21 Sep 2022
National Boards for the 16 regulated health professions and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) have announced annual registration fees (registration fees) for 2022/2023.
Registration fees fund the work of Ahpra and the National Boards to keep the public safe by:
The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme operates on a cost-recovery basis, with each Board meeting the full costs for the professions they regulate. There should not be cross-subsidisation between professions or jurisdictions. For example, chiropractors should not cover the cost of regulating dentists, and NSW practitioners should not cover the costs of managing notifications in other states and territories, and vice versa (see Background below for more information). The National Boards work closely with Ahpra to keep fees as low as possible while continuing to meet regulatory obligations and the expectations of the public and practitioners.
In 2022/23 we are introducing a new model for allocating costs for each Board which considers the complexity, volume, and time to manage the regulatory activity for each profession, together with the costs of shared services across the professions.
The new model reflects access to more detailed data and is designed to ensure costs for regulating each profession are appropriately recovered, target equity levels are maintained to ensure sufficient funds for future activity, and the risk of cross-subsidisation minimised.
Except for medical practitioners, nurses and midwives, the annual fees cover the registration period from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023. The fees schedule for each profession is published on National Board websites.
With greater visibility of the costs for the regulatory activity for each profession, there will be a correction to the national fees for some professions in 2022/23.
While for most professions, there will be an increase or decrease within indexation, the national fee for physiotherapy will incur a one-off increase above indexation to retain adequate equity. This will be a once off correction to meet changed volumes and to better reflect the specific requirements of regulating the physiotherapy profession. Other professions, such as chiropractic, paramedicine and psychology will see decreases outside indexation, reflecting their forecast regulatory costs.
In line with a 2009 Ministerial policy direction, NSW practitioners are required to meet the same registration and accreditation costs as other practitioners in their profession across Australia, and the NSW-specific cost for notifications relating to performance, health and conduct of practitioners. The notifications element of the fee for NSW practitioners is calculated by the relevant NSW Council.
To ensure transparency, the policy direction requires Ahpra and the National Boards to identify the registration and accreditation elements of the fee for NSW practitioners. These costs include:
In 2022/23, the registration and accreditation fee component for NSW practitioners is being corrected to adequately cover the annual costs. This correction will result in an above indexation increase in 2022/23 for a number of professions including medical practitioners, medical radiation practitioners, occupational therapists, optometrists, and physiotherapists in NSW. The correction will also see a decrease outside of indexation for NSW paramedics and chiropractors.
The fees payable by NSW practitioners for the complaints element of the NSW fee is determined by the relevant Councils in NSW. The total fees payable are detailed in the published fee schedules on National Board websites.
The fees are:
In NSW, complaints (notifications) about the conduct, health or performance of NSW practitioners are managed by the Health Care Complaints Commission, the Health Professional Councils Authority (HPCA) and the state-based councils for each health profession. Ahpra’s primary role, in relation to notifications in NSW is to update the national register if changes are made to a practitioner’s registration. As such, costs for notifications managed in NSW by the state-based councils and the HPCA are calculated by the HPCA.
In Queensland, all notifications and concerns are directed to the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO), which shares this information with Ahpra and the National Boards. Each notification or concern raised is reviewed by the OHO and Ahpra at the same time and a joint decision is made on which organisation will manage the matter. The Queensland Health Minister determines the contribution of practitioners’ fees to be paid to the OHO. This contribution recognises the OHO management of issues related to the health, performance or conduct of Queensland practitioners, and reflects the reasonable costs of what Ahpra and the National Boards would have done if the OHO didn’t exist.