Other Projects & Case Studies

Diploma of Orthopaedic Technology: Draft 1 Consultation

SkillsIQ, under the direction of the Technicians Support Services Industry Reference Committee (IRC), has undertaken a project to develop a new nationally accredited Diploma of Orthopaedic Technology Qualification and seven new Cast Technology Units of Competency to ensure that orthopaedic technologists have access to current skills and knowledge, in order to meet the current and future needs of the Australian health care system, and especially the needs of patients visiting hospitals or accessing outpatient services.
SkillsIQ, under the direction of the Technicians Support Services Industry Reference Committee (IRC), has undertaken a project to develop a new nationally accredited Diploma of Orthopaedic Technology Qualification and seven new Cast Technology Units of Competency to ensure that orthopaedic technologists have access to current skills and knowledge, in order to meet the current and future needs of the Australian health care system, and especially the needs of patients visiting hospitals or accessing outpatient services.

Background

Orthopaedic technologists or technicians, also known as cast technicians, are employed in all Australian states except New South Wales (NSW), where the workload is taken up by physiotherapists and nurses. However, there are no guidelines or benchmarks for physiotherapists and nurses regarding work in this discipline, and industry reports that orthopaedic technology skills are not covered in any detail during university studies in this area, resulting in graduates who lack these very specific skills. Orthopaedic technologists work in conjunction with orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and vascular surgeons to handle both simple and complex fractures.

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC), under the direction of the Technicians Support Services IRC, has therefore commissioned the development of a new nationally recognised Orthopaedic Technology Qualification and seven new Units of Competency packaged within the HLT Health Training Package.

The HLT41412 Certificate IV in Cast Technology and seven associated Units of Competency were deleted in error from the HLT Health Training Package in 2015. The new Qualification, the Diploma of Orthopaedic Technology, aims to retain the required content from the previous Units of Competency and also include critical additional content identified by industry that is required by orthopaedic technologists in order to meet current and future industry needs.

Access to a skilled orthopaedic technologist workforce, as well as an appropriate Qualification that supports the skills and knowledge requirements of the job role as defined by industry, is critical. Orthopaedic technologists are responsible for all trauma-related splinting, casting, orthopaedic tractions and, in certain regions, cervical halos. The new Qualification will provide technical and clinical specialist knowledge and acute skills to focus on patient-centred fracture care. The enhancement of skills within the orthopaedic technologist workforce will result in better outcomes for those who require casting or orthopaedic services.

To inform the development of the new Diploma of Orthopaedic Technology Qualification and seven new Cast Technology Units of Competency, a Cast Technology Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) comprised of stakeholders and subject matter experts from across Australia was formed. Formation of the TAC informed the identification and validation of the exact nature of the skills needs and knowledge requirements in the industry and the respective Training Package Product update requirements.

As a result, the following developments have been proposed:

  • A new Qualification, the Diploma of Orthopaedic Technology, which includes the following thirteen core Units of Competency:
  •      o HLTAAP002 Confirm physical health status
         o HLTAAP003 Analyse and respond to client health information
         o HLTCCD003 Use medical terminology in health care
         o HLTOTH001 Apply casts
         o HLTOTH002 Modify casts
         o HLTOTH003 Remove casts
         o HLTOTH004 Apply orthopaedic devices
         o HLTOTH005 Modify orthopaedic devices
         o HLTOTH006 Remove orthopaedic devices
         o CHCCOM005 Communicate and work in health or community services
         o CHCCOM006 Establish and manage client relationships
         o CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people
         o CHCLEG001 Work legally and ethically.

    • Elective Units of Competency comprised of the following eight Units of Competency:
    •      o BSBCUS301 Deliver and monitor a service to customers
           o CHCCCS006 Facilitate individual service planning and delivery
           o CHCCCS010 Maintain a high standard of service
           o CHCDIV002 Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety
           o CHCMGT006 Coordinate client directed services
           o HLTINF001 Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures
           
      o HLTOTH007 Apply and remove traction
           o HLTWHS001 Participate in workplace health and safety.

      • The Packaging Rules specify the requirement that 15 Units need to be completed, of which:
      •      o 13 are to be core Units, and
             o 2 are to be elective Units chosen from the list stated in the Qualification.

        • Industry has agreed that the current job role be titled Orthopaedic Technologist in terms of defining the skills and knowledge that this Qualification will provide.

        • The Qualification description highlights the inclusion of 600 hours of work placement as stated below:
        •      o ‘To achieve this Qualification, the candidate must have completed at least 600 hours of work placement as detailed in the Assessment Requirements of the Units of Competency’.

          • Entry requirements are as follows:
          •      o Entry to this Qualification is open to individuals who:

                 - Have completed Australian Year 12 English and Science-related subjects (or the equivalent); and are currently employed in a job role in a hospital in Australia, having completed one of the following qualifications or equivalent:
                 - HLT33015 Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance; or
                 - HLT43015 Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance; or
                 - HLT33115 Certificate III in Health Services Assistance; or
                 - HLT33215 Certificate III in Health Support Services; or
                 - HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing.

            • The following seven new Orthopaedic Technology Units of Competency have been developed:
            •      o HLTOTH001 Apply casts
                   o HLTOTH002 Modify casts
                   o HLTOTH003 Remove casts
                   o HLTOTH004 Apply orthopaedic devices
                   o HLTOTH005 Modify orthopaedic devices
                   o HLTOTH006 Remove orthopaedic devices
                   o HLTOTH007 Apply and remove traction.

              To take forward Training Package Product update work, the Cast Technology TAC and the Technicians Support Services IRC will subsequently review and confirm the changes required for the development of Draft 2, based on feedback received during the first round of consultation.

              Project Governance

              The Technicians Support Services IRC is comprised of a number of key expert stakeholders within the industry, as follows:



              The Cast Technology TAC is comprised of a number of key subject matter expert stakeholders within the industry, as follows:

              Project Status – Draft 1 Consultation - Closed

              Consultation on Draft 1 started on Monday, 30th November and closed at 5.00pm on Thursday, 24th December 2020.

              The Draft 1 consultation period sought feedback on one new Qualification and seven new Units of Competency:

              • HLT578XX Diploma of Orthopaedic Technology
              • HLTOTH001 Apply casts
              • HLTOTH002 Modify casts
              • HLTOTH003 Remove casts
              • HLTOTH004 Apply orthopaedic devices
              • HLTOTH005 Modify orthopaedic devices
              • HLTOTH006 Remove orthopaedic devices
              • HLTOTH007 Apply and remove traction.
              • Please click here to access Draft 1 documents, including a Consultation Guide.

                Consultation Activities

                A series of webinars have been held along with access to SkillsIQ’s Online Feedback Forum page.

                Webinars:
                                    Date                                                   Time

                Webinar 1: Tuesday, 8th December 2020       11:00am–12:00pm - closed
                Webinar 2: Thursday, 10th December 2020   11:00am–12:00pm - closed
                Webinar 3: Monday, 14th December 2020     1:00pm–2:00pm - closed
                Webinar 4: Friday, 18th December 2020         11:00am–12:00pm - closed

                Project Timings



                Following the close of the consultation period, feedback received will be collated and evaluated. This feedback will inform the development of Draft 2, which will be made publicly available for validation prior to the submission for endorsement.

                Further Information

                For further information, please contact Devika Mudaliar on (02) 9392 8100 or via email at devika.mudaliar@skillsiq.com.au.