Your National Police Check Is Due By 1 July 2018
by Rebecca Barnett
On 1 July 2018, we enter a new era within AMT. 1 July is the deadline for all practising members of the Association to submit a police check to AMT Head Office. It’s a pretty momentous occasion.
More than that, we’re actively lobbying to make the check a requirement across the entire massage therapy industry. So far, we’ve had some pretty enthusiastic responses from key industry stakeholders. We look forward to being able to report more on that front over the next few months.
Is AMT Picking On Me?
We’ve had a bit of push back from some AMT members since we started sending out scheduled SMS reminders about the check at the beginning of every month. If you feel as though AMT has singled you out, please be reassured that we’re asking all members to undergo the check.
What Difference Will A National Police Check Make?
A recent and distressing report to AMT Head Office underscores the importance and significance of introducing the police check requirement. We were informed by police that a member of AMT had just been convicted of the indecent assault of a client. Sadly, he held a prior indecent assault conviction that dated back to 2009, which he failed to declare when he joined AMT in 2012 and repeatedly failed to disclose at subsequent annual renewals.
Our current scheme would have prevented this member from ever gaining admission to AMT. This avoidable tragedy made me weep with sorrow and rage. We have a duty to do everything we can to protect the public from predators.
Haven’t Most Members Submitted their National Police Check?
We’ve got a way to go yet, which is why around 1500 members will be receiving an SMS reminder in a few days time letting them know that we need them to submit their check.
Before I go any further with this message of encouragement to get on board with AMT’s police check requirement, I’d like to warmly acknowledge and thank the 1250 members who have already had their checks approved, including all the new members who joined AMT since 1 July last year (having completed their check as a routine part of the membership application process). The Board and staff of AMT welcome and salute you!
Five reasons to be proud of AMT’s National Police Check initiative
1. It brings AMT members into line with requirements for registered health practitioners. In fact, AMT’s scheme is even more stringent than the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) standard because of the three-year renewal cycle.
2. It attests to our commitment, as a professional community, to the highest possible preventive measures to protect the public from inappropriate conduct.
3. It shows that you, as both an individual health practitioner and a member of AMT, hold ethics central to your professional responsibilities.
4. It demonstrates that your professional association – AMT – continues to set the standard for safe and ethical massage therapy practice in Australia.
5. It shows that the massage therapy industry has come of age and is evolving into a fully fledged profession.
So how do I obtain my National Police Check?
I would encourage you to start by reading AMT’s police check FAQs. AMT requires a “name only” check.
The process of obtaining a check is relatively straightforward. The easiest and most convenient way is to use one of the myriad online accredited providers. This will allow you to complete the whole process from the comfort of your home. Once you’ve supplied the necessary details and requested identification, your check will be emailed back to you, often within one or two business days.
AMT doesn’t recommend a particular online provider but here’s a starting list to work from:
Make sure that the checking company you choose is a bona fide accredited provider of checks by referring to the list here provided by ACIC (Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission)
The cost should be around $45-$50.
I Have My National Police Check – How Do I Get it to AMT?
We made a lovely police check video to show you just how easy it is to upload the check to your membership portal. We encourage you to watch AMT’s office dog, Olly, show you how its done. He’ll be a fully fledged AMT member before you know it …
What happens If I Don’t Submit My National Police Check by 1 July 2018?
The National Police Check is a requirement of AMT membership from 1 July 2018, so AMT will be forced to downgrade you to the non-practitioner level of membership (auxiliary). You will not be eligible for status as a health fund provider or be provided with the same level of benefits and support as practitioner members of AMT.
Thank you again for your support of this initiative. We are deeply grateful for the loyalty and professionalism of our members.
Onwards and upwards.
About the Author
As Secretary of AMT, Rebecca Barnett has been at the coalface of professional advocacy for 12 years. Her proudest achievements include the release of the AMT Code of Practice in 2013 and the establishment of AMT’s classified massage therapy research database.