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Departmfnt Of Labour tere submission

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 08:34 PM

DEPARTMFNT OF LABOUR
TE TART MAKI



5 February 2004


Minister for ACC



RECOGNITION OF NZASA AS TREATMENT PROVIDERS EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
Purpose
  • On 5 May 2003 you decided that members of the New Zealand Acupuncture Standards Authority Inc (NZASA) be recognised as treatment providers under the Injury Prevention Rehabilitation, and Compensation A4 2001 (IPRC Act)

  • This report proposes that the regulation that is required to implement that decision should specify the educational qualifications required for NZASA members to be treatment providers.
Problem
    3 Your agreement to prescribing the educational qualifications is sought because:
    • the paper seeking your decision to admit the NZASA members as treatment providers did not make adequate provision to include educational requirements in those regulations
    • the current Rules of the NZASA no longer reflect the educational requirements for membship which were consulted on.
Background
Educational qualifications
    4. On S May 20Q3 you agreed to admit members of the NZASA as "acupuncturists" under the umbrella definition of treatment provider" for ACC purposes. Officials had recommended this on the basis that all NZASA members were health professionals previously qualified in a health science such as physiotherapy or General Practice who also held an approved post-graduate qualification in acupuncture The recombination as worded(1), however did not adequately specify the required educational requirements nor specify that the educational qualifications should be included in the regulaton.

    5. Official's propose that a minimum qualification standard reflecting the qualification standard consulted on, be included in the regulations The qualification standard would allow only those members who meet either the conditions set out in Paragraph 7 or who hold a National Diploma in Acupuncture (NDA), to become treatment providers. The NDA has been included because, as a National Diploma, it is the nationally agree standard.

NZASA rules change
    6. In October 2001 a consultation document was circulated asking for submissions on the recognition of members of the NZASA as treatment providers under the PRO Act,

    7. The wording of the consultation document in relation to educational qualifications read as follows:
    • in order to quality as a registered Acupuncturist under the NIASA, person must:
      • be a previously qualified health professional currently registered to practice in some other medical discipline in New Zealand
      • hold a recognised tertiary post graduate qualification (or equivalent) in acupuncture, which meets or exceeds the requirements of the NZQA unit framework for :acupuncture (either traditional or western)
      • be competent to practice acupuncture in accordance with the clear principles and ethics established in the NZASA's standards."
    8. In addition the Rules of the NZASA at the time of consultation accepted acupuncturists as members with an undergraduate qualification In acupuncture consistent with the NZQA unit standards for acupuncture. (Now referred to as Level 7 on the New Zealand Register of Quality Assured Qualifications.) This qualification would be equivalent to the National Diploma in Acupuncture (NDA). The consultation document did not specifically ask for submissions on this aspect of the NZASA rules,

    9 Submissions received questioned the equivalence of a specific post-qraduate qualification in acupuncture, the Post Graduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Traditional Chinese Medicine) offered by the Auckland University of Technology to the NDA which was approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority After consideration of the submissions, official ascertained that the Post-Graduate Diploma combined with an undergradute qualification in health sciences would be a satisfactory qualification to do ACC work.



    10. In late 2003 during preparation of cabinet paper for policy approval of regulations to admit NZASA members as treatment providers official's discovered that the NZASA Rules applying to educational qualifications required for membership had been changed since consultation. The new version redefined the term 'health professional' as meaning a person with a recognised acupuncture qualification who is competent to meet the clinical standards of the NZASA." It is therefore no longer necessary to have a qualification in another health field other than acupuncture
Comment
    11. The specification in regulations of a minimum qualification standard will ensure that only those members of the NZASA who have the appropriate qualifications will be able to undertake ACC work. ACC has had some difficulties in the past with inadequately qualified acupuncturists

    12. A regulation adding an occupational group to the definition of treatment provider" can only be made following consultation with the appropriate persons and organisation. The change in the NZASA rules means that the consultation undertaken no longer lines up:' with the current membership rules It is therefore recommended that the proposed regulation should not reflect the new rules, but should reflect the rules as contained in the consultation document, This is especially so because the changes have been made to the educational requirements which are one of the most important ways of verifying a practitioner's competence.
New Zealand Qualifications Authority
    13. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) has advised that the wording or the requirement for educational qualifications should reflect the standard notation for qualifications specifying the level and number of credits or a specific qualification such as the National Diploma in Acupuncture This is reflected in the recommendations.
Judicial review
    14 Since your decision of 6 May 2003, officials have also been working on the Judicial Review brought by the NZRA 'against that decision.

    15 We consider that clarification 9f the levels of qualification required to Include members of the NZASA as 'treatment providers' under the IPRC Act will not impact on the defence of the Judicial Review brought by the NZRA

Recommendations
It is recommended that you:
  • Note that on 6 May 2003 you 'agreed to include members of the NZASA as acupuncturists within the definition of 'treatment provider' for the purposes of the Injury Prevention; Rehabilitation and Compensation A4 2001


  • Note that the NZASA membership rules at that tine required that members be qualified health professionals currently registered to practice in some other medical discipline in New Zealand hold a recognised tertiary post graduate qualification (or equivalent) in acupuncture's which meets or exceeds the requirements of the NZQA unit framework for acupuncture (either traditional or western)

  • Note that the requirement for educational qualifications set out in paragraphs 7 and 15.2 was usecl in the consultation document.

  • Note that the Rules of the NZASA have been amended since consultation to change the qualification required for NZASA members by removing the requirement that members are registered to pratice in other medical disciplines.

  • Note that the Rules of the NZASA no longer reflect the educational standards consulted on in October 2001;

  • Note that officials consider that your decision of 6 May 2003, to Include members of the NZASA in the definition of 'treatment provider' requires clarification with respect to qualifications to ensure it lines up with what was consulted on

  • Note that specification of qualifications In the regulations will help ensure the quality of acupuncture treatment for ACC claimants

  • Agree that NAASA members should only he accepted as treatment providers if the members.
    • are competent to practice acupuncture in accordance with the clear principles and ethics established in the New Zealand Acupuncture Standards Association's standards;

      OR
    • are previously qualified heath professionals currently registered to practice in some other medical discipline in New Zealand: who also hold a recognised post graduate qualification in acupuncture of a minimum of 120 credits (1 year full time) at level B or above on the New Zealand Register of Quality Assured Qualifications

      OR
    • hold a National Diploma in Acupuncture (Level 7) or equivalent as approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

  • Agree to prescribe the qualifications set out in paragraph 16.8 above as a requirement for NZASA members to be treatment providers for the purposes of the IPRC Act
Julian SIlver
(OF Secretary of Labour
AGREE / disagree

Note. Julian had circled 'agree' in the presented copy
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