February 2018

Update Medical Board of Australia



Tell us what you think about revised guidelines on sexual boundaries

We’re interested in what you think of the Board’s proposed changes to guidelines on sexual boundaries.

The revised guidelines make clear the importance of maintaining sexual boundaries in the doctor-patient relationship and set out the standards of ethical and professional conduct expected of doctors by the Board, professional peers and the community.

We are proposing to:

The guidelines complement the Board’s code, Good medical practice: a code of conduct for doctors in Australia.


The Board is interested in your feedback on the draft revised guidelines, which are available on the consultation page of the Board’s website.

Please provide written submissions by email, marked: ‘Draft revised guidelines: Sexual boundaries in the doctor-patient relationship’ to medboardconsultation by close of business on 29 March 2018.

We usually publish submissions to consultations. More information about the consultation process is available in the consultation paper. 

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Revised registration standards

Reminder about revised registration standards for specialists and AMC certificate holders

Two revised registration standards came into effect on 15 February 2018. One applies to applicants for specialist registration and the other to AMC certificate holders seeking general registration.

Revised standard for specialist registration

The revised standard for specialist registration applies to everyone who is applying for specialist registration. It does not change the current requirements for specialist registration but has been reformatted and reworded to make it clearer. Read more on the Board’s website.

Revised standard for granting general registration to medical practitioners who hold an Australian Medical Council certificate

The revised standard for Granting general registration to medical practitioners who hold an Australian Medical Council certificate applies to international medical graduates who have been awarded the AMC certificate and have successfully completed the required supervised practice in Australia to be eligible for general registration. Read more on the Board’s website.  

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Professional Performance Framework

Stakeholders start work on the Professional Performance Framework

The Board and national stakeholders have begun mapping out the work involved in implementing the Professional Performance Framework, announced in late 2017.

The Professional Performance Framework aims to ensure that all registered medical practitioners practise competently and ethically throughout their working lives. It will support doctors to take responsibility for their own performance and encourage the profession collectively to raise professional standards and build a positive, respectful culture in medicine that benefits patients and doctors.

The Professional Performance Framework has five pillars:

  1. Strengthened continuing professional development (CPD) requirements.
  2. Active assurance of safe practice.
  3. Strengthened assessment and management of medical practitioners with multiple substantiated complaints.
  4. Guidance to support practitioners through regularly updated professional standards that support good medical practice.
  5. Collaborations to foster a positive culture of medicine that is focused on patient safety, based on respect and encourages doctors to take care of their own health and wellbeing.

Read more about the framework on the Board’s website.

In February 2018, the Board brought together national stakeholders in a workshop to start planning what needs to be done, by whom, to implement the framework in the years ahead. Some of the work involved can be done by the Board and much of it will involve many agencies working together. The workshop included representatives of the specialist colleges, the Australian Medical Council, Australian Medical Association, government representatives and medical insurers.

Implementing the framework will involve contributions from the profession and extensive consultation. We will keep you informed as this work progresses.

Questions or comments about the Professional Performance Framework can be sent to: performanceframework.

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Self-assessment tool to check your advertising

Patients have a right to accurate and reliable information about healthcare services to help them make informed healthcare choices.

To help doctors and advertisers check and correct their advertising so it complies with professional and legal obligations, AHPRA has published a new self-assessment tool.

The tool is easy to use and asks you to consider a number of questions about your advertising which can help you make sure it meets the requirements of the National Law. Advertisers’ legal obligations are explained in the Guidelines for advertising regulated health services.

There are three steps to compliance:

  1. read our resources
  2. identify the advertising you are responsible for, and
  3. review and change your advertising if you need to.

The self-assessment tool is the latest in a series of advertising resources developed by AHPRA and the Medical Board, healthcare providers and other advertisers of regulated health services to help advertisers comply with the law.
This work is part of a broader strategy – an Advertising compliance and enforcement strategy for the National Scheme – which kicked off last year. The strategy has met a number of its targets since its launch including clear, concise and helpful correspondence about advertising complaints and new resources such as a summary of advertising obligations, frequently asked questions, tips on words to be wary about and examples of compliant and non-compliant advertising.

The self-assessment tool is available in the Advertising resources section on the AHPRA website.

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AMC recognised by the World Federation for Medical Education

The World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) has recognised the Australian Medical Council’s (AMC) system for accreditation of medical school programs. The WFME evaluates agencies against internationally accepted criteria for accreditation. The AMC is only the eighth accreditation authority in the world to complete WFME’s comprehensive recognition review process.

More information is available on the AMC and WFME websites.  

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Medical regulation at work

Latest tribunal decisions have been published online

There are important lessons for registered medical practitioners from tribunal decisions. The Medical Board of Australia refers the most serious concerns about medical practitioners to tribunals in each state and territory. There were no new cases published this month, but you can still access past cases.

Publication of panel, court and tribunal decisions

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), on behalf of the 14 National Boards, publishes a record of panel, court and tribunal decisions about registered health practitioners.

When investigating a notification, the Board may refer a medical practitioner to a health panel hearing, or a performance and professional standards panel hearing. Under the National Law1, panel hearings are not open to the public. AHPRA publishes a record of panel hearing decisions made since July 2010. Practitioners’ names are not published, consistent with the National Law.

Summaries of tribunal and court cases are published on the Court and tribunal decisions page of the AHPRA website. The Board and AHPRA sometimes choose to not publish summaries, for example about cases involving practitioners with impairment.

In New South Wales and Queensland, different arrangements are in place. More information is available on AHPRA’s website on the Make a complaint page.

1The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory

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Contacting the Board

  • The Medical Board of Australia and AHPRA can be contacted by phone on 1300 419 495.
  • For more information, see the Medical Board of Australia website and the AHPRA website.
  • Lodge an enquiry form through the website under Contact us at the bottom of every web page.
  • Mail correspondence can be addressed to: Dr Joanna Flynn AM, Chair, Medical Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

More information

Please note: Practitioners are responsible for keeping up to date with the Board’s expectations about their professional obligations. The Board publishes standards, codes and guidelines as well as alerts in its newsletter. If you unsubscribe from this newsletter you are still required to keep up to date with information published on the Board’s website.

Comment on the Board newsletter is welcome and should be sent to newsletters@ahpra.gov.au.

For registration enquiries or contact detail changes, call the AHPRA customer service team on 1300 419 495 (from within Australia).

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Page reviewed 1/03/2018