December 2016 Physiotherapy Board Newsletter
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A big year ahead

The summer break is now a distant memory and we are well into 2017.

Last year was a busy one, with a significant increase in contacts, a rewrite of the Board Strategic Plan, developing a standards framework, the review and redraft of the Code of Professional Ethics, and redevelopment of accreditation standards and process.

This year promises to be even bigger as we roll out consultation on, and launch, three major pieces of work:
  • Code of Professional Ethics
  • accreditation standards
  • a suite of professional and practice standards 
We’re mindful that you’re busy, so we’re not planning to overload you with emails.  Instead we’ll be speaking to you face to face and online during the upcoming consultations to seek your input and views.

Please make sure you have your say - each of these pieces of work is important to ensure we all foster excellence in our profession.

We’ll be in touch with the dates/venues and invitation for your feedback once details are confirmed.

Janice Mueller (Chairperson)
Jeanette Woltman-Black (Chief Executive)


Re-election of Chair and Deputy Chair

Congratulations to our Chair Janice Mueller and Deputy Chair Maarama Davis on their re-election to their roles.

Both Janice and Maarama are experienced physiotherapists and dedicated to actively making a difference in the profession as practitioners and as leaders.
Board Chair Janice Mueller
Board Deputy Chair Maarama Davis

News in Brief

Ross Johnston joins the team 

The Board welcomes Ross Johnston as our new Registrar. Ross is formerly of Kensington Swan and has worked in law for 30 years. He has a diverse background that will be a real asset to the team. Ross starts with us on 15 March.
We’d also like to say a huge thank you to Rachael Heslop who has been our acting registrar. She’s been an absolute trooper through a very busy time for the Board.

Key date to remember: 1 April 2017 - If you renewed your APC you are eligible to practice

Online renewal

If you haven’t already updated your practising status, the Online Renewal dashboard is now open for you to login and update your status for the 2017/2018 practising year, and to complete the Annual Workforce Survey. 
To update online, you’ll need your registration number and password. If you don’t remember your password, you can click on the “Forgot your password?” link, then enter your registration number or email address. A new password will be sent to the email address we have on file for you.
Please carefully consider the Competence and Fitness to Practice questions before answering them, particularly the health notification question: “Is there any mental or physical condition or impairment that you have suffered from since you were granted your last APC, that has the potential to affect your fitness to practise physiotherapy?”
If you have any queries, please contact us at:

The Registration Team are here to assist you so please feel free to contact us via 

The Registration Team
Lisa Mansfield (Senior Registration Officer): 
Devon Smit (Registration Officer): 
James Mansfield (Registration Officer):

Ross Johnston (Registrar): or 

Unexpected office move

We have had to leave our offices at 80 The Terrace while the building is brought up to earthquake strength specifications. We don’t currently have a date for return but have arranged new temporary offices on level 18 Plimmerton Towers.

In the meantime our online APC renewal process is still operating, processing of APCs has not been affected, and we are continuing to operate remotely. However, there may be some delays processing international registration applications.

If you need to contact us the best way is by email: 

We apologise for any inconvenience and will update you once we’ve finished the relocation.

Latest student survey reports out

In 2013 the Board, PNZ, AUT and Otago schools of physiotherapy agreed on an MOU for a longitudinal study of new NZ graduates.

The study is part of understanding the changing face of physiotherapy in New Zealand so that we can plan ahead to best meet the needs of the profession, practitioners, and patients. It includes graduates from 2013, 2014 and 2015 and follows the employment and career patterns of each cohort over five years.

Reports for 2016 and the two years preceding it are available on our publications page.

Complaints and notifications

There was a significant amount of communication last year about the increase in complaints and notifications. This increase is continuing and, with it, our focus on resolving these issues.

Since 1 April 2016 we have received 57 complaints and notifications.  Of these, 11 have been referred to a Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) with the PCC laying one charge before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.
Complaints and Notifications: 2012-2017

Physiotherapy in depth

Physiotherapy Competencies to Practice Thresholds in New Zealand – a six month reportback

In May last year, we implemented the Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand Physiotherapy Practice Thresholds. They replaced the nine Physiotherapy Competencies as the entry level standard of competence required for registration as a physiotherapist in New Zealand. 

Since then we’ve been working to inform practitioners about the change and what it means. You can read the six-month reportback of this process here.

Standards, Ethics, Thresholds - how we foster excellence together

Standards, ethics, thresholds and lifelong learning - these are all critical to growing and improving our profession. But how does it all fit together and how can you have your say in where we head as physiotherapists?

Physio Board Professional Advisor Jon Warren answers these questions ahead of our consultation with you on some of these significant issues.

‘Lifelong Learning’ aka getting better with time

This is a term that is often bandied around and seems a positive attribute. UNESCO defined it in 1996 as learning to know, learning to do, learning to be, and learning to live with each other. This is a very aspirational definition. In physiotherapy, it’s related to evidence-based practice where clinical decisions are based on the external and internal evidence, along with the patient’s goal. The Physiotherapy Board (Board) is statutorily bound to check the lifelong learning of the profession. The adage is ‘trust but verify’, and this is done through the Recertification Programme. The makeup of this is due for review later in the year so stay tuned, as this is your chance of input. 

‘Standards’ aka competence

This can be defined as a level of quality/attainment or something used as a norm or measure. In physiotherapy, it seems we have lots of these and we do! From the Board’s perspective, these are important to ensure our statutory role; the safety of the public. To start with we have the Educational Standard for Physiotherapy Practitioner Programmes in Aotearoa New Zealand, the accreditation standard for university programmes. This standard was written at the end of last year and will be released for consultation in the next month, so again we would like your input.

The Physiotherapy Practice Thresholds of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand aka the bi-national thresholds is the next standard that covers the proficiencies necessary to attain and maintain registration as a physiotherapist on both sides of the Tasman. This also defines the level necessary for overseas physiotherapists to register in New Zealand. This was created in 2015 after consultation with the both NZ and Australian professions.

The Board Standards aka the level of quality care expected from the profession and for the public. These are a suite of standards, which start with the overarching Aotearoa New Zealand Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. In conjunction with Physiotherapy New Zealand, this document has recently been reviewed and updated. It is now due for final consultation. 

The rest of the standards are broadly grouped into Professional and Practice Standards. At present count, we have written 14. The content has come from existing physiotherapy position statements and standards, international physiotherapy standards, and standards from other health professional regulatory authorities. 

These standards need input from the profession to check, modify, and if necessary improve the content to ensure we all have the same expectations. We plan to launch the consultation on all these standards in Wellington in May or June - so watch this space, as we want your input. We also plan to get to present these in the main centres to ensure everyone has an opportunity to give constructive feedback. Finally, as with all consultations, the whole profession will receive electronic links to enable individual feedback.

In short we have an exciting year ahead at the Board, which means we need your help to continue embracing our vision of Fostering Excellence in Physiotherapy.

Quick links

Online Renewal - if you haven't already renewed click here to do so online

Update on Practice Thresholds

Standards and Ethics - have your say
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Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand

Level 18
Plimmer Towers

PO Box 10734
Wellington 6143
New Zealand

 +64 (0)4 471 2610

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