A new year has begun for the Council, and we acknowledge that 2021 still faces ongoing challenges to navigate caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite this dynamic and challenging global context, we remain firmly committed to our role to uphold the physiotherapy practice standards and ensure that Australia has the safest, most ethical physiotherapy practitioners.
We recognise that universities are facing ongoing pressures to maintain the delivery of entry-level physiotherapy programs to the required standards, and that this will be further impacted by the reduction in revenue from the significant loss of international students. As the accreditation authority, our priority is to ensure that graduates are competent and safe to practice. Whilst the Council will closely monitor physiotherapy programs, we are also here to provide guidance and support to universities applying the accreditation standard to their programs.
Our Accreditation Assessors are located in various states and territories in Australia, and throughout 2020 conducted virtual site visits to universities when travel was not feasible. This demonstrated that despite restrictions, the Council confidently delivers robust and world-class accreditation services.
Clinical assessments have now resumed in the Council’s Simulation Lab, with strict adherence to COVIDsafe practice. However, we recognise that our candidates may not be able to travel to Australia as international travel remains a challenge, and travel restrictions and border closures continue to impact candidates within Australia. Our staff are doing an outstanding job to accommodate candidates impacted by these closures and restrictions.
We continue to monitor advice provided by Government and Health authorities and make adjustments as required. The strong working relationships that the Council has with our partners, such as Ahpra, the Physiotherapy Board of Australia (PhysioBA), the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), the Council of Physiotherapy Deans Australia and New Zealand (CPDANZ) and the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand (PBNZ), enable us to collaborate, identify and respond to our constantly changing professional environment.
Despite global challenges and a constantly changing professional environment, the Council’s Board and staff are committed to championing excellence and professionalism in physiotherapy practice. We continue to undertake our work as Australia’s physiotherapy accreditation and assessment authority underpinned by our organisational values.
To read more about what we have achieved in the past, and the foundation that we will build on for the future, here is our 2019 – 2020 Annual Report.
From Melissa Locke, Chair of the Board of Directors