20 Aug 2018
National Boards and AHPRA1 have completed a scheduled review of accreditation arrangements. The review informed National Board decisions about the assignment of accreditation functions from mid-2019, when the current terms end. All National Boards, except for the Paramedicine Board of Australia2, participated in the review.
National Boards and AHPRA wish to recognise the strong support from the accreditation authorities for an open and transparent review process and acknowledge the significant contribution to Australia’s health workforce and the National Scheme3 through their important work.
After considering a range of factors, including the multi-profession analysis and responses to consultation, 13 National Boards decided to continue to assign the accreditation functions to their current accreditation authority for the period 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2024. The Podiatry Board of Australia has decided their accreditation functions for this period will be exercised by a committee established by the Board.
The National Law4 sets out the accreditation functions in the National Scheme; 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.
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 scope of accreditation functions, and sets out associated reporting requirements and funding arrangements. If the National Board decides on a committee, these matters are specified in Terms of Reference.
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. AHPRA developed a multi-profession analysis of accreditation performance over the last five years, primarily based on the reports against the Quality Framework that accreditation authorities submit twice yearly, but also based on a review of authorities’ published annual reports and financial statements. This analysis was released for public consultation earlier in 2018.
National Boards and AHPRA recognise COAG Health Council’s decisions on the outcomes of the yet-to-be-released Accreditation Systems Review (ASR) final report may have implications for National Boards’ decisions about the assignment of accreditation functions for the period 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2024.
National Boards and AHPRA thank stakeholders for their feedback about the current and future accreditation arrangements in the National Scheme, and look forward to continuing work to make the National Scheme as effective as possible.
1 the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
2 The Paramedicine Board of Australia is undertaking an expression of interest process about the accreditation functions for the paramedicine profession. The Board is expected to make an announcement about this issue later in 2018.
3 National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme).
4 Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force of each state and territory (the National Law).