Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - National Scheme engagement strategy 2023-2025
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National Scheme engagement strategy 2023-2025

Introduction

There is growing evidence that trust is fundamentally important to be an effective regulator.1

We rely on members of the community, health practitioners, students, employers, co-regulators, educators and many others to engage, and work with us, as we regulate more than 850,000 registered health practitioners across Australia.2

We are committed to working with a broad range of people and organisations and doing our part to protect the health and safety of the public within a wider network of regulation.

This strategy:

  • outlines the broad principles to guide our strategic engagement
  • aims to ensure that our interactions with individuals and organisations are consistently respectful, person-centred and contribute towards our regulatory objectives
  • provides an overview of ways we will engage with people and organisations over the next five years.

The strategy supports the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (National Scheme) Strategy 2020-25. It expands on the ‘Trust and confidence’ pillar and its purpose is to support Ahpra and the National Boards to deliver on the goals and objectives of the National Scheme Strategy 2020-25.

The strategy also complements our service charter, which sets out our practical service commitments to the people and organisations we work with.

This strategy recognises that National Boards may also develop engagement communications strategies and plans tailored to their purpose and remit.

Cultural safety

Cultural safety is a critical component of healthcare. It includes the ongoing critical reflection of health practitioner knowledge, skills, attitudes, practising behaviours and power differentials in delivering safe, accessible and responsive healthcare free of racism. Our commitment to the work of improved cultural safety and safe and appropriate engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their communities is set out in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Strategy 2020-2025. This strategy sets a clear direction and course of action for Ahpra, National Boards and Accreditation Authorities, who together regulate Australia’s registered health practitioners.

Supporting the diversity of the people and communities we engage with

Our engagement work recognises the diversity of people and communities we work with, including culturally and linguistically diverse communities, LGBTIQA+ peoples, those living with a disability and other priority populations. In our work we actively engage with and respond to these communities in support of protecting the health and safety of the public.

This engagement strategy aims to build people’s trust and confidence in our work by focussing on three themes:

  • building awareness and understanding
  • developing relationships and partnerships, and
  • improving experiences.

The graphic below outlines the guiding principles for our engagement with communities, practitioners, and the organisations we work with. The work is supported by an implementation plan.

National Scheme Engagement Strategy 2020-2025

National Scheme Engagement Strategy 2020-2025

We can’t do this work alone. We need to work collaboratively. The stakeholders we work with can be grouped into the following three categories: communities and the public, practitioners, and organisations.

People we work with

Engagement is relationship-based work. To help shape our approach, we have drawn on the IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum, which is recognised as the international standard for defining forms of engagement.

How we will engage

 

Ahpra and the Boards will implement this strategy in line with the National Scheme Strategy 2020-2025.

We will monitor and evaluate our progress annually through:

We will analyse:

  1. Project REACH social research survey results, measuring trust and confidence in the National Scheme
  2. engagement data in our regulatory work such as notifier and practitioner surveys/interviews and surveys of new (first-time) registrants
  3. sentiment reflected in media coverage, and
  4. progress on the balanced scorecard of relevant measures built into the National Scheme Strategy 2020-25.

We will share our progress publicly.

Important note

This strategy is not a legal instrument and does not supersede our legislative commitments. The National Law directs Ahpra and National Boards in our work to regulate registered health practitioners.

 

For more information

If you have questions about this strategy, please contact Ahpra’s Regulatory Engagement and Experience team by emailing [email protected].


  1. OECD (2017) How Better Governance Can Help Rebuild Public Trust, www.oecd.org/governance/trust-and-public-policy-9789264268920-en.htm
  2. Ahpra and the National Boards (the Boards) are charged with the regulation of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act (2009) (the National Law) as enacted in each state and territory in Australia
  3. Several of these specific groups were highlighted by the COAG Health Ministers in Policy Direction 2019-1 to Ahpra and the National Boards to consider the impact of practitioners’ conduct on these priority cohorts.
 
 
 
Page reviewed 3/11/2023