Information for practitioners

UPDATED — Information for practitioners about the pandemic response sub-register 

In April, National Boards and Ahpra established a short-term pandemic response sub-register for 12 months to help with fast tracking the return to the workforce of experienced and qualified health practitioners in response to COVID-19.

While responding to COVID-19 is still an important focus for the Australia community and registered health practitioners will continue to play a vital role in administering the vaccine when available, the need for the temporary sub-register has lessened and will start to close from April 2021. 

The sub-register closes:

  • on 5 April 2021 for medical practitioners, nurses, midwives and pharmacists
  • on 19 April 2021 for diagnostic radiographers, physiotherapists and psychologists, and
  • on 30 June 2021 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners.

Practitioners on the sub-register can apply for ongoing registration using a transition pathway if they wish to keep practising after the sub-register is closed. 

To apply for registration through this pathway, practitioners need to meet the relevant National Board’s registration standards, including criminal history, English language and recency of practice (time spent practising while on the sub-register can count towards recency of practice requirements). 

We will email all practitioners on the pandemic sub-register in mid-January with a link to the transition pathway application form. Practitioners wishing to apply through this pathway must do so before 11.59pm on 5/19 April. If they miss the deadline, they will need to apply through the standard registration process required by each National Board.

We are no longer adding practitioners to the pandemic response sub-register. If you have not been included on the pandemic response sub-register and want to return to practice you will need to make an application for registration by submitting the relevant form which can be found on your Board’s website. You will need to meet the usual return to practice requirements, including recency of practice.

As health services prepared for the expected surge in demand resulting from COVID-19, Health Ministers asked Ahpra and National Boards to enable experienced and qualified health practitioners to quickly return to practice. A pandemic response sub-register enabled those eligible health practitioners to be registered if they wish, without having to fill in forms or pay fees.

Eligible practitioners were added to the pandemic sub-register automatically for a 12-month registration period. On the public Register of practitioners, there is a green flag and a notation on the practitioner’s entry, indicating they are on the pandemic response sub-register.

Doctors, nurses, midwives,  pharmacists, diagnostic radiographers, physiotherapists, psychologists and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners who previously held general or specialist registration and left the Register of practitioners or moved to non-practising registration in the past three years have been put on the pandemic response sub-register. 

Only those that were properly qualified, competent and suitable were returned to the register.

We recognise health service needs may evolve as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and we will keep working with state and territory and Commonwealth governments to support the COVID-19 emergency response. However, at present we are no longer adding practitioners to the pandemic response sub-register.

We are no longer adding practitioners to the pandemic response sub-register. If you have not been included on the pandemic response sub-register and want to return to practice you will need to make an application for registration by submitting the relevant form which can be found on your Board’s website. You will need to meet the usual return to practice requirements, including recency of practice.

No, we are no longer adding practitioners to the pandemic response sub-register. If you want to return to practice you will need to make an application for registration by submitting the relevant form which can be found on your Board’s website. You will need to meet the usual return to practice requirements, including recency of practice.

If you would like to keep practising after the sub-register closes, you can apply for registration using a transition pathway for practitioners who are on the sub-register.

This pathway waives the application fee and recognises your contribution and the timelines by reducing the registration fee for the professions where the remaining period of your new registration will be less than 12 months. 

To apply for registration through this pathway, you will need to meet your Board’s registration standards including criminal history, English language and recency of practice (time spent practising while you were on the sub-register can count towards the recency of practice requirements). 

When the next registration renewal period comes around, you will be treated the same as all practitioners renewing.

To apply, look out for an email from us in mid-January 2021 that links to an online application form. 

You must apply before 11.59pm on 5/19 April to use the transition pathway. 

If you miss this date and would like to keep practising, you must apply for registration using the standard method required by each National Board.

Yes – in line with your Board’s recency of practice registration standard. 

Registration on the pandemic sub-register is temporary. If you have been re-registered on the pandemic sub-register and think that you will wish to continue practising after the pandemic subsides, at that time, you will need to apply for registration through the transitional process. You will need to meet the usual registration requirements, including recency of practice. You may use your time practising your profession during the pandemic to count towards recency of practice requirements for future registration, in line with your Board’s recency of practice registration standard. 

For more information see your profession’s recency of practice requirements outlined in the registration standard:

No. The pandemic sub-register is for registration to practise in Australia only. While the pandemic is worldwide, if you wish to practise in another country you will need to apply for registration with the registration authority in that country.

Everyone will be removed from the pandemic response sub-register when it closes (you don’t need to do anything for this to happen as it’s automatic). 

If you had non-practising registration before the pandemic, you will be returned to non-practising registration when the sub-register closes.

After the sub-register closes, if you are not registered with the relevant National Board, you cannot work in your profession.

If you would like to keep practising after the sub-register closes, you can apply for registration through a transition pathway. We emailed everyone who is on the sub-register the details and link to the application form in mid-January.

You can only apply using this pathway before the sub-register closes for your profession on 11.59pm on either 5 or 19 April 2021.

There is no application fee and a reduced registration fee for the professions where the remaining period of new registration will be less than 12 months. This also applies to those who would like to be available for any roles as part of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

If you miss this date, you must apply using the standard process for the National Board for your profession.

To apply click the ‘apply now’ button and follow the process below.

  • Log in with your practitioner online services details.
  • Select the “Apply for Main Register” button on the left-hand menu.
  • Complete the online application form. If you are registered in more than one profession, division or registration type on the sub-register, you will be given the option to apply for all or some of these. 
  • Pay the registration fee and submit your online application.
  • Once submitted, your application will be assessed, and we will notify you if any further information is required or once your application has been finalised.
Apply Now
 
 
 
Page reviewed 25/01/2021