The Australian and New Zealand Academy of Eating Disorders (ANZAED) and the National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC) are partnering to establish a credentialing system for eating disorder treatment professionals in Australia. ANZAED is also exploring possible ways of introducing this system in New Zealand.
Why a credentialing system?
Credentialing is a way to recognise professionally qualiﬁed clinicians with speciﬁc knowledge, training and experience to treat eating disorders. It is tied to evidence-based practice and standards. A credentialing system aims to help people seeking treatment and their families identify treatment providers who have the knowledge and training to treat eating disorders safely and effectively.
How did we get here?
NEDC commissioned a piece of work in early 2019 to investigate the feasibility of introducing credentialing for the treatment of eating disorders in Australia. ANZAED was recommended in the report as the best placed to implement and manage a credentialing system for eating disorders. The two organisations are now working together to determine how a credentialing system may be designed and implemented.
How will it work?
Credentialing will recognise skill and competence in evidence-based treatment. Ultimately, a credentialing system will be if successful if it improves timely access to high quality care for people with eating disorders.
What is next?
This will be a multi-year project. Both ANZAED and NEDC are currently scoping elements of a credentialing system for eating disorder treatment professionals, with a focus on ensuring the system is designed to address the needs of people with lived experience in supporting their access to safe and effective treatment through credentialed providers. This work is supported by the Alliance of Eating Disorder Consumer and Carer Organisations.
New ANZAED clinical practice and training standards have been developed to provide guidance for mental health and dietetic professionals who provide treatment to people who have an eating disorder. The treatment principles and general clinical practice standards have been published as well as the specific clinical practice standards for mental health professionals in the Journal of Eating Disorders.
As the first of their kind, the practice standards will help to ensure best practice, patient safety and optimal patient outcomes in the management of eating disorders.
In 2019-2020 NEDC with ANZAED led an in-depth, national consultation process including 48 separate consultation meetings and an online survey. In total, nearly 900 participants were involved. Participants included clinicians working in regional, rural, and remote areas, general practitioners, psychiatrists, private practice clinicians, early career clinicians, business owners in the private sector, public sector service leaders, eating disorder sector leaders, key professional organisations, and people with lived experience and families and supports. There was overwhelming support from those with lived experience and eating disorders professionals for the implementation of a credentialing system. Please read A credentialing system for eating disorder treatment in Australia: Consultation report for further information.
Training Needs: NEDC and ANZAED are working with eating disorder training providers to align training with the core competencies, the clinical standards and the EDCC criteria. Further information regarding the credential criteria will be announced early in 2021.