The National Boards’ temporary policy position of accepting specific additional English language tests ended on 21 February 2023 for applicants who need to use the test pathway to meet the English language skills registration standard. This temporary policy was in place in response to COVID-19.
You should refer to the English language skills standard for your profession (see below) about registration requirements. An update about English language tests will be published soon.
Temporary changes to our present in person identity verification requirements for applicants who hold in-principle approval of registration are still in place.
When you apply for registration, your application is carefully assessed against the National Board’s requirements for registration. This is to ensure you are suitably trained and qualified and meet the requirements for registration in your profession.
Read on for important information on how to ensure your application is complete and ready for assessment.
To apply for registration, select the relevant profession below:
In response to COVID-19, applicants and registrants can now send applications, forms and supporting documents to Ahpra online instead of sending us these documents via hardcopy mail. See Online Upload.
After we’ve received your application we first check to see if it’s complete. A complete application has all the documentation required to prove you meet all the requirements for registration. This includes information about any health impairments, criminal history or English language skills. For graduates a complete application includes your graduate results which your education provider sends directly to us. It’s important that you provide as much information as you can when you submit your application because assessment of your application may be delayed if we need to contact you for further information.
Before we can register you, we need to determine whether you meet the requirements for registration as a health practitioner.
You need to tell us about any impairments that may affect your ability to practise.
Impairment means any physical or mental impairment, disability, condition or disorder (including substance abuse or dependence), that detrimentally affects or is likely to detrimentally affect your ability to safely practise the profession.
Having an impairment will not necessarily prevent you from practising. However, we need to know what you are doing to manage any impairment. We may require current documentation about your diagnosis and/or treatment plan and a statement regarding your current fitness to practise from your treating health practitioner. It’s important that you provide all details of any impairments and how you are managing them when you submit your application. Assessment of your application may be delayed if we need to contact you for further information.
In your application, you need to tell us about any criminal history.
Criminal history includes every:
We conduct an Australian criminal history check on every applicant. This cost is covered in your application fee.
You need to supply a complete criminal history with your application irrespective of the time that has lapsed since the charge was laid or the finding of guilt was made. This is because under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, spent convictions legislation does not apply to criminal history disclosure requirements. If you don’t supply your full criminal history, your application may be delayed or refused.
Your National Board will decide whether your criminal history is relevant to the practise of the profession.
If you have lived overseas for a period of six consecutive months or more as an adult you will also need to complete an international criminal history check. It is your responsibility to request and pay for your international criminal history check through an Ahpra-approved supplier. The results will be passed to us directly.
We cannot register you until we have received the results of your criminal history checks.
National Boards set requirements for English language skills to make sure all registered practitioners can provide safe care and communicate effectively in English with their patients/clients and other health practitioners.
You must meet the registration standard for English language skills set by your National Board.
Detailed information about English language skills is published on each Board website, accessible via the Registration Standards page.
Your application for registration must include:
To protect against identity theft, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has new certification requirements. Download our guide to make sure your documents are certified correctly.
Remember to use the correct form for your application type so you can be sure you’re providing all the required information.
We will assess your application against the registration standards. We may contact you for more information at the stage, for example, if you have declared you have a health impairment that needs further assessment or if you have not provided sufficient information regarding your criminal history. We can’t finalise your application until we are satisfied that you have met all the requirements for registration for your profession so it’s important you provide as much information as you can when you submit your application.
We will then either register you, register you with conditions or your application will be refused.
We will let you know the outcome and if registered, we will publish your name on the national register of health practitioners.
Once your name is on the national register for practitioners, you can start work as a registered health practitioner!
From the time you submit your application, it can take six to eight weeks to finalise assessment dependent on the time of year.
If your graduate application is complete the standard time frame is two weeks after your education provider confirms your graduate results.
Specialist applications where general registration is already held also takes about two weeks to assess.
If your application is not considered complete this means we have not received all the information to complete an assessment. We can only advise on a timeframe once all outstanding requirements have been provided (those timeframes are provided above).
After your application has been assigned, if additional material is required your regulatory officer will contact you to advise what you need to provide with your application.
If you are unsure what you may need to submit with your application, please contact us to find out. You can call our Customer Service team on 1300 419 495.
If you are not able to fully comply with a registration requirement, for example if you have a criminal history that could pose a risk in relation to your practice or you have a health impairment that may affect your ability to practise, your National Board may propose to place conditions on your registration in order to protect the public.
Any proposal to place conditions on your registration or refuse your application is made by your National Board. If a National Board intends to grant registration with conditions or to refuse the application, we will let you know. You may then elect to make a submission to the National Board responding to that proposal. The National Board will consider your submission before making a final decision.
If you do not provide a submission within the timeframe, we will grant the registration subject to the proposed conditions. A letter will be sent to you advising that registration was granted subject to conditions.
You may appeal to a tribunal. There are tribunals in each state and territory. See the Appeals fact sheet for more information.
If your application for registration has been refused by a National Board or you accidentally overpaid, there may be circumstances in which you may receive a refund. Find out more, including any conditions that apply, in the factsheet below.
Fact Sheet - Refunding fees (108 KB,PDF)
A request for a refund can be made by filling out the web enquiry form.
If you paid by credit card, the refund will be made to your credit card. For all other methods of payment, the refund will be made via direct bank transfer. We do not issue cash refunds.