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 744,000 registered health practitioners across Australia.2 They expect us to be fair, transparent, responsive, empathic and accountable as we regulate and work effectively with our partners to keep the public safe.
We maintain a wide range of important relationships and partnerships across the health care system in Australia as well as internationally. We are committed to working with a broad range of stakeholders and doing our part to protect the health and safety of the public within a wider network of regulation.
National Scheme engagement strategy 2020-2025 (92 KB, PDF)
The strategy supports the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme Strategy 2020-2025 (National Scheme strategy).
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 Registration and Accreditation Scheme National Strategy 2020-2025.
This strategy outlines our engagement approach and commitments. It is not a legal instrument and does not supersede our legislative commitments. The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, in effect in each state and territory, directs Ahpra and National Boards in our work to regulate registered health practitioners.
Ahpra works in partnership with 15 National Boards (the Boards) to protect the public by regulating health practitioners practising in Australia across 16 regulated professions in the National Scheme.3 This work enables community access to health services from suitably trained and qualified health practitioners. Public safety is always our number one priority. Our decisions are guided by the National Law.4 The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council oversees our work.
We know that a commitment to genuine and appropriate engagement can improve the effectiveness of our regulation of health practitioners and contribute to a safer health care system in Australia.
We understand that to be an effective and efficient regulator, we must be responsive to the evolving understanding and expectations of the public, health practitioners, key organisational partners and other stakeholders. This requires two-way communication and an active interest in the needs of people who engage with us.
Elicit and understand
So that we can address
Build interest in and
understanding of regulation
by the community and
To build trust in the scheme
Provide more positive
experiences of our
So that people are
not discouraged from
engaging with us
practices to regulate
more effectively and
For safer healthcare
Our policies and programs
are based on best available
evidence and reflect the
relevant expertise of our
So that we can be effective
and coordination with
partners in patient safety
For patient safety
Through a focus on the following objectives, we aim to increase the trust and confidence of our key
stakeholders. The priority objectives for our engagement strategy are driven by several key areas of the National Scheme strategy:
This engagement strategy will be applied across all levels and functions of our work.
We recognise we may not always be able to be as proactive or two-way in our engagement as we, or
our stakeholders, would like. In these cases, we will be clear about these limitations.
Our stakeholders include:
Consultation with key stakeholders has provided us with an initial picture of what we need to do and
how to do it to gain their trust and confidence.
They want us to be fair, transparent, responsive, empathic and accountable.6 We are committed to
these behaviours, which will guide our stakeholder engagement, and can be found in our service charter.
We recognise that there are many types of engagement, which suit specific stakeholders differently.
The purpose and frequency of our engagement will vary to reflect the needs of the stakeholder.
We also acknowledge that our engagement will be iterative and evolve at a different pace depending
on the stakeholders. Accordingly, we have adopted the IAP2 Spectrum (recognised as the global
standard for defining forms of engagement) to help to shape our approach to engagement.
Ahpra and the Boards will implement this strategy in line with the overarching National Scheme
It will require effort at all levels of our work and at every stage of our processes. This includes actively
seeking feedback from stakeholders, designing our processes, engaging and communicating, providing
information, as well as how we adapt and respond to feedback from those stakeholders.
We will monitor our progress through structured annual reviews of our activities as they evolve.
We will analyse:
We will continue to launch new initiatives, such as the emerging podcast channel, public forums, and
practitioner listening events. We will build feedback mechanisms into those activities, which will help
us evaluate our progress towards improved trust and confidence through engagement. We will share
feedback with relevant stakeholder groups (internally and externally).
Please contact the Ahpra Communications team if you have questions about this strategy by emailing