26 Mar 2018
National Boards and AHPRA have started a process to consider accreditation arrangements from mid-2019, when the current term of assignment of accreditation functions ends.
The National Law1 sets out the accreditation functions in the National Scheme2; these include developing accreditation standards, accrediting programs of study against approved accreditation standards and assessing overseas qualified practitioners.
The last review of the assignment of accreditation functions occurred in 2012, when the accreditation authorities for the first 10 professions to join the National Scheme went through a rigorous review process. The current review includes those accreditation authorities, as well as the three accreditation committees that were assigned their functions by their respective National Boards in 2012.
National Boards and AHPRA are conscious that COAG Health Council’s decisions on the outcomes of the yet-to-be-released Accreditation Systems Review (ASR) will affect the future shape of the Accreditation System. The draft ASR report proposed: changes to the governance of accreditation; to ensure the relevance and responsiveness of the education of health practitioners; to enable accreditation to achieve the objectives of the National Scheme; and to increase efficiency and effectiveness. The draft report also acknowledged the substantial contribution that has been made to accreditation by the current accreditation authorities, and the critical value they contribute to the system.
It is each National Board’s decision as to whether the accreditation functions for the profession it regulates will be carried out by an external accreditation body or a committee established by the Board. If the Board decides on an external organisation, AHPRA enters a contract with them which specifies the performance and funding of these functions. The accreditation authorities have indicated their support for an open and transparent review process and discussion with their National Board about strengths and challenges in meeting the objectives of the National Law.
The Quality Framework for Accreditation, which was developed before the 2012 review of accreditation arrangements, articulates the expectations of accreditation authorities operating under the National Law. It identifies eight key performance domains. In this review other activity data and themes from the Accreditation Systems Review will also be considered.
Timeframes for the review are tight and public consultation is expected to start during April 2018 for around four weeks. More information will be published on the AHPRA and National Board websites in coming weeks.
1 Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force of each state and territory (the National Law).
2 National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme).