Tripartite Radiation Oncology Practice Standards
• The Faculty of Radiation Oncology (FRO), the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR)
• Australian Institute of Radiography (AIR)
• The Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ASPSEM)
In 2008, the Tripartite Committee developed the Radiation Oncology Practice Standards with funding and support from the Department of Health and Ageing. The document presents 16 standards developed for Radiation Oncology Practices, to assist facilities to achieve best practice by providing a framework of requirements. It is expected that radiation oncology facilities will find these standards useful in the establishment and delivery of radiation oncology treatment services. It is also hoped that these standards will allow Australian facilities to be set up in a consistent manner enabling common data collection and participation in national and international trials.
In addition a Supplementary Guide was developed in May-June 2011 for new facilities. The Supplementary Guide incorporates useful information that can assist radiotherapy facilities in implementing and working towards achieving the Standards.
The Tripartite Radiation Oncology Practice Standards and Supplementary Guide were officially launched at the DoHA Quality in Radiation Oncology Symposium held in Melbourne on 10 August 2011.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, the Faculty of Radiation Oncology, Australian Institute of Radiography and the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine, have received Australian Government funding support for the development and publication of the Radiation Oncology Practice Standards and Supplementary Guide.
RO Practice Standards Self-Audit Tool
The Radiation Oncology Practice Standards Self-audit Tool is provided for radiation oncology centres to assess their level of compliance with the Trpartite RO Practice Standards. The results are purely for internal reflection on quality management processes and are not intended to be shared with any external organisation. For more information please contact Philip Munro, Manager, Quality and Safety at Philip.Munro@ranzcr.edu.au
In 2013, Radiation Oncology Working Group (ROWG), an advisory group to the Ministry of Health New Zealand, has adapted these standards for use in New Zealand. The wording has been changed only to correct for New Zealand legislation and rulings and New Zealand regulatory bodies, with no intent to change the fundamental standards themselves.
Now that the Standards are published it is important to consider how the Standards might be implemented and measured in the long term. The Radiation Oncology Reform Implementation Committee’s (RORIC) Quality Working Group (QWG) prepared an Options Paper on the long term conformity assessment of radiation oncology practice standards. The Options Paper is to provide stakeholders with information about possible approaches to assessing the Standards and to gather feedback about which approach is preferred and how it might be implemented.
The Faculty and the Tripartite Committee provided feedback on the different models of conformity assessment outlined in the Options Paper.
The Queensland Department of Health Facilities, in June 2013, has adopted the Tripartite Radiation Oncology Practice Standards as the quality standards for both public and private radiotherapy treatment facilities across the state. It is anticipated that the Standards will be incorporated into Queensland’s Statewide Cancer Strategic Plan. This initiative will undoubtedly add a level of safety and public confidence for radiation oncology departments. This is also a significant step forward for a national implementation of the Standards. The Tripartite Committee strongly encourages the implementation and endorsement of the Standards by all states and territories.