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Important Information - December 2015
Board Appointments Update
The Board is pleased to confirm that at its meeting held on 13 February 2015, Board Member, Damian Koppens, was re-elected as Chair of the Board, and Board Lay Member, Kiri Rikihana, was re-elected as Deputy Chair of the Board.
The Board is also pleased to announce the appointment of two new Board members – Auckland-based Dispensing Optician, Kristine Hammond; and Wellington-based Optometrist, Jayesh Chouhan.
Kristine and Jayesh assumed the positions previously held by long-serving Dispensing Optician, Robert (John) Billings, and Optometrist, Andrew Black.
The Board welcomes Kristine and Jayesh to the Board, and thanks John and Andrew for their dedication and service to the Board, in particular, their valuable contributions as Convenors of the Board’s two CPD Accreditation Committees, as members of the Board’s Professional Standards Committee, and in general for their input on policy development and standard-setting for the two professions. The Board wishes Andrew and John all the very best for the future.
Just as this e-communication was finalised, the appointment of a further new Board member was confirmed - lay member, Joanne Talbot, of Wellington. Joanne assumes the position previously held by lay member, Kiri Rikihana. The Board welcomes Joanne, and thanks Kiri for her many years of service to the Board, in particular, as Deputy Chair of the Board and Convenor of the Board's Administration and Health Committees. In addition, for her valuable contribution to the review of the Board's Standards of Cultural Competence. The Board wishes Kiri all the best for the future. Bio information on Joanne will be available on the Board's website shortly.
If you are interested in learning more about the new Board Members, please visit the Board’s website located at www.odob.health.nz and click on ‘About the Board’ and then ‘Meet the Board’. Alternatively, you can click here to be taken directly to this page.
Board meeting summaries now available
As previously advised, the Board now publishes general summaries of the business it conducts at Board meetings on its website. You will find this information on the ‘Board meetings’ page of the website under ‘About the Board’ or you can click here to be taken directly to this page. These summaries are available shortly after the minutes from each meeting have been confirmed.
If you have questions about anything mentioned in the summaries, please contact the Board’s Registrar on 04 474 0705 or email Lindsey.Pine@odob.health.nz
Statement on Collaborative Care
The Board recognises that not all TPA endorsed optometrists will wish to apply to the Board for approval to independently prescribe for patients with glaucoma, and that they may prefer to form a collaborative care relationship with their ophthalmologist colleague/s to assist in managing the care of patients with glaucoma.
The Board has therefore developed a statement to ensure that all TPA endorsed optometrists, irrespective of their decision to apply for approval to prescribe independently or not, are aware of the distinction between collaborative care and independent prescribing.
Please click here to view the statement which is now available on the Board’s website.
If you have questions after reading this statement, please contact the Board’s office for further clarification.
Standards of Clinical Competence for Dispensing Opticians
The Board thanks those who made submissions during the Board’s recent consultation on proposed changes to the Standards of Clinical Competence for Dispensing Opticians.
A summary of the submissions can be found by clicking here.
The Board carefully considered and made minor changes to the standards as a result of submission feedback. The Board has now resolved to approve the revised Standards of Clinical Competence for Dispensing Opticians. The revised standards have now been published on the ‘Practice Standards’ page of the Board’s website. Click here to view the revised standards.
Standards of Cultural Competence
The Board also thanks those who made submissions during the Board’s recent consultation on proposed changes to the Standards of Cultural Competence.
A summary of the submissions can be found by clicking here.
The Board carefully considered and made minor changes to the standards as a result of submission feedback. The Board has now resolved to approve the revised Standards of Cultural Competence. The revised standards have now been published on the ‘Practice Standards’ page of the Board’s website. Click here to view the revised standards.
Practitioners will note that the new standards require completion of cultural competence CPD as part of the Board’s recertification programmes. The Board agreed that it did not need to make specific recommendations as to the form of cultural competence CPD required to be completed as this is a continually evolving area and the Board prefers not to be restrictive with regard to the type of activity that might be classed as ‘cultural competence’.
Outcome of recent Flinders & QUT consultations
The Board received one submission on the recent consultation on a proposal to amend the qualification provided by Queensland University of Technology, Australia, prescribed in the New Zealand Gazette for registration within the optometrist scopes of practice. This submission centred on ensuring that those who had the previous qualification offered by QUT and who were not currently registered with the Board would still be able to apply for registration with this qualification in the future.
Rather than continue to formally prescribe outdated qualifications which would see the prescribed list of qualifications grow to an unwieldy length, the Board has resolved to add a statement to the Registration page of our website in the section on ‘How to register as an optometrist’ that states that a potential applicant should contact the Board if they hold a qualification that has since been superseded by another on the prescribed list, to check whether they may still be able to apply for registration with the Board. If someone then did approach the Board in this situation, the Board would consider their qualification under section 15(2) of the HPCA Act which states that “An authority may,...treat any overseas qualification as a prescribed qualification if, in the opinion of the authority, that qualification is equivalent to, or as satisfactory as, a prescribed qualification.” ‘As satisfactory as’ in this circumstance would equate to ‘as safe as’ (i.e. minimum safe standard) rather than ‘as good as’. The minimum safe standard is the standard applied under the HPCA Act.
The Board will be applying a similar principle when it makes further changes to the optometrist scopes of practice, following consultation, in the near future.
In the absence of any other submissions on this consultation, the Board further considered its proposal and resolved to confirm its proposal to amend the qualification provided by Queensland University of Technology. This amendment was published in the New Zealand Gazette on 5 November 2015 and can be viewed by clicking here.
The Board received no submissions on the recent consultation on a proposal to prescribe a new qualification for registration within the optometrist scopes of practice, the Bachelor of Medical Science (Vision Science) & Master of Optometry from Flinders University, South Australia.
In the absence of any submissions on this consultation, the Board further considered its proposal and resolved to confirm its proposal to prescribe this new qualification for registration within the optometrist scopes of practice. This amendment was published in the New Zealand Gazette on 5 November 2015 and can be viewed by clicking here.
Reminder – change of scope application required
The Board is very pleased to hear that a growing number of New Zealand Optometrists are endeavouring to undertake training in Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agent (TPA) endorsement despite the discontinuation of the therapeutics programmes offered by Auckland University.
The Board does wish to remind practitioners, however, that successful completion of the TPA training does not automatically authorise a practitioner to begin prescribing therapeutic medicines in New Zealand. An application for a change in scope of practice still needs to be made to the Board. The application form for this can be found on the ‘Registration Services’ page of the Board’s website. Click here to be taken to this page.
Back vertex distance CPD now available
Issues relating to the recording of back vertex distance measurements has been highlighted in some recent self-audits submitted to the Board and an item on this was published in the Board’s last e-communication.
CPD has been developed by the Board on back vertex distance and this is now available through the ADONZ and NZAO. The Board encourages practitioners to refresh their knowledge and complete this CPD.
The Board has developed guidelines for TPA optometrists on the safe use of topical atropine for myopia control. These guidelines are now available on the ‘TPA Prescribing’ page of the Board’s website. Click here to view these.
Keep your details up-to-date with the Board
It is important to keep the Board updated as to your current contact information. In the case of work, residential, and postal addresses, this is a legal requirement. If your address, phone, email or other contact details have changed, please send an email detailing the changes to Annette.McCoy@odob.health.nz. Any extended period of non practise, such as for parental leave, should similarly be advised to the Board.
The Board welcomes feedback and enquiries on its standards, policies and processes at any time. If you would like to make an enquiry or submit feedback, please feel free to email the Board’s Registrar, Lindsey Pine, at Lindsey.Pine@odob.health.nz at any time.
The Board wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season!