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Advertising a Regulated Health Service

Information has been provided to WAOTA by the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia that alerts to revised publications from AHPRA on Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service and Advertising compliance and enforcement strategy for the National Scheme, and an Evaluation snapshot. Advance copies of these resources will be available as at 17th November, 2020 prior to them coming in to effect on 14th December, 2020. The guidelines have been revised to ensure that they effectively and clearly explain the requirements for advertising a regulated health service under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory, and the advance information has been released so as advertisers and other stakeholders are well aware of the updated information.

Changes to the guidelines include:

  • additional content about testimonials, titles and claims about registration, competence and qualifications;
  • new content about the evidence required for claims about effectiveness of a regulated health service and what is acceptable evidence
  • re-structuring of the guidelines to reflect the sections of the National Law so that information is easier to find, and
  • new flowcharts to help advertisers assess when advertising needs to be supported by acceptable evidence and whether a review is considered a testimonial.

Changes to the strategy include:

  • recognition that false or misleading claims about a public health emergency such as COVID-19 may be identified as high risk (critical or
  • revised education and engagement activities to support compliance;
  • introducing a new section to highlight our compliance and enforcement approach to the prohibition on using testimonials in advertising, and
  • introducing the staged implementation of a new proactive approach to audit of declarations practitioners will make at renewal of registration about their compliance with the advertising requirements.

Information about the advance copy of the guidelines and strategy can be found at https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Publications/Advertising-resources.aspx