03 Oct 2013
National Boards have launched a new round of public consultation on international criminal history checks to assess applications for registration as a health practitioner in Australia.
The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law), requires each National Board to consider the criminal history of applicants for registration, whether the criminal history occurred inside or outside Australia.
The National Boards are working with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to refine the requirements for criminal history checks from jurisdictions outside Australia. The Boards first consulted on this issue in 2012.
Chair of the Forum of Chairs of National Boards, Dr Mary Russell, Chair of the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia, said the National Boards aimed to balance public protection with the need for responsive and timely application and assessment processes for health practitioners seeking registration in Australia.
’We strive for effective and proportionate regulation. This requires a balance between safety for the public and red-tape for applicants. We want feedback from the community, practitioners and other stakeholders about whether this proposal has the balance right,’ Dr Russell said.
The proposed option broadly aligns the current process for domestic criminal history checks (using an independent third party to check international criminal history), when the applicant has lived overseas for a period.
The National Boards are seeking feedback on this complex issue.
Details are published in a consultation paper. Feedback on the consultation is due by Thursday 31 October 2013.