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New accreditation publications about costs and international accreditation systems

03 Mar 2017

Two new papers have been published today about key aspects of the accreditation functions under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme).

The papers provide a new analysis of accreditation costs and an international comparison of accreditation systems for registered health professions in comparable health systems.

The papers were developed by the Accreditation Liaison Group (ALG), a subcommittee of the Forum of NRAS Chairs1 that provides advice within the National Scheme on common accreditation issues. The ALG involves representatives of National Boards, Accreditation Authorities (through the Health Professions Accreditation Councils’ Forum and Accreditation Committees), and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

The ALG Co-Chairs, Dr Joanna Flynn, Chair of the Forum of NRAS Chairs and Chair of the Medical Board of Australia and Professor Michael Morgan, Chair of the Health Professions Accreditation Councils Forum and the Australian Dental Council said that the publication of the reports was an important contribution to information about accreditation in the National Scheme.

“This is the first time that this type of costs information has been compiled within the National Scheme and made publicly available. We hope that the information is useful for stakeholders and plan to build on this initial report by publishing an annual update.” Dr Flynn said.

“The papers reflect the growing collaborative work across Accreditation Authorities and are an important basis for further work.” Professor Morgan said.

Costings paper

Collectively, Accreditation Authorities, National Boards and AHPRA have the best information about the costs of accreditation in NRAS. To prepare for the Accreditation Systems Review, a Costs Working Group (CWG) was established by ALG to progress work already started by Accreditation Authorities in identifying the cost of accreditation in the Scheme so that the best available cost data would be available to the review team.

The CWG paper provides detailed cost information and activity data as well as background information, to give important context. For example, a key difference between the National Scheme and other schemes is that the assessment of overseas trained practitioners seeking registration is Australia is an accreditation function, whereas in other schemes this process is treated separately. This means that in the National Scheme the costs of these assessments are included in accreditation costs, rather than allocated to other functions such as registration.

International Comparisons paper

The ALG also developed an overview of the similarities and differences in accreditation systems for registered health professions in comparable health systems (the UK, Canada, USA, New Zealand and Ireland).

The international comparisons paper provides an overview of each of the international systems as well as diagrams which show the requirements for general registration and, where relevant, specialist registration for each profession under the National Scheme.

1The Forum of NRAS Chairs involves the Chairs of the 14 National Boards and AHPRA’s Agency Management Committee and National Executive.

Page reviewed 3/03/2017