Information about the National Scheme
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) decided in 2008 to establish a single National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (National Scheme) for registered health practitioners.
On 1 July 2010 (18 October for Western Australia), the following professions became nationally regulated by a corresponding National Board:
On July 2012, four additional professions joined the National Scheme:
In December 2018, paramedicine became the newest profession to join the National Scheme, making the title 'paramedic' protected nationally:
Ahpra is the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Ahpra is the agency that supports the National Boards to implement the National Scheme.
There are Ahpra offices in each state and territory, with the head office in Melbourne. See About Ahpra for more information.
The National Law is the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory.
The National Law is a state and territory based legislation; it is not a commonwealth law.
A list of the relevant state and territory legislation is available on this site.
The National Scheme has a number of objectives, including to:
The National Boards set the registration standards that practitioners must meet in order to register.
Once registered, practitioners must continue to meet the standards and renew their registration yearly with the National Board.
Anyone who calls themselves any of the ‘protected titles’ in the National Law, such as ‘chiropractor’, ‘medical practitioner’, ‘midwife’ or ‘psychologist’, must be registered with the corresponding National Board.
It is an offence to call yourself one of the protected titles, and it is also an offence to hold yourself out to be a registered practitioner when you are not, or use symbols or language that may lead a reasonable person to believe that you are registered.
The following titles are protected under the National Law and are the professions that appear on the Register of practitioners.
The National Law also protects the specialist titles for the recognised specialties approved by the Ministerial Council for medical practitioners, dental practitioners and podiatrists. If a practitioner is eligible to use a registered specialist title, this will also appear on the Register of practitioners.
The National Law also has protections in place for practitioners who hold an endorsement to practice as an acupuncturist. These practitioners, along with registered Chinese medicine practitioners, are eligible to use the protected title ‘acupuncturist’. If a practitioner holds an endorsement that permits them to use a protected title, this will appear on the Register of practitioners.