Occupational Therapy Board of Australia - 2022/23 annual summary
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2022/23 annual summary

Occupational therapy in 2022/23

Registration

  • 29,742 occupational therapists
    • Up 7.5% from 2021/22
    • 3.4% of all registered health practitioners
  • 2,545 first-time registrants
    • 2,023 domestic (including new graduates)
    • 522 international
  • 0.6% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 89.5% female; 10.5% male

Age

Figure showing age groups of occupational therapists. The largest group is aged 25 to 34 years, followed by 35 to 44 years.

Regulation

  • 83 notifications lodged with Ahpra about 76 occupational therapists
  • 149 notifications about 132 occupational therapists made Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data
    • 0.4% of the profession Australia-wide

Sources of notifications

Pie chart showing that most notifications were raised by a patient, their relative or a member of the public.

Most common types of complaints

Pie chart showing that the most common complaint type was clinical care, followed by communication.

Notifications closed

Pie chart showing that 60% of the 66 notifications closed resulted in no further regulatory action and 20% were referred to another body or retained by a health complaints entity. 14% resulted in conditions being imposed on registration or an undertaking being accepted.

  • No immediate actions taken
  • 8 mandatory notifications received
    • 4 about impairment
    • 2 about professional standards
    • 1 about alcohol or drugs
    • 1 about sexual misconduct
  • 20 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year
  • 16 criminal offence complaints made
  • No notifications finalised at tribunal
  • No matters decided by a panel
  • No appeals lodged

A report from the Chair

Accreditation

The Occupational Therapy Board of Australia continued to approve the accreditation of programs undergoing their scheduled reviews during the year. There are now 48 occupational therapy programs of study delivered by 24 education providers across Australia.

Policy updates

In April, the Board published:

  • Easy English information about the shared Code of conduct, which is aimed at the public
  • new record-management resources for practitioners, including a summary of the guidance about record management given in the shared Code of conduct
  • a self-reflective tool to help occupational therapists assess the adequacy of their record-keeping and management practices.

Growing the workforce

Responding to workforce pressures has been a major focus of the Board this year. Growing a safe workforce involves responding to the current acute shortage and maldistribution of registered occupational therapists, while ensuring that the public continues to receive safe care.

The Board published a new webpage with consolidated information for overseas-qualified practitioners who are considering seeking, or who have decided to seek, registration as an occupational therapist in Australia. The Board also collaborated with the Occupational Therapy Council of Australia to streamline the application and assessment process for overseas-qualified practitioners and to reduce duplication and administrative burden.

Further responses to workforce pressures are being developed by the Board and will be implemented in 2023/24.

Stakeholder engagement

The Board met with a number of key stakeholders, including:

  • Occupational Therapy Australia (the national professional association)
  • Occupational Therapy Council of Australia
  • Occupational Therapy Council of NSW
  • Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand
  • NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner.

These meetings provided the chance to discuss emerging issues and to look for opportunities to enhance collaboration on activities that are being carried out across the respective organisations.

In September, the Board hosted a live webinar, Graduating soon?, for upcoming and recent graduates. The webinar was attended by more than 300 students and provided information about registering as an occupational therapist for the first time and information about the role of Ahpra and the Board, and included a live Q&A throughout the session.

Other news

In March, we said farewell to Ms Sally Cunningham, our practitioner member from Victoria. Our sincere thanks to Sally for all her valuable contributions to the regulation of occupational therapists. Also in March, we were pleased to welcome Ms Kate Andrews, our newest practitioner member from Victoria.

Ms Julie Brayshaw, Chair

 
 
Page reviewed 11/06/2024