Under section 43 of the National Law, each National Board decides whether accreditation functions for the profession it regulates will be undertaken by an external accreditation entity (council) or a committee established by the National Board.
Following a scheduled review of accreditation arrangements, in mid-2018, all National Boards except paramedicine made decisions on assignment of accreditation functions for their profession for the period 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2024. The Paramedicine Board of Australia made a decision to assign accreditation functions for the period 1 December 2018 – 30 November 2023. Ahpra publishes a list of the current accreditation authorities.
For external accreditation councils, Ahpra enters into an agreement with each council to formalise arrangements for service, performance and funding of accreditation functions. Section 44 of the National Law requires the terms of the agreements to be in accordance with the health professions agreement between Ahpra and the relevant National Board. National Boards/Ahpra use Terms of reference to formalise arrangements for accreditation committees.
These documents are a key mechanism to progress priority issues for accreditation including safety and quality, embedding inter-professional learning and practice, improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, addressing cultural safety, achieving greater consistency, sharing good practice, strengthening governance, transparency and accountability, responding to health and workforce priorities and reducing regulatory burden and duplication. These priorities are reflected in the agreements and progress is being achieved in part through the funding and fee setting principles and reporting obligations against key performance indicators detailed in all the agreements and terms of reference.
The guiding principles of the National Law require the National Scheme to operate in a ‘transparent, accountable, efficient, effective and fair way.’ With the support of Accreditation Authorities, the National Boards and Ahpra publish the accreditation agreements and terms of reference to strengthen governance, transparency and accountability around accreditation arrangements. Each document comprises a head agreement/terms of reference and schedules/attachments.
With a five-year head agreement and multi-year terms of reference, the workplan and funding schedules/attachments for each profession are updated at the start of each financial year and the updated versions are published with the head agreement/terms of reference. The schedules/attachments from previous financial years are published in the archive.