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Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

Former practitioner fined for claiming to be an osteopath and chiropractor

14 May 2015

AHPRA, in partnership with the Chiropractic Board of Australia and Osteopathy Board of Australia, have successfully prosecuted Mr Robert Black.

Mr Black advertised himself as a chiropractor and osteopath in the Wagga Wagga White Pages when he was not a registered practitioner in either profession.

Boards set the national standards that practitioners must meet to register and are held accountable against, and work in partnership with AHPRA to implement the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

The Wagga Magistrate’s Court has fined Mr Black for claiming to be a chiropractor and osteopath, which are both protected titles under the National Law. Mr Black was fined $4,000 for each offence (a total of $8,000) and ordered to pay AHPRA’s and the Board’s costs relating to the successful charges.

While Mr Black was previously a registered chiropractor and osteopath, his registrations with the Chiropractic Board of Australia and Osteopathy Board of Australia lapsed in January 2013.

The court found that Mr Black's advertising would have led the public to wrongly believe he was registered in those health professions when he was not, and that the advertising was a clear breach of the National Law.

Under the National Law, it is an offence to use protected titles without being registered in an appropriate health profession. Each offence carries a maximum penalty of a $30,000 fine for individuals.

AHPRA and the Boards also alleged Mr Black had performed a cervical spine manipulation when he was not registered to do so. The magistrate dismissed this charge due to a lack of evidence.

On 12 February 2015, in a separate prosecution by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal made findings of unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct against Mr Black.

The Tribunal reserved its findings with respect to the allegation that Mr Black is not a suitable person to be registered as a health practitioner and a further hearing date is set for 19 May 2015.

For further information regarding these proceedings, please contact the Magistrates' Court at Wagga.

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Download a PDF of this Media release - Former practitioner fined for claiming to be an osteopath and chiropractor - 14 May 2015 (113 KB,PDF)

Page reviewed 14/05/2015