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It’s time for pharmacists to renew their registration… here’s what’s different this year

The Pharmacy Board has issued a reminder that pharmacists have until 30 November 2021 to renew their general or non-practising registration.

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency will send registered pharmacists an email shortly providing access to online renewal.

The Board encouraged pharmacists to renew early to avoid delays.

This year, embedding cultural safety in the ways health professionals work is a new focus.

The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Strategy aims to make patient safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples the norm, says the Board.

“We strive to embed cultural safety in the ways we work within the National Scheme too.

“From 2021, you’ll be asked if you identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander when you renew your registration. This will help us continue to develop culturally safe ways of working.”

The Board also notes that renewal is now online only with changes to payment options.

This applies to both general and non-practising registration renewal. The Board says over 99% of health practitioners already renew online.

BPay is no longer available for any profession.

Proactive advertising audits have now started. The Board says that pharmacists who are renewing their general registration will be asked to declare that, if they are advertising health services, their advertising complies with Health Practitioner Regulation National Law advertising requirements.

“This is part of a risk-based approach to enforcing the National Law’s advertising requirements and compliance by registered health practitioners who advertise their services.

“This approach includes auditing health practitioners to check advertising compliance.”

The Board also looks at the impact of COVID-19 on CPD.

“The Pharmacy Board of Australia expects you to make reasonable efforts to complete your required CPD,” it says.

“However, we understand that some pharmacists may have had trouble fully meeting CPD, particularly any face to face requirements, due to the impacts of COVID-19.

“Continuing professional development is important as it helps maintain competence and supports safe and effective care.

“The Board will not take action if you have not been able to complete CPD for the 2020 – 21 registration period due to the exceptional circumstances of COVID-19 and you declare on your renewal of general registration application that you have not met the CPD Registration standard.

“It’s important that you answer all questions honestly and accurately when completing your registration renewal and declare that you have not met the CPD requirements if that is the case.

“If you declare that you did not meet the CPD Registration standard the Board may request evidence in the future of what you have done to address any identified gaps in your CPD learning needs such as any interactive or face to face CPD requirements.

“Given the importance of CPD and the increasing availability of flexible and COVID-safe CPD options, you will be expected to fully meet CPD requirements in future and when renewing in 2022.

“If you have not met the CPD requirements due to the impacts of COVID-19 you should update your CPD plan to explain how you will address any resulting learning needs, such as any face to face or interactive requirements, in the next registration period.

“The Board expects you to access any such training requirements as soon as you are able e.g. by scheduling face to face requirements when available.”

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