10 Aug 2015
Health Ministers’ response to the independent three year review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme welcomed.
AHPRA today welcomed the report of the independent three-year review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS), which was released on 7 August, along with a Communique from Health Ministers responding to its recommendations.
Ministers expressed strong support for the work of the National Scheme, noted that it was now embedded in the health system and was among the most significant and effective reforms of health profession regulation in Australia and internationally.
AHPRA and the National Boards’ joint submission to the review is published on the Corporate publications page.
Independent reviewer, Kim Snowball, recognised the ‘unique and substantial achievement’ of the scheme, and noted overwhelming support for its introduction which recognized the Scheme as a positive step forward in the regulation of the nation’s more than 619,500 health practitioners now listed on the national register.
‘Such positive and constructive feedback reflects the focus and commitment to improvement of everyone who works at AHPRA, all members of national, state and territory boards and their committees,’ said AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher.
‘Strong partnerships are central to the effectiveness of the National Scheme and will again enable AHPRA and the National Boards to continue the work planned or underway to improve the National Scheme, in the public interest,’ Mr Fletcher said.
The 33 recommendations of the Review are grouped in five major areas:
- Improving consumer responsiveness: Recommendations focus on improving notifications management and reflect our ongoing work to improve experience, timeliness, investigation processes and establish clearer partnership with health complaints entities. AHPRA will report to Ministers on progress at the end of 2015. Ministers also paved the way for community or practitioner members to be Chairs of National Boards, subject to legislative amendment.
- Consolidation of National Boards: Ministers deferred a decision about consolidating some of the lower volume Boards within the National Scheme and sought further advice in a report to Ministers by the end of 2015, after targeted consultation. Ministers have also asked AHPRA and the Boards to reduce the number of committees, streamline governance and report back in 12 months.
- Accreditation: Ministers have flagged intense interest in this part of the Scheme and commissioned work to identify opportunities for reform to improve efficiency, effectiveness and administrative arrangements. This will include comparison with the UK arrangements and costs.
- Governance arrangements: Ministers rejected a call to establish any new governance bodies and reinforced the role of the Agency Management Committee in improving transparency and accountability and to oversight any necessary reforms.
- New professions: Ministers will issue a Communique to provide more clarity about the basis for any new professions entering the Scheme.
Ministers ruled out changes to mandatory reporting pending further data and analysis.
The Communique details Ministers response to the report’s 33 recommendations.
Overall the NRAS Review Report and the response of Ministers to the recommendations provides a very positive and solid foundation for the next phase of our work, Mr Fletcher said.
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Download a PDF of this Media statement - AHPRA welcomes Ministers' response to NRAS review report (274 KB,PDF)