The Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons (ACPS) is a professional organisation for podiatric surgeons in Australia and is the leading advocate for podiatric surgical standards, professionalism and surgical education in Australia. Founded in 1978, the ACPS seeks to advance knowledge in Podiatric Surgery and uphold the highest standards in foot and ankle (surgical and related) care by podiatric surgeons for our patients and the community.

Our values:

  • Service;

  • Integrity;

  • Respect;

  • Compassion;

  • Collaboration.

The ACPS conducts a national speciality training program (Fellowship and specialist registration in podiatric surgery) and provides certification that podiatric surgeons have complied with professional development activities that are in line with requirements for ongoing hospital accreditation.  All Fellows of the ACPS have comprehensive exposure and training to practice the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of disease, injuries and defects of the human foot and ankle and associated structures.

Click here for requirements for Fellowship (FACPS)

Podiatric Surgery

Fellows of the ACPS are podiatrists who have completed extensive, post-graduate medical and surgical training, which enables them to perform reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. The qualifications of Fellows of the ACPS are recognised by Australian State and Federal Governments. Fellows of the ACPS are included within both the Health Insurance Act and the National Health Act.


In Australia, Fellows of the ACPS principally operate in private hospitals within a surgical team, which includes anaesthetists, medical practitioners, surgical assistants and nursing and hospital staff. Fellows of the ACPS adhere strictly to the same hospital protocols as other surgical specialities. Patient care and safety are paramount and the surgical team works closely together to ensure each patient receives the highest quality of care and respect.

Foot and ankle surgery may be performed as day case surgery, or overnight stay if necessary. Surgery is performed under local or general anaesthesia. In the postoperative setting, each patient is followed closely and managed according to their individual needs and phases of recovery.

Podiatric Surgery and You

Around the world, podiatric surgery has a long history of leadership and innovation in the field of foot surgery. Fellows of the ACPS are unique, having dedicated their energy over many years in research, investigation and mastery of medical and surgical therapeutics of the foot and ankle. For most disorders there is more than one form of treatment and management of foot and ankle problems may involve surgery, medicines, casts or splints and allied therapies. A podiatric surgeon will discuss the merits of conservative and surgical treatment options for each individual patient and help one to select the best treatment plan to enable an active and functional life

What do Podiatric Surgeons Treat?

Fellows of the ACPS are concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle. Fellows of the ACPS are uniquely qualified to care for bone, joint, ligament, muscle and tendon pathology of the foot and ankle, including:

  • Structural deformities, including bunions, hammertoes, painful flat foot and high arched foot deformity,

  • Bone spurs

  • Heel pain

  • Nerve entrapments

  • Tendon and soft tissue problems

  • Degeneration and arthrosis of the joints of the foot and ankle

  • Skin and nail conditions

  • Congenital deformities

  • Trauma-related injuries, including fractures and dislocations and posttraumatic arthrosis
     

 

Health Insurance and Podiatric Surgery

In April 2007 the Federal Health Insurance Act was amended to allow Health Funds the ability to design more flexible insurance products.

Previous federal legislative reform (2004/5) was specifically intended to encourage appropriate recognition of podiatric surgical services and equitable payment of rebate for these services. The Health Insurance Act and the National Health Act were amended to include Fellows of the ACPS in the same category as medical practitioners for the purposes of hospital admission. The explanatory memorandum to the amendment stated that hospital treatment provided by Fellows of the ACPS should be treated under applicable benefits arrangements “as they would if a medical practitioner provided a professional service”. These legislative reforms in combination with national registration of Fellows of the ACPS as specialists in foot and ankle surgery affirms that surgery performed by Fellows of the ACPS has been shown to be safe, clinically effective and cost effective.

No individual or organisation should imply or suggest that the training and or skills of podiatric surgeons in Australia is in question.

Hospital Costs

To satisfy the intent of federal parliament when passing the legislation, health funds should consider equitable payment of hospital costs; including theatre costs and prostheses costs in association with admission for foot & ankle surgery performed by registered specialist Fellows of the ACPS. Many insurance companies comply with this intent – if your fund however discriminates against Fellows of the ACPS by not providing a product which equitably covers these cost you should consider firstly discussing the issue with your fund and if no positive outcome is noted you may complain to the Health Insurance Ombudsman. Please note that many services are only available on higher levels of hospital insurance. You may not be eligible for payments for podiatric services based on the level of cover you have paid for.

Podiatric Surgical Fees and Anaesthetic Fees

Despite there being no current Medicare benefit for podiatric surgery, under the new legislative arrangements insurance companies have the option of offering an insurance product which covers these fees. This is the same discretionary power the funds have for any provider.

In Australia private health insurance companies are under no obligation to pay for podiatric services and associated hospital costs. However, many do, and they all have the choice to do so (as is the case for dental and medical procedures). This includes surgical procedures performed in hospital. Some health funds have demonstrated little understanding of the needs of their clients. If you find your fund does not cover podiatric surgery, you can change your health insurance to one that does choose to cover some or all of this service, lobby your fund to change its policy and/or provide you with what is called an “ex-gratia” payment.

If you are told they cannot pay as the service is not Medicare rebated it is important to realise that this is an internal fund policy which can be changed if clients apply pressure. Such a position is in contradiction to the intent of the Federal Parliament. To facilitate change in the attitude of such health funds it is essential that you complain to the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman and your local member of parliament.

Private Health Insurance Ombudsman 
Suite 2, Level 22
580 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000 

Complaints Hotline: 1800 640 695 (free call anywhere in Australia) 
Telephone: (02) 8235 8777
Facsimile: (02) 8235 8778 
Email: info@phio.org.au
http://www.phio.org.au/

 

ACPS Governance Structure

The following flowchart provides an overview of the new ACPS governance structure:

 

ACPS Council

President

Peter Manuel

Vice President

Angelo Salerno

Treasurer

Andrew Kingsford

Secretary

Leah Cook

Fellow

Omar Baarini

Fellow

Simon Smith

 

ACPS Boards and Committees

Education Board
  • Mark Gilheany (Chair)

  • Julie Taranto (Fellow)

  • Adam Bird (Academic)

  • Lloyd Reed (Academic)

  • Robert Cox (Anaesthetist – Medical Specialist)

  • Damien Mitsch (Healthcare Organisation Executive Manager)

  • David Williams (Consumer Representative)

  • Steven Edwards (Registrar Representative)

Education Board Committee: Selection
  • Simon Smith (Chair)

  • Mark Gilheany (Chair, Curriculum and Training Committees)

  • Lee Gray (Fellow)

  • Paul Armanasco (Fellow)

  • Ozan Amir (Fellow)

  • Joel Gurr (External Member)

  • Adam Bird (External Member)

Resource Board
  • Andrew Kingsford (Treasurer, Chair)

  • Peter Manuel (President)

  • Andrew van Essen (Fellow)

  • Nick Marino (Fellow)

  • Ray Scott (Accountant)

International Committee
  • Andrew van Essen (Chair)

  • Mathew Cicchero (Fellow)

  • Paul Armanasco (Fellow)

  • Abdel Kak (Registrar Representative)

Education Board Committee: Curriculum
  • Mark Gilheany (Chair)

  • Angelo Salerno (Fellow)

  • Pete Manuel (Fellow)

  • Jeffery Jenkins (Registrar Representative)

  • Adam Bird (External Member)

Education Board Committee: Training
  • Mark Gilheany (Chair)

  • Omar Baarini (Registrar Representative)

  • Nick Marino (Chair, Examination Committee) 

  • Andrew van Essen (Supervisor of Registrars)

  • Lee Gray (Senior Fellow)

  • Damien Lafferty (Fellow)

CPD and Standards Board
  • Andrew Kingsford (Chair)

  • Peter Manuel (President)

  • Andrew van Essen (Chair, Education Board)

  • Paul Armanasco (Fellow)

  • Angelo Salerno (Fellow)

Appeals Committe
  • Andrew Saxton (External Member, Solicitor)

  • Joel Gurr (External Member)

  • Pat Trubiano (Assistant Secretary)

  • Bill Kutcher (Fellow)

Education Board Committee: Research
  • Rob Hermann (Chair, Fellow)

  • Andrew Kingsford (Chair, CPD Board)

  • Andrew van Essen (nominee, Training Committee)

  • Simon Smith (invited by the President)

  • Hylton Menz (External Member)

Education Board Committee: Training (sub-committee)
  • Rob Hermann (Chair)

  • Adam Bird (External Examiner)

  • Matthew Cotchett (Education Officer)

Clinical Audit Committee
  • Rob Hermann (Chair, Fellow)

  • Pete Manuel (Fellow)

  • Valarie Dobie (Fellow)

  • Andrew Schox (External Member)

  • Vacancy (External Member)

Risk Management & Audit Committee
  • Vacancy (Chair, External financial representative)

  • Andrew Kingsford (Fellow)

 

Accreditation

Introduction to accreditation and continuing education

In addition to its role in the surgical education of podiatrists, the ACPS has developed continuing education requirements. To inform this initiative, the ACPS maintains a cooperative approach and an ongoing dialogue with relevant stakeholder organisations, including the Australian Podiatry Council (APodC), the Australian and New Zealand Podiatry Accreditation Council (ANZPAC), state and territory registration boards, and government agencies. Internationally, the ACPS has a cooperative relationship with the Faculty of Podiatric Surgery in the United Kingdom and The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.


Relevant Australian Legislation

The Commonwealth of Australia recognises podiatric surgeons as a distinct group of podiatrists with specialist surgical qualifications. Fellows of the ACPS are recognised by the following instruments of Commonwealth Legislation:

  • National Health Act 1953; 

  • Podiatric Surgery and Other Matters Act 2004; 

  • Health Insurance (Accreditation of Podiatric Surgeons) Guidelines PHB23/2004; 

  • National Health Amendment (Prostheses) Act 2005; 

  • Private Health Insurance Act 2007; and 

  • Private Health Insurance (Complying Product) Rules 2009 (No. 1). 

  • Health Insurance Act 1973 

  • Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council Communiqué, 1 April 2010

 

Accreditation of ACPS Fellowship Training

Podiatry is one of the fourteen health professions regulated by nationally consistent legislation under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme established in July 2010. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is the body responsible for the implementation of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme and the Podiatry Board of Australia (PBA) is one of the 14 National Boards under the Scheme. The ACPS maintains an ongoing dialogue with relevant stakeholder organizations including the APodC, ANZPAC, PBA, and government agencies.


The Australian and New Zealand Podiatry Accreditation Council (ANZPAC) is the authority responsible for accrediting education providers and programs of study for the podiatry profession.  The ACPS surgical training program is accredited by ANZPAC until 26 February 2020.


Post Fellowship accreditation of podiatric surgeons


The ACPS recognises and supports the requirement for podiatric surgeons to maintain their education, keep up with best practice techniques and stay in touch with their profession. The ACPS also supports the principles of efficacy and accountability in practice.

 

An ongoing accreditation program has been designed to ensure that podiatric surgeons in Australia develop and maintain both theoretical and practical skills over the entire duration of their careers, and not just during the period of training that is required in order to become Fellows.


This program consists of several core requirements. These are:

  • recency and scope of practice requirements;

  • peer review;

  • development (CPD Program);

  • participation in clinical audits;

  • compliance with clinical standards and ACPS policies; and

  • the utilisation of established clinical pathways.

 

Information for Hospitals

 

Fellows of the Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons are extensively trained to deal with the diagnosis; medical, surgical and adjunctive treatment of disease, injuries and defects of the human foot and ankle and associated structures. The college sets rigorous criteria for podiatric foot and ankle surgery. It is the position of the college that credentialing processes for granting privileges for the speciality of foot and ankle surgery should be based on the completion of training that is duly accredited by the surgeons’ registration board and surgical college.


Evidence of compliance with the requirements for continuing professional development and participation in College activities, such as national clinical audit, via college certification, should be required by credentialing bodies.


Podiatric Surgeons

Podiatric surgeons are podiatrists who have completed extensive, post-graduate medical and surgical training, which enables them to perform reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. The qualifications of podiatric surgeons are recognised by Australian State and Federal Governments. Podiatric surgeons are included within both the Health Insurance Act and the National Health Act.


Around the world, podiatric surgery has a long history of leadership and innovation in the field of foot surgery. Podiatric surgeons are unique, having dedicated their energy over many years in research, investigation and mastery of medical and surgical therapeutics of the foot and ankle. Podiatric surgeons are uniquely qualified to care for bone, joint, ligament, muscle and tendon pathology of the foot and ankle, including:

  • Structural deformities, including bunions, hammertoes, flat and high arched foot deformity

  • Bone spurs of the foot and ankle

  • Heel pain

  • Nerve entrapments

  • Tendon and soft tissue problems

  • Degeneration and arthrosis of the joints of the foot and ankle

  • Skin and nail conditions

  • Congenital deformities

  • Trauma-related injuries, including fractures and dislocations and posttraumatic arthrosis

 

The College

The Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons is a national organisation, the roles of which include the development, implementation and monitoring of guidelines for the practice of podiatric surgery within Australia; and the training and ongoing provision of resources to assist in ongoing accreditation of podiatric surgeons within Australia.  The Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons is committed to the advancement of knowledge of podiatric surgery, and endeavours to uphold the highest standards in foot and ankle surgical care by podiatric surgeons within the community.


Under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009, the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council has recognized podiatric surgery as a surgical speciality. Since 1976, the ACPS has been responsible for the development and training of podiatric surgeons in Australia.


It is the position of the ACPS that credentialing processes for granting privileges for the speciality of foot and ankle surgery should be uniformly applied to all surgeons seeking foot and ankle surgery privileges. This should occur regardless of whether the surgery has a specialist in podiatric surgery or orthopaedic surgery. These privileges should be based on the completion of training that is duly accredited by the surgeons’ registration board and surgical college. The privileging process should evaluate specialized foot and ankle post-Fellowship documentation, surgical training logs, and/or demonstration of current clinical experience at other facilities, continuing education, and certification, along with Fellowship qualification.


Information of the Hospital Credentialing of Podiatric Surgeons

The granting of clinical privileges for a foot and ankle surgeon with a Fellowship of the ACPS should be based on fair and objective analysis that follows the same National Standard requirements as set forth in evaluating other specialists and physicians consistent with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (“ACSQHC”) and/or individual state standards.


The ACSQHC Standard specifies that evidence of a current license, competence, relevant training and ability to perform the procedures that the privileges request should form the basis of privilege delineation. Foot and ankle surgical training, demonstration of current clinical experience in foot, ankle and related lower extremity surgery, and continuing medical/surgical education are also important credentialing elements recognized by ACSQHC. These key elements allow for measurable and uniform objective criteria to be applied in evaluating a podiatric surgeon for privileges in foot and ankle surgery. In addition, consideration of scholarly and academic achievements may be factored into the decision making process.


Individual credentialing and surgical privilege delineation is determined by an individual’s qualifications and documentation consistent with other specialities and ACSQHC standards. All Fellows of the ACPS have comprehensive exposure and training to practice the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of disease, injuries and defects of the human foot and ankle and associated structures. It is accepted that post Fellowship individual training expertise will develop in specific techniques or procedures.


To view the ACPS Credentialing Policy, click here.


Privileging of Surgical Assistants to Fellows of the ACPS

It is the position of the ACPS that credentialing processes for granting privileges for surgical assistants to a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon should require evidence of:

  • Current registration with Podiatry Board of Australia

  • Affiliate membership with the ACPS

  • Completion of the ACPS Basic Surgery Skills and Education Training (BSSET)

  • Evidence of indemnity Insurance with an appropriate level of coverage

 

ACPS Constitution

The ACPS Constitution can be found by contacting the office.

 

International Aid Work

 

Members of the ACPS actively participate in programs that offer assistance to remote and underprivileged individuals throughout Australia and the world. Vietnam, Bangladesh and Myanmar are current and ongoing initiatives. The aid project in Vietnam has been the most longstanding of these projects, directly contributing to major public health programs and infrastructure development in central Vietnam since 1996. For more information visit the clubfoot project website.

Please visit the ACPS Surgical Mission Charity website, made possible with generous support from Clarks Shoes Australia and Variety International Children’s Lifeline.

 

Current Accredited ACPS Fellows

 

A list of current accredited ACPS Fellows in Australia can be found here.

 

+61 3 9286 8188

© 2019 Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons

PO Box 248, Collins Street West  VIC  8007

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