Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

Criminal history checks

About criminal history checks

AHPRA on behalf of National Boards must check an applicant’s criminal history during the registration process to ensure only those practitioners who are suitable and safe to practise are granted registration in Australia.

When a practitioner first applies for registration, the National Board requires the applicant to declare their criminal history in all countries, including Australia. Once registered, all practitioners must inform their National Board if they are:

  • charged with an offence punishable by 12 months imprisonment or more; or 
  • convicted or found guilty of an offence punishable by imprisonment in Australia and/or overseas.

When practitioners renew their registration they must disclose any changes to their criminal history.

Under the National Law, a National Board may obtain a report about a registered health practitioner’s criminal history at any time.

Australian criminal history checks

Currently, AHPRA conducts all Australian criminal history checks and obtains a criminal history report on behalf of the applicant before they are registered.

AHPRA will provide you with a copy of your criminal history report if a result is received, where required.

Disputing an Australian criminal history check

If you wish to dispute your Australian criminal history result, please contact AHPRA to obtain a dispute form.

Any dispute about a criminal history result is to be managed through AHPRA.

International criminal history checks

As of 4 February 2015, National Boards have implemented a new approach to check international criminal history.

An international criminal history check will now be required in circumstances where an applicant declares that they have resided in a country other than Australia, for a period exceeding 6 months when aged 18 years of age or more, or if a applicant or practitioner has declared a criminal history in a jurisdiction outside of Australia.

This process brings our international criminal checks in line with our approach to domestic criminal history checks.

It is the responsibility of the applicant or practitioner to request and pay for this service through an AHPRA approved supplier. This supplier will provide the international criminal history check report to the applicant or registered practitioner, and directly to AHPRA.

More information is available on our International criminal history checks page.

In cases where applicants or registered practitioners declare that they have a criminal history, further investigations are made and the criminal history is assessed according to the relevant National Board’s Criminal history registration standard.

For complete details of the criminal history registration standard, refer to the Registration Standards for your health profession.

Profession  Web page 
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice  Registration Standards 
Chinese Medicine  Registration Standards 
Chiropractic Registration Standards 
Dental Registration Standards 
Medical  Registration Standards 
Medical Radiation Practice  Registration Standards 
Nursing and Midwifery Registration Standards 
Occupational Therapy Registration Standards 
Optometry  Registration Standards 
Osteopathy Registration Standards 
Pharmacy Registration Standards
Physiotherapy  Registration Standards 
Podiatry Registration Standards 
Psychology Registration Standards 

Applicants from New Zealand

While it is not mandated under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition (TTMR) arrangements, the National Law allows a National Board to check a practitioner’s criminal history at any time. Practitioners registered under TTMR will be required to apply for an international criminal history check from an AHPRA approved supplier.

More information, including the link to AHPRA approved suppliers is available on our International criminal history checks page.

Page reviewed 22/04/2016