Lobby Campaign for National Registration
In 2007 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) announced there would be a National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for Health Professions. This would initially apply to all health professions that were already registered in all states and territories. Those professions only partially registered were invited to forward submissions for inclusion in the national scheme and was required to give evidence against the established criteria used to determine if a profession requires regulation.
The profession of speech pathology, following extensive consultation, agreed to make a submission for inclusion in the scheme. The joint submission from Speech Pathology Australia and the Speech Pathologists Board of Queensland was submitted in October 2008. In May 2009 it was announced that three additional professions would be included in the scheme, however speech pathology and other professions including occupational therapy would not be included.
In late August 2009, it was further announced by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council (AHWMC) that occupational therapy would be included for 2012, but there was no reconsideration of the speech pathology profession. This issue is considered of high importance for the speech pathology profession as it is believed that it is both in the interest of the public and the profession, that speech pathology come under this national registration framework. Regulatory systems provide the public with an assurance that registrants have met the exacting standards regarding qualifications required to be registered as a speech pathologist. This measure, combined with the restriction of professional title afforded by legislation, provides consumers with a statutory benchmark about who is entitled to offer their services as a speech pathologist.
Regulation of the speech pathology profession through the nation-wide registration and accreditation scheme would address the genuine risks of physical, social and emotional harm inherent in the speech pathology role and will contribute to building and maintaining public confidence in services provided by appropriately qualified speech pathologists.
What do we want members to do?
Members are urged to write to your state local members of parliament to put forward the profession’s position that speech pathology should be included in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.
A ‘proforma’ letter to local MPs in your state electorate has been developed for your use. You are welcome to modify this letter to suit your personal circumstances in regard to any direct contact you may have with local politicians. This letter has been written with the purpose of contacting state politicians who should raise this issue with their state health minister or opposition health spokesperson. This is to support national office correspondence and direct lobby of each state health minister.
A Summary document has also been developed outlining the arguments against the AHMAC/Intergovernment Agreement criteria for speech pathology to be included in the scheme. This document should be attached to your letter.
The main Submission and Supplementary Information material are also attached for general reference.
How to contact my local MPs
The following links are provided to access the names and contact details of members of parliament in your state/territory. Be sure to search on Members of the State Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council as appropriate.
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