From the boards – OT, psychology, and pharmacy competency standards and curriculum changes

Updates from the AHPRA boards March 2018The Boards of three of the major health care professions; occupational therapy, pharmacy and psychology; have recently launched their new competency standards, assessment guidelines, and examination curriculum respectively.

The Occupational Therapy Board of Australia released the data 11 months ahead of its effectivity on January 1, 2019 to make practitioners familiar about the changes for the new competency standards. The updates were made to adapt to the changes in the profession since July 2012 when the previous competency standards were introduced. It highlights the safe and ethical behaviours of practicing professionals.

The new competency standards cover:

  • Four conceptual areas of OT practice: professionalism, knowledge and learning of process and practice, and communication
  • The need for OTs to enhance their cultural responsiveness and capabilities for practice with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

The changes in the competency standards of pharmacists brought The Pharmacy Board of Australia and the Australian Pharmacy Council to a decision to update the pharmacy intern assessment standards. According to the joint announcement, starting 1 January 2019 all pharmacy intern written and oral examinations will be based on the revised competency standards.

The Psychological Board of Australia also released an advance copy of the new psychology examination curriculum that reflects changes on the revised competency standards. The curriculum, formed after two year of review and two public consultations in July and September 2017, will take effect on August 2018.

“It is important that practitioners know and understand the requirements. By publishing the new curriculum documents six months before they come into effect, exam candidates and their supervisors, in particular, can start to prepare ahead of the first exam with questions on the new curriculum in August 2018″ said Professor Brin Grenyer, Psychology Board of Australia Chair.

He added that, “The Board wanted to ensure that the curriculum aligned with the changes in the profession since 2012 and continued to meet international standards. These changes include the new Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) standards and the new International declaration of core competencies in professional psychology (the declaration).

The Psychology Board of Australia agreed to:

  • update the National psychology examination curriculum document to align with the new APAC standards and declaration
  • align the guide A brief orientation to the National psychology examination with the proposed revised curriculum and with the declaration
  • retire the Assessment domain additional resources document
  • update the National psychology examination recommended reading list to align with the new curriculum
  • complete a full plain English language edit of the Guidelines for the national psychology examination, and
  • add a list of the additional resource documents into the section of the guidelines that mentions the curriculum.

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

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