Reflecting on 2021, I’m humbled by the efforts of our Village to keep moving forward despite the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to 2020, the pandemic continued to bring several unexpected lockdowns and subsequent hardships to the state of Victoria (where the Council’s office is based), but thanks to the important lessons we learnt over 2020 we were able to keep growing and developing even through the instability. With two years of on-again, off-again lockdowns impacting our operations and the lives of our team members, remaining resilient and innovative was not easy but thanks to our embedded values it became attainable.
As a people-focused organisation, the Council has strived at being consistent, resilient, and innovative in serving its stakeholders. Through ongoing research and development, we are designing solutions that are sustainable and durable in this ever-changing, unpredictable pandemic era. With our customers as our priority, we transformed several operations to fit the new normal. Within Accreditation, we continued to deliver virtual site visits to support our university partners and ran an innovation in clinical placements campaign to share the work of several models of clinical placements. Within Assessment, we ramped up clinical assessments in between lockdowns and increased our Remote Written Assessment capacity to serve as many overseas physiotherapists as possible. We also commenced a two-year research project to explore and validate a new remote model of clinical assessment, which is an ambitious project that has not been developed in physiotherapy anywhere in the world to date.
In the international physiotherapy landscape, the Council agreed to serve as the secretariat for the newly established Physiotherapy Regulation and Accreditation (PRA) network. In November, we hosted the first global event that virtually welcomed over 40 delegates from every continent. The event focused on sharing best practices and facilitated collaboration within accreditation and regulation across the global physiotherapy profession.
In our reconciliation journey, we worked towards integrating cultural safety practices within our organisation and continued to increase our cultural awareness with intentional discussions with our First Nations committee members. We also elevated the cultural safety expectations within our Accreditation guide.
None of the incredible work we do would be possible without our valued partners and stakeholders. I am so grateful to the Physiotherapy Board of Australia Chair Kim Gibson, Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) President Scott Willis, APA CEO Anya Nikolic, and the Council of Physiotherapy Deans Australia and New Zealand (CPDANZ) outgoing President Prue Morgan.
We would also like to thank our partner organisations, Ahpra, the Physiotherapy Board of Australia, APA, CPDANZ and the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand, for collaborating with us to serve the physiotherapy profession.
As the accreditation and assessment authority for physiotherapy in Australia, we will continue to uphold the standard of high quality, ethical and safe physiotherapy practitioners in the new year.
On behalf of the Council, we extend our well wishes for the holiday season to you all and hope it is an enjoyable time for everyone. We look forward to seeing you in 2022.
To read about the Council’s work during 2020-2021, please read our most recent Annual Report.