Applying for registration

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, qualified and fit to practise the 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:


Is my application ready to be assessed?

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 this includes your graduate results direct from your education provider. We cannot register you until we have received confirmation that you are eligible to graduate.

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.

What do I need to tell you?

Before we can register you, we need to determine whether you meet the requirements for registration as a health practitioner.

Health impairments

This includes telling us whether you have 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.

It’s important to note that having an impairment will not necessarily preclude you from practising. However, we need to know what you are doing to manage your condition. We may require current and correctly certified 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 as much information as you can about your impairment when you submit your application. Assessment of your application may be delayed if we need to contact you for further information.

Criminal history

You need to tell us about any criminal history.

Criminal history includes every: 

  • conviction for an offence
  • plea of guilty or finding of guilt by a court for an offence, whether or not a conviction is recorded for the offence 
  • every charge for an offence. 

Under the National Law, spent convictions legislation does not apply to criminal history disclosure requirements. That means 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. Your application will be significantly delayed if you do not declare your criminal history in your application and a criminal history is found during the screening process.

Your National Board will decide whether your criminal history is relevant to the practice of the profession. For further information on the factors the Board will consider in making this decision, see Consideration of Criminal History. 

We conduct an Australian criminal history check on every applicant. This cost is covered in your application fee. You need to declare your criminal history on your application. If you do not, it may cause assessment of your application to be delayed and/or your application to be refused.

If you have lived overseas for a period of six months or more as an adult you will also need to compete an international criminal history check. It is your responsibility to request and pay for your international criminal history check through an AHPRA-approved supplier. We cannot register you until we have received the results of your criminal history checks.

The results will be passed to us directly.

What about English language skills?

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.

What do I need to include in my application?

It is important that you use the correct form for your application type so that you can provide all the information required for a complete application.

Your application for registration must include: 

  • the relevant fee 
  • certified copies of your proof of identity, and
  • any other information we say we require on the application form, eg. evidence to support your English language declaration, statutory declarations about your criminal history, or evidence from your treating practitioner about any health impairments. You must check to see which documents need to be certified copies of the originals.  

What happens next?

We will then 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 cannot 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!

How long will it take to finalise my application?

Depending on the time of year and the volume of applications we are receiving, it may take a couple of weeks before your application is assigned to a registration officer for assessment. After your application has been assigned, your registration officer will only contact you if your application is incomplete and further information is required.

Complete applications

If your application is complete the standard timeframe for finalising your application is:

  • about 14 days after your education provider confirms your graduate results
  • about 10 days for provisional to general applications
  • about 10 days for specialist applications (where general registration is already held), and
  • about 4-6 weeks for all other application types. However, complex applications, including those from overseas, may take more time.

It may take longer to assess your application if:

  • you have lodged your application during a peak period (e.g at the end of the academic year)
  • you have not provided all the information required
  • we are awaiting receipt of your graduate results from your education provider (for graduate applicants)
  • you have indicated you have a health impairment that requires more detailed assessment
  • you do not declare your criminal history (we conduct an Australian criminal history check on every registration applicant), or
  • there is a delay in receiving the results of International criminal history checks from an AHPRA-approved supplier.

Graduates please note that your application is not considered complete until we have received the graduate results from your education provider.

Incomplete applications

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 registration 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.

I have a confirmed job start date and am waiting for my registration to be finalised, what should I do?

If you have a confirmed job start date with an employer that provides clinical services to the public eg. a public hospital and you are waiting on your registration, talk to your employer first and your employer can escalate your query via their AHPRA direct contact.

It’s important to note:

  • most of our new graduate applicants will have similar employment start dates
  • we cannot finalise an incomplete application, regardless of employment start date
  • if you submit your application too close to the employment start date, we won’t have sufficient time to complete the necessary assessment against registration requirements. We need time to complete a thorough assessment prior to any decision being made.

What if there are conditions placed on my registration or my application is refused?

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 condition that may affect your ability to practise, your National Board may propose to place conditions on your registration in order to protect the public. Placing conditions on your registration is to enable you to practise while mitigating any risk posed.

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 and that if you want to appeal the decision, you can contact the tribunal in your state or territory.

What can I do if I don’t agree with the National Board’s decision?

You may appeal to a tribunal. There are tribunals in each state and territory. See the Appeals fact sheet for more information.

Refunding fees

Did you know that 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)

How do I request a refund?

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.

Page reviewed 23/08/2019