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The value of membership 
Marcus Dripps

In the marketplace the APA is our sole membership organisation catering exclusively to the physiotherapy profession. This edition of InMotion is heavily membership-focused with a large feature profiling member stories from each of the various APA National Groups and Networks telling us their unique stories. As 2015 draws rapidly to a close, the annual cycle of renewal looms and one is challenged to reflect on achievements of the past and aspirations for the future. What value does the APA provide? Just as our profession is a ‘broad church’, the APA does lots of things to meet the needs of such a diverse membership base. Our members invest in us because the APA provides value to the individual member, and collectively to the profession, through activities such as, advocacy; access to publications and research databases; career advancement, through professional development offerings and credentialing via titling and specialisation in partnership with the Australian College of Physiotherapists; and exclusive access to an industry-leading professional indemnity insurance product.

A concerted effort of the APA to be more member-centric and focus on member satisfaction as part of our previous strategic plan has been invaluable; the creation of a membership hub within the APA national office has been a key driver of success and evidence of an enhanced organisational capability. The addition of a professional indemnity insurance product within the membership package has been pivotal to the recent membership growth and representative of an enhanced product quality and offering. Attention to price and price sensitivity by keeping membership fees below $1000 annually, inclusive of PI insurance, has been a further key success factor. The strengthening of marketing efforts has also been valued by members with tangible, publicly accessible and engaging campaigns gaining traction in mainstream media; the I love my Physio, Australia’s Biggest Killer and Tradies National Health Month campaigns have all had positive outcomes for the profession, for members and for consumers. These four points—product quality, customer service, price, advocacy and marketing—are all a testament to the improvements to APA strategic capabilities within recent years.

Presently the APA is in its first year of its latest strategic plan. Within the 2015–17 plan, the APA has identified three strategic objective foci: Quality, Voice, and Community, all underpinned by organisational capability. Many of our community recently gathered on the Gold Coast to experience all three of these foci. The APA National Conference, CONNECT 2015, provided an excellent opportunity for our profession to demonstrate its expert knowledge and skills in helping to solve a range of health problems. The conference connected people, ideas, and research, bringing physiotherapy professionals together to network and share information to build a better future for Australian, and global, physiotherapy. Further to the conference success, the APA recently crossed a new milestone welcoming its 19000th member, representing a 40 per cent improvement in membership numbers and a 10 per cent gain in market penetration in the last three years.

The APA is growing for the better but there is still much more to be done. Our vision is that the whole community recognises the full benefit of physiotherapy, and that all Australians have access to high quality physiotherapy to optimise health and wellbeing. What value have you personally received from being a member over the years? I urge you to reflect on the role that the APA can play in your professional life in the year to come. It’s a cliché but together we can achieve more.


SHANE PATMAN, FACP
APA Vice President

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