Work within AHPRA’s Advertising Guidelines
In Australia, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or (AHPRA) governs the entire health and medical industry, that includes doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, cardiologist, osteopathologist, Chinese medicine, and over 14 different branches of health medical professionals. Before you begin building your online reputation, it is important to understand the advertising guidelines AHPRA has set out for the industry.
In Section 133, the AHPRA Guidelines states all of the things that you can and cannot do when advertising your services. It is counted as a criminal offence if you break those rules. AHPRA has created an FAQ document which explains the scenarios in plain English so that anyone can understand it. Because sometimes in laws and regulations, it can get a little grey, but the case studies and examples, will help you to understand those guidelines.
Now, one last thing, it’s important to understand that AHPRA is actually there to protect the public so that the health professionals don’t misguide the general public in what they can do. So don’t see them as the enemy, but see them as someone who’s actually there to serve the community. So work with them by staying within the rules, but at the same time, don’t feel you are threatened by them as well. A general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t have testimonials that are under your control.
So for example, if you’ve got testimonials on your website, which is under your control, that’s not good. That’s a no-no. On the other hand, if the testimonials or the reviews are on the third party website, then, that’s okay. So go out there and build your online reputation within the boundaries of the AHPRA Guidelines.