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APA welcomes announcement by AHPRA to review advertising guidelines

in All Physio Blogs, Physio News
15 Apr 2014  |  0 Comments

Following the launch of the AHPRAaction campaign, the Medical Board of Australia has announced that it will change Section 6.2.3 of the revised advertising guidelines and work with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the other thirteen National Boards to progress this change.

Section 6.2.3 of the Advertising Guidelines states:

“A practitioner must take reasonable steps to have any testimonials associated with their health service or business removed when they become aware of them, even if they appear on a website that is not directly associated and/or under the direct control or administration of that health practitioner and/or their business or service. This includes unsolicited testimonials.”

In response to widespread dismay, confusion and anger over the new guidelines, the AHPRAaction group successfully campaigned to have Section 6.2.3 reviewed.

Concerns about the unreasonable and onerous burden placed on Australian health practitioners to adhere to the guidelines were addressed. On March 26, AHPRA formally announced that the Medical Board of Australia had decided to change the advertising guidelines to be clearer about the use of testimonials (Medical Board Announcement). 

Until these changes are made, AHPRA will be applying the guidelines that are consistent with the information in the FAQ's on the revised advertising guidelines.  According to the published FAQ’s, practitioners are not responsible for removing or trying to remove unsolicited testimonials on websites or social media over which they have no control.

The announcement to review the advertising guidelines was welcomed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) as ‘practical and common sense’ in a statement published on the APA website.  Furthermore, the APA announced that they are developing social media guidelines for their members to clarify the ethical and legal restrictions around social media.

Following the announcement from the Medical Board, The Physiotherapy Board of Australia met on March 28. Communiqué released from this meeting states that 'The Physiotherapy Board of Australia, along with the other 13 National Boards, is now considering whether to revise and clarify the wording on testimonials as part of implementing the new Advertising guidelines'.  Members will be informed of any further developments.

To keep up with the volume of queries, AHPRA have announced that they will regularly host Twitter chats about advertising guidelines and other important topics to feedback to National Boards.  

Follow AHPRA and the conversation on Twitter (@AHPRA, #ahpraqanda).  

You can also follow Physio Hub on Twitter (@Physio_Hub).






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