Research framework for the National Scheme published

12 Jan 2018

National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) have published a research framework to help transform health practitioner regulation to improve patient safety.

A research framework for the National Scheme: Optimising our investment in research sets out the research priorities and principles for National Boards and AHPRA to focus their research efforts and guide the use of National Scheme1 data and information to inform policy and decision-making.

The National Scheme holds a unique and nationally significant dataset, including data on more than 670,000 health practitioners across 14 professions (soon to be 15 professions in 2018 when paramedicine joins).

‘Our data and research infrastructure has been steadily maturing over the past few years and we are now better able to translate the outcomes of research and evaluation activities into developments that will have significant benefits for patients and practitioners.’ said Martin Fletcher, Chief Executive Officer of AHPRA.

‘This new research framework ensures we continue to contribute to patient safety and brings us closer to becoming a global leader in regulatory research.

The framework includes the priority research areas of: defining harms and risks related to the practice of regulated health professions, regulatory taxonomy or classification scheme, risk factors for complaints and/or poor practitioner performance, evidence for standards, codes and/or guidelines, evaluating regulatory interventions, stakeholder satisfaction and engagement, work readiness and workforce capacity and distribution.

The framework also points to better innovation and coordination of research activity across the National Scheme. This includes compliance with best practice standards for research and appropriate measures to respect cultural sensitivity.

The framework – developed in collaboration with National Boards, the accreditation liaison group and AHPRA’s community reference group – is a “living document” that will be regularly reviewed to meet the ongoing needs of the National Scheme. It has been published to provide a solid base to facilitate risk-based research and evaluation activities, with a clear focus on translating the outcomes of research into initiatives that will inform regulatory policy development and decision-making to maximise the public benefit.


1National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme).

For more information

  • Visit the AHPRA website 
  • For registration enquiries: 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 3 8708 9001 (overseas callers)
  • For media enquiries: (03) 8708 9200
Page reviewed 12/01/2018