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The Australian Physiotherapy Council has a history of investing in research and innovation in our accreditation and assessment services to advance the Australian physiotherapy profession.

In recent years, we have embraced innovation in our clinical assessment through the use of body-worn cameras and embarked on multi-year research to investigate and develop remote modes of clinical assessment.

At the recent 9th annual Prato International Clinical Skills Conference in Italy, hosted by the International Clinical Skills Foundation, the Council representatives presented some early insights from its Remote Clinical Research Project.

Brooke Flew, a lead community physiotherapist, researcher and PhD candidate, delivered the Council's presentation titled In-person versus online clinical assessment of physiotherapy students’ clinical competency”

Brooke shared about the Council’s three-year Remote Clinical Research Project which aims to explore and validate a new remote model of clinical assessment undertaken by overseas qualified physiotherapists (OQP’s) seeking to be registered and practice in Australia. The project has received approval from the Flinders University Human Ethics Research Committee and is being conducted in collaboration with La Trobe University.

The Council’s research is ambitious, as no remote clinical summative assessment has been developed for physiotherapy anywhere in the world to date. It is supported by a scientifically rigorous methodology to ensure any future remote model is robust, reliable, and efficient. Currently in development, the project has yielded valuable insights, data, and key learnings that are informing future phases of the project.

While at the conference, Darren Lee, General Manager of Assessment at the Council also presented about the innovative use of body-worn cameras when assessing overseas qualified physiotherapists (OQP’s). He shared the experiences of using the cameras, which enable footage to be continuously recorded as the OQP’s move between several rooms through the course of their clinical assessment. The Council’s introduction of the cameras within the simulated clinical assessment environment sought to enhance procedural review and quality control.

The Council’s presentations and participation in roundtable discussions at the Prato Conference were well received by delegates from around the world, and generated interest and conversations about innovations and research contributing to clinical assessment.

As Australia’s only accreditation and assessment authority for physiotherapy, we remain committed to investing in and leveraging innovations and research to uphold the quality of clinical assessments, increase accessibility to assessment pathways for overseas qualified physiotherapists and help to address global and domestic healthcare workforce pressures.

To read more about the Council’s Remote Clinical Assessment Research Project click here.

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