Putting physio first


At the end of 2021, the Board approved a revised version of the APA’s rolling strategic plan, which can be found on the APA website.

The new plan will be in place for the next three years and reflects our current priorities and future-focused initiatives.

Devising a strategic plan takes considerable time, effort and consultation, as it is imperative that we get it right.

It becomes a road map for our operational team and underpins our budgeting decisions.

The new strategic plan is entitled Physio First and now has the members, rather than consumers, at the centre of our strategic efforts.

It describes the APA purpose as ‘to drive the success and wellbeing of our members and the physiotherapy profession as we strive to be the indispensable source of advocacy, leadership, connection and support'.

There are four key pillars to the plan, underpinned by three enablers.

The first pillar, Lifelong Learning, naturally focuses on the delivery of high-quality continuing professional development, which will increasingly be available online.

Its key deliverables are advancing our world-class career pathways and developing the Australian College of Physiotherapists to be the pinnacle of a physiotherapist’s learning journey.

The second pillar is Professional Excellence, aimed at delivering guidance and leadership on matters of professional importance.

This pillar covers many of our member services, including our high-quality and affordable member insurance program.

It also supports physiotherapy research and enables its translation into practice.

The third pillar, Community Engagement, is intended to motivate consumers to choose physiotherapy and involves significant consumer marketing activities.

We plan to educate consumers about the breadth and value of physiotherapy and demonstrate leadership on social issues that are of importance to our profession.

This includes our Reconciliation Action Plan, which has recently been updated to ensure that we are doing all we can to Close the Gap in Indigenous health.

Health Sector Leadership is the final pillar and is aimed at ensuring that our advocacy efforts contribute to the highest levels of policymaking for the benefit of physiotherapy.

We intend to uphold and advance our scope of practice and secure new models of funding.

We will also work towards securing a sustainable workforce that can improve the equity of access to physiotherapy for all Australians.

The three enablers underpinning these pillars are people, systems and operations.

We plan to recruit and retain the best people to deliver on our strategic plan and to recognise and reward their performance.

We will adopt and maintain systems and processes that ensure the highest efficiency, security and reliability to enhance the member experience.

Finally, under the guidance of our capable CEO Anja Nikolic, we will operationalise our strategic plan to meet key performance indicators that will ensure the long-term viability of the APA.

In addition to reviewing our strategic plan, we have also been updating the APA values: accountability, respect, excellence, collaboration and courage.

We believe strongly in these values and know that if we uphold them we will create an enviable culture to sustain our association in the future.

It is important that we not only describe these values in writing, but also live and breathe them every day.

We want to ensure that all APA personnel and office-bearers operate with honesty and integrity, take responsibility, demonstrate empathy and kindness, relentlessly pursue solutions for optimal outcomes, engage proactively with others and find the courage to overcome challenges and difficulties.


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