base the supervisee has access to, will provide the basis for the plan. 

This will ensure it is within the scope of practice.

Content supplied. There are many resources on the Board’s website to help guide you through the process if you are required to undertake supervised practice. 

Visit physiotherapyboard.gov.au for more information.


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