The Physiotherapy Board of Australia (Board) recently announced changes to the renewal of registration in 2020. When applying to renew registration in 2020, physiotherapists will now be asked to declare that, if they advertise, their advertising meets the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law 2009 (National Law).
This is in addition to the usual requirement for physiotherapists to declare that they have met the continuing professional development (CPD) standards and have appropriate professional indemnity insurance arrangements in place.
Under section 133 of the National Law, a person must not advertise physiotherapy services in a way that:
- is false, misleading or deceptive;
- offers a gift or a discount without stating the terms and conditions of the offer;
- uses testimonials about the service or business;
- creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment; or
- directly or indirectly encourages unnecessary use of physiotherapy.
AHPRA's Advertising Compliance team will be conducting an audit in February 2021, to evaluate compliance with the National Law. Physiotherapists who are found to have non-compliant advertising will be managed under the Advertising Compliance and Enforcement Strategy. Breaches of the National Law in relation to advertising can attract fines of up to $5,000 per offence (for an individual) and $10,000 per offence (for a body corporate). In addition, physiotherapists can have restrictions placed on their registration. To assist health practitioners understand their obligations in relation to advertising, AHPRA is releasing updated Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service. The current guidelines can be accessed here.
In addition, the Board has announced further changes to renewal in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including changes to CPD requirements. Whilst strongly encouraging physiotherapists continue to meet their CPD requirements, AHPRA and the Physiotherapy Board will not take action if a physiotherapist declares that they were unable to meet CPD requirements for 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All information on this site is of a general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon as, nor to be a substitute for, specific legal professional advice. No responsibility for the loss occasioned to any person acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material published can be accepted.