Final report released: The role of accreditation in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes project, October 2019
The Health Professions Accreditation Collaborative Forum (Forum) in conjunction with the Australian Dental Council has released the final report for The role of accreditation in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes project (the Project).
To understand the role accreditation plays in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes and producing a culturally safe workforce, the Project surveyed all accredited health practitioner programs across Australia. Programs delivered in New Zealand, which are accredited by an accreditation authority, were also surveyed.
The project was led by a working group of the Forum and led by the Australian Dental Council (ADC).
The review gathered data on 188 accreditation health practitioner programs across Australia and New Zealand, a response rate of 18 per cent. Data was collected for at least one program for the 14 professions included in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme at the time of the survey.
The project found that the majority of education providers involve Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander People in the design and delivery of their programs. The extent and types of involvement of Indigenous People varied from program to program. A number of challenges were identified, including ensuring that students gain clinical experience of providing culturally safe care and representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the health workforce.
Findings from the survey reinforce the importance of accreditation as a lever for change, with the majority of respondents agreeing that the accreditation standard for their discipline requires education providers to assure the cultural safety of graduates. The majority of respondents considered that accreditation has at least some influence on curriculum design in the area of cultural safety. The final report can be viewed here.
The Forum is using the findings from the Project to establish an action plan for the next two years, in-line with the work of the National Scheme Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group. This plan will help ensure the collective efforts of the Forum focus on the areas where accreditation can affect change and improve the health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Podiatry Accreditation Committee, July 2019
The Forum welcomes the recently established Podiatry Accreditation Committee to its membership. The Committee, was appointed as the Accreditation Authority for Podiatry by the Podiatry Board of Australia, and the Forum looks forward to sharing experiences with this new body.
Paramedicine Accreditation Committee, May 2019
The Forum was pleased to welcome Emeritus Professor Eileen Willis, Chair of the recently established Paramedicine Accreditation Committee to her first Forum meeting. The Committee, was appointed as the Accreditation Authority for Paramedicine, and the Forum looks forward to sharing experiences with this new body.
Australian and New Zealand Podiatry Accreditation Council (ANZPAC), June 2019
On behalf of all the Forum members, the Forum Chair said farewell to ANZPAC at the May 2019 Forum meeting and thanked and acknowledged their members for their support and contribution to the Forum and its working groups over the past nine years.
ANZPAC will be wound up by end the June 2019 with their work replaced by a new Podiatry Accreditation Committee.
Forum involvement at the NRAS Research Summit 27,28 February 2019
Forum Members attended and was involved in the recent Summit “Optimising research for regulation effectiveness” hosted by AHPRA and the National Boards. The all-day Research Summit hosted 17 speakers and drew more than 300 participants from national and state and territory board and committee members, AHPRA staff, co-regulatory bodies, representatives from accreditation authorities and key partners.
The Summit centered on asking how research can be harnessed to strengthen regulation and enhance patient safety to contribute to improved health outcomes.
With the theme Optimising research for regulatory effectiveness, the Research Summit explored the National Scheme’s evolving approaches to risk assessment, lessons from research into notifications, and future opportunities to use smart data. At the heart of discussions was asking how we can use data and research to improve regulatory processes and, ultimately, contribute to safer care for patients.
Professor Zubin Austin from the University of Toronto, Canada, was keynote speaker. His stirring keynote address highlighted that competency assessment has emerged as a dominant issue for regulators, educators and employers worldwide; Professor Austin called for more attention to be focused on notions of teamwork, emotional intelligence, and genuine practitioner engagement as important concepts in defining and evaluating competency.
Forum signs a Memorandum of Understanding with TEQSA
The Forum is pleased to announce it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Commonwealth of Australia’s Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) on 8 November 2018.
Signing of this MoU between the Forum and TEQSA allows the two bodies to co-operate in a number of ways that promote good practice in accreditation, particularly at the intersection of the requirements for professions operating within the Scheme and TEQSA’s higher education responsibilities. The Forum represents the professional accreditation authorities within the Scheme, whereas TEQSA is the national quality assurance agency responsible for higher education provider quality. These complimentary roles ensure the both the quality of these health graduates and their student experience.
Accreditation systems review final report released
The Forum welcomes the release of the Accreditation Systems Review final report, released on 15 October 2018 by the COAG Health Council. The independent Accreditation Systems Review (the Review) final report makes significant, far reaching recommendations to reform the accreditation system for regulated health professions in Australia. It proposes recommendations which range from relatively uncontentious and which the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) bodies including the Forum generally support, to those which are significantly more complex and contentious. Health Ministers commissioned the Review following a review of the National Scheme as a whole.
The role of Accreditation in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Outcomes: thematic review preliminary findings now available (September 2018)
The Health Professions Accreditation Collaboration Forum (the Forum) has now received the preliminary analysis of data provided through responses from accredited health profession programs to the thematic review as part of the Role of accreditation in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Outcomes project (the Project).
The Forum developed the Project to understand the role accreditation plays in improving Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and/or Māori health outcomes and producing a health workforce, which is culturally safe.
Overall, an overwhelming 218 accredited health practitioner programs across Australia and/or New Zealand participated in the thematic review and included responses from programs accredited across all 14 accreditation authorities including nursing, dental, occupational therapy, medical, and pharmacy courses.
The initial analysis indicates the strength of accreditation as a lever for change and opportunities to learn across all the professions. Given this is the first time since the inception of the Scheme that a thematic review has been undertaken across all health professions, these opportunities are the most exciting outcome of this project and in determining the role of accreditation in improving Indigenous health outcomes.
The Forum would like to thank those who participated in the thematic review. A more detailed analysis is now being conducted and is expected to be completed in early 2019. The Forum will use this information to inform further projects and potential policy changes, to assist in the development of a culturally safe health workforce and work towards improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
More information on the findings of the thematic review is available here.
Forum project presented to ANZAHPE in Hobart (July 2018)
In July 2018, the Health Practitioners Accreditation Collaborative Forum (the Forum) presented a poster presentation on the Role of accreditation in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes project (the Project) during the Australian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE) Conference in Hobart.
Presented on behalf of the Forum by Australian Dental Council CEO, Narelle Mills, the presentation provided attendees with an overview of the Project and its anticipated outcomes. Furthermore, the poster presentation aimed to raise awareness of the work of the Forum to better understand the role accreditation plays in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Outcomes.
The poster can be downloaded here.
The thematic review and survey of decision makers are now closed. The Forum is now working on the development of the baseline dataset.
The Forum will work to provide updates on the outcomes of the thematic review and its role in improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
To find out more on Closing the Gap, visit https://closingthegap.niaa.gov.au/partnership .
Indigenous health outcomes the focus of new Forum project (May 2018)
To understand the role accreditation plays in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes and producing a culturally safe health workforce, the Health Professions Accreditation Collaborative Forum (the Forum) is launching the Role of accreditation in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes project (the Project).
The Project, a thematic review, will also look at how programs of study affect the health outcomes of these communities and the role each of these can play in Closing the Gap.
Established in 2008 to address Indigenous disadvantage, Closing the Gap marked a new approach to achieving equity in health status and life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians. By setting the standards for education and training of health practitioners, accreditation can contribute to development of practitioners with the skills and knowledge to protect and advance the health and wellbeing of all Australians – individual patients, communities and populations.
Running from 13 June to 4 July 2018, the Project aims to inform the next steps for accreditation authorities in improving health outcomes for Indigenous Australians and the extent to which health practitioner outcomes:
- Support students identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and/or Māori
- Produce future health practitioners who are culturally safe.
Involving more approximately 740 programs, across 330 education providers in Australia alone, the Project will provide the Forum with a baseline data-set on the role accreditation plays in improving, or inhibiting, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes and inform next steps for all accreditation authorities.
More information about Closing the Gap can be found at https://closingthegap.niaa.gov.au/partnership