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Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
 

Data access and research

Under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme), AHPRA and the National Boards collect comprehensive data on registered health practitioners.

This data has registration and potentially workforce-planning, demographic, commercial and research value. The National Law and the Privacy Act 1988 (Cwlth) impose strict limits on how we use this data.

Data access and research policy

We have developed the Data access and research policy (data and research policy) to maximise benefits that data access can bring, while managing risks to the privacy of practitioners whose information we have collected and hold for the purposes of the National Law and other statutory obligations.

The data and research policy is a comprehensive guide for individuals, agencies, institutions and researchers on the type of requests we may consider. The policy was finalised following the incorporation of feedback received from public consultation.

Download the data and research policy: PDF (294 KB), Word version (186 KB,DOCX)

Application

Before you request access to the data we hold on registered health practitioners please complete the initial self-assessment checklist which will clarify whether your request falls within the scope of the policy.

A more detailed application form may then require completion.

Download the checklist and application form: PDF (1.11 MB)

The policy outlines our data and research governance arrangements and our procedures to help us deal effectively with your data request or research proposal.

The policy provides for two pathways:

1. A streamlined pathway from simple requests which:

  1. do not involve research or ethical issues
  2. do not involve significant resource implications (e.g. where a data report is already regularly run)
  3. do not include the provision of unit record data
  4. are clearly related to the regulatory functions of a National Board or AHPRA, and do not present any risks associated with disclosure.

The AHPRA CEO has delegated decisions in relation to these requests to the DARC or its nominee.

2. A standard pathway applies for all other requests.

If your data request is approved it will be managed on a cost-recovery basis - charges will be advised.

From time to time we receive requests for access to contact practitioners or send them communication through our database or via AHPRA’s mail system.

We understand that you may, for example, need to target a sample of practitioners for your research. However, we hold registrant details for the primary purpose of administering the National Scheme. The Privacy Act 1988 (Cwlth) strictly limits the use of this information for secondary purposes. How we collect, use, disclose and protect personal information is important. See the Privacy page on our website.

This means that we are likely to refuse your request to contact practitioners.

Data access and research requests made to AHPRA and/or National Boards will be considered by the Data Access and Research Committee (DARC). Its role is to make recommendations to the AHPRA CEO for final approval, in consultation with relevant National Board(s).

The DARC considers data access and research requests. It holds meetings in the following months:

  • February
  • May
  • September
  • December

To submit a data access and research application, email a completed self-assessment checklist and application form (with all the relevant attachments) no later than week two of the preceding month to darc@ahpra.gov.au.

You may also post it to the DARC Secretariat, AHPRA, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne VIC 3001.

For example: if you would like the DARC to consider your request in its February meeting, the DARC secretariat must receive it by the second week of January.

Indicative timeframes for a response in writing will depend on relative meeting dates of the DARC and the relevant National Board(s).

If you have any questions about the data and research policy, please email us at darc@ahpra.gov.au.

 
 
 
 
Page reviewed 27/06/2014