24 Jun 2019
Today, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has announced the majority of Accreditation Councils have now signed their new five-year accreditation agreements starting 1 July 2019.
Co-Chairs of the Forum of National Registration and Accreditation Scheme Chairs, Michael Gorton AM and Ian Bluntish, said AHPRA and the National Boards are extremely pleased to have new agreements in place for the next five-year term.
‘These agreements provide a contemporary framework for addressing key accreditation issues such as cultural safety, safety and quality, reducing regulatory burden, and multi-profession collaboration to meet the evolving healthcare needs of Australians. They also strengthen the accountability and transparency of accreditation in the National Scheme. The agreements also include principles for funding and fee setting and new key performance indicators to track progress on priority issues,’ said Mr Gorton.
‘Accreditation ensures that the National Boards are confident that graduates of accredited programs and overseas qualified health practitioners who are assessed by Accreditation Councils have the knowledge, skills and professional attributes to practise their professions in Australia. This is critical to public protection,’ Mr Bluntish said.
AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher welcomed this progress.
‘We are delighted that the majority of Accreditation Councils have signed the new agreements and we look forward to finalising the remaining new agreements as soon as possible before 1 July 2019. These new modernised agreements provide a clear framework for the important work of Accreditation Authorities as part of the National Scheme,’ he said.
The National Law1 sets out the accreditation functions in the National Scheme2, this includes 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).