Paramedicine Board of Australia - July 2022

July 2022

Issue 8 – July 2022


From the Chair

Stephen Gough

The establishment of International Paramedics Day on 8 July 2022 acknowledges the commitment and dedication of paramedics, marking a milestone for the profession both in Australasia and internationally. The Paramedicine Board joins with many others in recognising the contribution of paramedics to healthcare delivery and amplifying this year’s theme of being ‘proud to be a paramedic’.

The revised Code of conduct for paramedics is now in effect. As part of its role in protecting the public, the Board sets and enforces the ethical and professional standards for paramedics. It is essential that you review, know, understand and practise in accordance with the code. Read more below.

As we continue our work along with our other health colleagues in providing high quality healthcare to our communities, take care and be safe in looking after yourselves and each other.

 

Professor Stephen Gough ASM
Chair, Paramedicine Board of Australia

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Board news

New Accreditation Committee members appointed

The Paramedicine Board of Australia is pleased to announce the updated membership of the Paramedicine Accreditation Committee (the committee).

Three years after establishing and starting the accreditation process for paramedicine programs of study under the National Registration Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme), all positions on the inaugural committee were advertised for appointment for the next three-year term.

Six members were reappointed, and we have two new members.

Paramedicine Accreditation Committee

Emeritus Professor Marilyn Baird (Chair) (new member)
Dr William Lord (Co-Deputy Chair)
Associate Professor Alan Morrison (Co-Deputy Chair)
Associate Professor Tony Hucker
Associate Professor Helen Webb
Dr Justin Gladman (new member)
Mr Richard Larsen
Mr Martin Nichols

The Board congratulates Emeritus Professor Baird on her first appointment to this committee along with her appointment as Chair, and Dr Gladman on his first appointment to the committee.

Emeritus Professor Eileen Willis chose to retire from the committee after three years as the inaugural Chair. The Board is grateful for the excellent work done by Professor Willis, whose leadership and guidance played a critical role in the success of the committee during in its first term. We wish her the very best in her future endeavours.

Read more about the committee and its terms of reference on the Accreditation Committee page.

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Code of conduct now in effect

The revised shared Code of conduct (the code) is published and in effect. The code, developed by the Paramedicine Board and 11 other National Boards, sets out our expectations of professional behaviour and conduct for paramedics. You have a professional responsibility to apply this code in your practice, helping to keep the public safe.

To read the code, please visit the Shared Code of conduct page on the Ahpra website.

We also encourage you to read the FAQs and a document covering the 11 principles of the code – you can find them at Resources to help health practitioners.

In coming months, the Board will be providing more supporting material about the code to supplement the existing information.

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Latest workforce data released

The Board has released its latest quarterly report on registration figures. The report covers the period 1 January to 31 March 2022. At this date, there were 22,872 paramedics: 22,407 with general registration and 465 with non-practising registration.

Registration by gender is 52.4% male, 47.6% female and <0.1% intersex, indeterminate or not stated.

For more information, including registration by principal place of practice and age group, visit our Statistics page.

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National Scheme news

What’s the point of protected titles?

Recently, there’s been some discussion about protected titles and how they work to protect the public. Ahpra and the National Boards provide the following guidance to help inform the discussion.

What is a protected title?

In Australia, the titles of registered health professions are 'protected' by law. This is important because they can act as a sort of shorthand for patients and consumers. When someone uses a protected title – for example, ‘paramedic' – you can expect that person is appropriately trained and qualified in that profession, registered, and that they are expected to meet safe and professional standards of practice.

The protected titles under the National Law can be accessed on the bottom of Ahpra’s FAQs page. Examples of when a protected title has been unlawfully used and the outcomes can be found on the Court and tribunal decisions page.

Health Ministers have recently consulted on whether ‘surgeon’ should be a protected title under the National Law, and in what specialties it should apply, or if other changes should be made to help the public better understand the qualifications of medical practitioners. For more information on the consultation, visit the Engage Victoria website.

Read the news item for more details on this topic.

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Check out the new Resources hub

A new hub on the Ahpra website means it’s now easier to find helpful resources.

The Resources hub was launched in late June and aims to support practitioners’ professional practice and the public to make safer health choices.

It consolidates multiprofession policy resources for practitioners and the public and makes resources easier to find.

The hub also links to National Board websites for profession-specific guidance and information.

Information is grouped for practitioners and the public so visitors to the hub can quickly locate the information relevant to them.

For example, telehealth guidance for practitioners and what the public should look out for in health advertising.

New resources will be added to the hub as they are developed.

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Senate Committee tables its report

The Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee has tabled its report on the inquiry into the Administration of registration and notifications by Ahpra and related entities under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.

Ahpra actively engaged with the inquiry, with representatives of Ahpra, the Agency Management Committee and Community Advisory Council all appearing. There were public submissions and stakeholder appearances.

We will consider the recommendations directed to Ahpra and National Boards and contribute to the Australian Government response, as requested.

The report is available on the Inquiry web page.

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Want more information?

  • Visit the Board’s website for fact sheets and FAQs that help answer common questions about paramedic registration, and professional standards, codes and guidelines.
  • For employers of paramedics, we have specific information to help you in the Fact sheet: Employer obligations under the National Law.
  • Lodge an online enquiry form.
  • For registration enquiries, call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 9285 3010 (for overseas callers).
  • Address mail correspondence to: Professor Stephen Gough ASM, Chair, Paramedicine Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

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Page reviewed 20/07/2022