AFRM Council Communiqué June 2020

Read the highlights of the key topics discussed at the 02-2020 AFRM Council meeting, held on Tuesday 30 June 2020.

General matters

The draft version of the AFRM Council Work Plan, to take effect from January 2021, was presented. Key initiatives cover a member engagement strategy, Curriculum Renewal (as well as other education initiatives), advocacy and engagement with key stakeholders including the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), raising the profile of rehabilitation medicine, putting research at the forefront of all activities, workforce projections and engagement with Indigenous people.

The Council Members approved two motions that were put forward. The first related to the update of the By-law to facilitate the appointment of a Paediatric Representative on AFRM Council. The second was to create a permanent position for the Immediate Past President on the Executive Committee.

The Council Members approved the appointments of AFRM Committees Members for the 2020-2022 term and the appointment of the current AFRM President as the AFRM representative on the College Council.

The absence of AFRM representation on the RACP Congress Planning Committee was discussed and it was agreed to do more advertising for this important role.

Faculty Policy and Advocacy Committee

The expressions of interest for members of the Stem Cells Working Group and the Bariatric Rehabilitation Working Group have all been approved, and work for both groups is due to start in July 2020. The Clinical Indicators Working Group’s meetings have started and are progressing well. The Multi-Resistant Organisms Working Group has been put on hold.

With regards to the RACP COVID-19 Expert Reference Group, it was suggested to have an AFRM representative as part of the group given the key role that rehabilitation physicians will play in rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients.

AFRM has been meeting with Medibank Private regarding the design of their Rehab in the Home Program. There is opportunity for rehabilitation physicians to be involved in such programs and further discussions with RMSANZ will continue.

Notably, the submission to the Royal Commission is being prepared, which has been developed in collaboration with the NDIS Reference Group.

Faculty Education Committee

The changes and exam cancellations due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have required significant resources, and a Working Group has been established. The exam months for 2021 have been confirmed and specific dates will be communicated in due course.

An update about the Computer Based Testing (CBT) for the AFRM Module 1 exam in May 2021 was provided to the Council Members, including the recent endorsement of a preferred supplier by the College Education Committee. This will require further endorsement by the RACP Board. The AFRM Assessment Committee has given approval for the 2020 trainee cohort to sit the CBT exam along side the 2021 trainee cohort in May 2021 given trainees were unable to sit exams in 2020. The exam will be run at multiple sites.

Accreditation has been cancelled for 2020 but AFRM put forward a proposal to the College Education Committee to continue with site inspections virtually. Additionally, Council Members discussed suitable candidates for the role of Accredited Assessor for site accreditation.

The Supervisor Professional Development Program workshops will continue to be held online, and overall these have been well-received by participants. The deadline for supervisors to complete all 3 workshops have been extended.

The Council Members were updated on the progress of the Curriculum Renewal Working Group and agreed that Special Interest Groups should be involved in this process.

AFRM Trainee Committee

The 2020 Annual Trainee Meeting will no longer be held face-to-face. It will be delivered as online webinars. Trainees can participate live and the webinars will also be recorded and published on the website.

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