December 15th, 2020

Anton Barnett-Harris

Chief Executive Officer

Australian Physiotherapy Council

Who would have thought 2020 would have unfolded this way?!

I believe all of us, organisations, communities, families and individuals have been impacted in some way by the international COVID-19 pandemic.

For the Council, as an accreditation and assessment authority located in Melbourne, Australia, we have worked remotely since March, only recently returning to the office, and have navigated the challenges of restrictions and lockdown as our state sought to reign in the 2nd wave of COVID cases that saw several hundred people sadly lose their lives.

We are a values-based organisation, dedicated to keeping people at the heart of everything we do. This means that as we are responsible for maintaining the standards of practice for Australian physiotherapists, we especially consider the human impact on our education providers and physiotherapy staff and students, and international assessment candidates who want to join the esteemed Australian physiotherapy profession.

As we approach the end of 2020, we want to thank several groups of people.

To our Board of Directors and Committees members, we thank you for your ongoing, consistent, and steady support and leadership as we have navigated the turbulence and challenges this year.

To our valued partners and stakeholders, Ahpra, the Physiotherapy Board of Australia (PhysioBA), the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), the Council of Physiotherapy Deans Australia and New Zealand (CPDANZ) and Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand (PBNZ), we greatly appreciate collaborating with you to serve our customers and stakeholders in a new context.

Thank you to our Accreditation and Assessment assessors, case writers and reviewers, and Sim Actors. You have continued to bring professional expertise to our important accreditation and assessment work, demonstrating flexibility and dedication to conduct your work, as restrictions meant we needed to adjust and transform some of our usual ways of operating.

To our staff who are responsible for managing and delivering our accreditation and assessment services. You have done an outstanding job this year, despite immense challenges, planning and replanning as Government restrictions regularly changed, and continuing to diligently work with resilience and perseverance to serve our customers and partners.

What are we looking forward to in 2021?

Our team is looking forward to a great year in 2021. We will continue to work with education providers through their accreditation journey, and hopefully resume some of our site visits in person, rather than all virtual visits.

We plan to increase our Clinical Assessment sessions in the Simulation Lab, and continue enhancing the various assessment pathways for candidates. And we are preparing to welcome international candidates when the borders reopen.

We are excited to continue exploring new methods of assessment and introduce technology to better support our accreditation and assessment services to the physiotherapy community.

We remind our candidates to renew your free APA membership. See this page for more detail.

Christmas office closure

As we have previously communicated, over the Christmas and New Year season our office will be closed from Friday 18th December 2020 and reopen on Monday 11th January 2021. This will impact some of the processing times and availability of our staff to answer calls and emails. We thank you for your understanding and patience as we will respond to each of you as soon as we can when we return in the New Year.

Finally, on behalf of the Council, we extend our thoughts and well wishes to each of you, your families, and friends. We hope that you will receive peace this Christmas, and refresh and enjoy time together with those around you this Christmas and holiday season. We look forward to seeing you in 2021.

From Anton Barnett-Harris, CEO, on behalf of the Council

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