03 Jun 2019
Today the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) and the Psychology Board of Australia (the Board) announced the signing of a new five-year accreditation agreement starting 1 July 2019.
Psychology Board of Australia Chair Rachel Phillips said the Board is pleased to be continuing its important work with APAC as the accreditation authority for the psychology profession.
‘APAC plays a critical role in protecting the public through accrediting programs of study against the accreditation standards approved by the Board.
‘APAC’s work ensures that when the Board approves these programs as qualifications for registration, it is confident that graduates have the knowledge, skills and professional attributes to practise as a psychologist. This is critical to public protection,’ Ms Phillips said.
‘We are pleased to formalise the arrangements to continue our important work as the accreditation authority for the psychology profession.
‘The new agreement provides a more contemporary framework for addressing priority accreditation issues which will improve public protection as well as provide increased transparency and accountability,’ Professor Caroline Hunt, APAC Chair said.
AHPRA has been developing new accreditation agreements with all external accreditation authorities to apply for the next five-year period from 1 July 2019. These agreements provide a contemporary framework for addressing key accreditation issues such as cultural safety, safety and quality, reducing regulatory burden, multi-profession collaboration to meet evolving health care needs, and strengthened accountability and transparency. The agreements also include principles for funding and fee setting and new key performance indicators to track progress on priority issues.
AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher welcomed the signing of the first new agreement.
‘These new modernised agreements provide a clear framework for the important work of accreditation authorities as part of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.
‘We are delighted that APAC was the first accreditation authority to sign a new agreement and look forward to continuing to work closely with APAC and the Board during the next five-year term,’ Mr Fletcher said.
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.
Each National Board decides whether the accreditation functions for the profession it regulates will be carried out by an external accreditation body or a committee established by the National Board.
If the National Board decides on an external organisation, AHPRA enters a contract with them to set out the accreditation functions to be delivered and the associated reporting and funding arrangements. If the National Board decides on a committee, these matters are specified in terms of reference.
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).