21 Mar 2019
A new resource to help practitioners understand their legal obligations when using titles in health advertising is now available.
The titles tool has been developed to help registered health practitioners understand how titles can be used in advertising. It also outlines some of the common pitfalls that can result in titles being considered misleading under the National Law1.
Misuse of a protected title, specialist title or endorsements is an offence under sections 113-119 of the National Law or may constitute behaviour for which health, conduct or performance action may be taken against a registered health practitioner under Part 8 of the National Law.
However, advertisers should also be aware that while use of some titles may not necessarily breach title protections under sections 113-119, they may be considered false, misleading or deceptive under the advertising provisions in the National Law (section 133).
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) CEO Martin Fletcher said the latest resource addressed the uncertainty practitioners might have around using titles in advertising.
‘It complements other resources published on the AHPRA website to help practitioners check and correct their advertising,’ he said.
‘I encourage practitioners to read this latest information about titles to ensure they are meeting their legal and professional obligations when advertising a regulated health service.
‘Providing more education about advertising requirements and obligations is just one of the ways we are implementing our advertising strategy for the National Scheme2.’
The Advertising compliance and enforcement strategy for the National Scheme was launched in April 2017. Under the strategy AHPRA and National Boards have developed several resources to help practitioners and advertisers, including testimonial and self-assessment tools, a summary of advertising obligations, frequently asked questions, tips on words to be wary about, and examples of compliant and non-compliant advertising.
The titles tool is available in the Advertising resources section on the AHPRA website.
1 The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).
2 The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme)