Optometry Board of Australia - 2022/23 annual summary
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2022/23 annual summary

Optometry in 2022/23

Registration

  • 6,762 optometrists
    • Up 4.0% from 2021/22
    • 0.8% of all registered health practitioners
  • 403 first-time registrants
    • 380 domestic (including new graduates)
    • 23 international
    0.2% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
    58.6% female; 41.4% male

Age

Figure showing age groups of optometrists. More than one-third are aged 25 to 34 years.

Regulation

  • 27 notifications lodged with Ahpra about 26 optometrists
  • 63 notifications about 57 optometrists made Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data
    • 0.8% of the profession Australia-wide

Sources of notifications

Pie chart showing that more than three-quarters of notifications were raised by a patient, their relative or a member of the public. 

Most common types of complaints

Pie chart showing that more than half of complaints were about clinical care.

Notifications closed

Pie chart showing that about one-third of the 31 notifications closed were referred to another body or retained by a health complaints entity, 29% resulted in no further regulatory action, and 23% resulted in conditions being imposed on registration. 
  • No immediate actions taken
  • 2 mandatory notifications received
    • 1 about impairment
    • 1 about professional standards
  • 10 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year
  • No criminal offence complaints made
  • No notifications finalised at tribunal
  • No matters decided by a panel
  • No appeals lodged

A report from the Presiding Member

Stakeholder engagement

In October, the Optometry Board of Australia hosted its annual meeting of the Optometry Regulatory Reference Group in Melbourne, with stakeholders in the optometry profession.

In September, the Board conducted a webinar on professional obligations aimed at final-year optometry students graduating from Board-approved courses. The webinar, called Ready to work: your obligations as an optometrist, aimed to help graduates understand what is required of them in their professional role as they prepare to start work. It focused on Board requirements such as the Code of conduct, registration standards and guidelines.

Representatives of the Board attended the Indigenous Allied Health Australia National Conference in November and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Eye Health Conference in May, gaining further culturally safe eye-care understanding that will inform future policies.

Trans-Tasman relationships

The Chair attended the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board of New Zealand’s meeting in Wellington, New Zealand, in September. This was a great opportunity to strengthen Trans-Tasman relationships.

Policy updates

The Board, along with other National Boards, developed new resources to support the shared Code of conduct. These included a self-reflective tool to support optometrists in managing health records, a one-page summary of guidance about health record management, and Easy English information about the shared Code of conduct for the public.

The Board also consulted on the English language skills registration standards, along with other National Boards and Ahpra.

Accreditation

In May, the Board approved the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand’s (OCANZ) revised standards for the accreditation of Board-approved programs of study in ocular therapeutics. These standards will come into effect in 2024 and include greater emphasis on the integration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural safety into ocular therapeutics programs.

Along with Ahpra and the other National Boards, the Board also consulted on a scheduled review of National Scheme accreditation arrangements.

Other news

The Board bade farewell to Associate Professor Ann Webber, the practitioner member for Queensland, in December. In March, we farewelled the previous Chair and practitioner member for New South Wales, Mrs Judith Hannan (Irvine).

The health ministers appointed Professor Sharon Bentley in March as the new practitioner member for Queensland. Mrs Judith Hannan was Presiding Member of the Board until December, when she was appointed as Chair. On her departure, Mr Stuart Aamodt became Presiding Member, a position that will be in place until the health ministers appoint a new Chair.

Mr Stuart Aamodt, Presiding Member

 
 
Page reviewed 16/05/2024