Australia’s national registration and accreditation scheme (the National Scheme) began nationally on 1 July 2010, with the exception of Western Australia which joined the scheme on 18 October 2010. The National Scheme is governed by nationally consistent legislation, the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law as in force in each State and Territory (the National Law). The role of the National Boards under the National Law is to protect the public.
Under the National Law, the National Boards for each of the 14 professions have the power to register students. Student registration commenced on 31 March 2011 for Chiropractic, Dental, Medical, Nursing, Midwifery, Optometry, Osteopathy, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy and Podiatry professions. On 1 July 2012, Chinese Medicine, Medical Radiation practice, Occupational Therapy and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practice professions joined the National Scheme for which student registration also applies.
The Psychology Board of Australia does not register students. Psychology students need to apply for provisional registration. Psychology students wishing to apply for provisional registration must do so either at the beginning of:
a) the 4+2 internship program; or
b) their higher degree pathway.
Individual students do not need to do anything to register with their National Board. It is the responsibility of education providers to ensure they have provided AHPRA with the details of all students enrolled in an approved program of study or who are undertaking clinical training.
Students enrolled in approved programs of study
AHPRA will request an update of all new and existing students enrolled in an approved program of study from all education providers twice a year to coincide with each academic census date (March and August).
Note: Under the National Law, an approved program of study, for a health profession means an accredited program of study—
(a) approved under section 49(1) by the National Board established for the health profession; and
(b) included in the list published by the National Agency under section 49(5).
A list of approved programs of study can be found on each of the Boards’ websites.
Students undertaking clinical training
Student registration also applies to students who are not enrolled in an approved program of study but are undertaking clinical training (clinical placement, rotation etc.) in a health profession for which they do not hold health practitioner registration. For more information on clinical training, please refer to the Fact sheet for education providers and FAQ for education providers.
Education providers must provide student details to AHPRA at the start of their clinical training.
For the purpose of clinical training, education providers also include health services, other organisations and in some instances, individuals.