Living in a post COVID-19 world? (Part 2)

May 4th, 2021

Anton Barnett-Harris

Chief Executive Officer

Australian Physiotherapy Council

In my last blog, I began by sharing some of our reflections as we passed 12 months since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our work and lives.

Today, I want to explore how these lessons and experiences have shaped our ‘2021 normal’ and what we anticipate for the year ahead.

What do the lessons from 2020 mean for the Council as an Accreditation and Assessment Authority?

Stay true to who we are …

Even when we couldn’t do business as usual throughout the COVID-19 restrictions, we were not willing to lose who we were, our Council values and culture, and why we exist – our purpose, vision, and mission.

Serving our customers remained a key focus and continue to drive our desire to innovate and develop new models that will minimise the disruption to their journey with us.

Simulation suspended and resumed …

Suspending clinical assessments was extremely challenging for our international candidates throughout 2020.

Coming into 2021, our Assessment team scheduled as many simulated clinical assessments as we could to help candidates complete their assessments, especially those that had to wait longer due to COVID-19 causing suspension of clinical sessions.

Investment in organisational capacity to meet the customers’ needs

The Council made decisions to invest in new approaches so that we could meet our customers’ needs and continue our important accreditation and assessment work.

One example is our investment in the Council’s online Accreditation Portal that enables greater efficiency for universities and Council staff involved in accrediting university physiotherapy programs.

Another example was how we transformed our Written Assessment to a remote invigilated model, making it more accessible for overseas candidates.

Strong partnerships are vital for developing new business models …

The Council’s strong, and aligned partners were critical to quickly responding and adapting to the pandemic disruption. We continue to value these important partnerships as we collaborate and develop new business models for the future that are research based, and robust. One challenging area that we have identified that will need strong collaboration on, is how to conduct a clinical assessment if a face-to-face model isn’t possible.

Our desire is to build our resilience and agility through such new business models so that we can overcome any future disruptions that may threaten our sustainability.

So what lessons did you learn during the pandemic, and how are they making you reconsider your previous ways of working and living?

Despite the enormous challenges and sometimes the costs of the pandemic, we are determined not to miss the opportunity to let it propel us forward into a better future.


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