Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Graduate FAQ
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Graduate FAQ

Listen to a webinar to help final-year nursing students correctly complete the application process and avoid delays with first-time registration. Although targeted at nursing students, most of the information applies to graduates of all professions.

We cover

  • when to apply
  • how to avoid common causes of delays with your application
  • how to get your photo ID certified correctly (incorrectly certified ID documents will be rejected)
  • what you need to declare (i.e. health impairments and criminal history), and
  • what supporting documents you need to provide.

Nursing graduates – webinar

You can also view the presentation slides:

We had lots of questions sent to us via email and asked during the webinars that covered a range of topics.

Some of these questions were answered in the webinar information and Q&A, and we’ve covered others in the FAQs below. Lots of the questions were about similar topics such as when to submit your application and criminal history, so we’ve grouped questions by topic. If you don’t see the exact question you asked, look for the topic.

During the nursing webinars we had many questions about English language skills pathways, associated evidence requirements and individual circumstances. Most of the commonly asked questions can be answered by reading the Nursing and Midwifery Board’s Fact sheet: English language skills registration standard.

Applying for registration as a graduate FAQ

Graduates seeking to work as health practitioners in Australia must be registered before joining the workforce and practising in the profession. Students who are about to complete an approved program of study can apply for registration before completing their course.

All students in regulated health professions who have completed or will be completing an approved program of study within three months and who are expecting to join the Australian health practitioner workforce when they graduate or soon after, can apply for registration.

Note: The name on your application for registration must match the student name on the graduate results provided to us by your education provider. If your name has changed after enrolling in an approved program of study, you must contact the education provider to update your details.

Online applications are open to students completing an approved program of study mid-year or at the end of the year and who are applying for registration in one of the following professions:  

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practice
  • Chinese medicine
  • Chiropractic
  • Dental
  • Medical
  • Medical radiation practice
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Osteopathy
  • Paramedicine
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Psychology

To apply online go to Graduate applications.

Note: You will need a Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card to apply online.

You can apply online up to six months after completing your course. If you completed your course over six months ago, please find your profession on the profession-specific forms table and click through to see the Forms page of your profession’s National Board website

Prior to your application being finalised, please complete the Request for change of personal details – CHPD-00 form, which can be found under Common forms. Please do this as soon as possible.

Once your application is finalised you can update your address via your online services account.

No. Whether you apply online or via hardcopy you must complete your application for registration yourself and not have someone else complete it for you. This is because you give consent for Ahpra to conduct a criminal history check. You also declare that the supplied information is true and correct. 

As you are already registered in a profession, you may be able to apply for registration using your online services account.

This includes:

  • an enrolled nurse who is due to complete an approved program of study that will qualify you as a registered nurse or midwife 
  • a pharmacy intern with provisional registration who has completed all requirements to be eligible to apply for general registration, or 
  • a medical intern with provisional registration who has completed all requirements to be eligible to apply for general registration.
Our online application form asks a series of questions to ensure you are eligible to apply for registration online. If you are unable to apply via our online services portal, you will be prompted to contact our customer service team for advice on how to apply. More information is available on our Other Graduate Application Types webpage.

Online application FAQ

Creating an Ahpra account is important as it allows you to save and resume your application.

As we will be sending you sensitive information relating to your application and your registration, you must ensure the email address you use is personal and secure.

When providing us with a unique email address:

  • don’t use an email address that is tied to an education provider or a place of employment (these accounts are often disabled or reassigned once you move on from the organisation), and 
  • ensure you can securely and easily access your email address at any time.

If you do not have an email address that meets these criteria, consider creating a new email account.

All uploaded documents must:

  • be in colour, clear and legible 
  • be clearly titled in English (no special characters) 
  • be in one of the following formats: JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, PDF, WORD or TIFF 
  • be unencrypted (e.g. an unencrypted PDF) 
  • be an uncompressed file 
  • have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi, and 
  • have a file size not greater than 10MB.

You can start your application again at any time before payment is processed. Once payment has been processed, your application has been completed and submitted to us.


I've submitted my application, what happens next? FAQ

You will receive an automated confirmation via email when you submit your application.

After receiving your application and all required supporting documentation, we will:

  • begin the assessment of your application
  • conduct an Australian criminal history check through an external organisation*
  • verify your identity and the supporting documentation supplied by you, and
  • await confirmation from your education provider of your eligibility to graduate.

Once we have finished assessing your application, we will either register you, register you with conditions or refuse your application.

We will let you know the outcome and if registered, we will publish your name on the national register of health practitioners. We will also send you an email confirming that you are registered.

Once your name is on the national register of practitioners, you can start work as a registered health practitioner!

*Note: 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 assessment process.

You do not need to do anything to provide these results your education provider sends them directly to us.  You are not required to check if your results have been received. We will be in contact with you when assessment of your application is finalised.

During the peak application period between November and January, we receive graduate results from over 500 Australian education providers for over 25,000 students.

At the end of the academic year, we receive about 25,000 applications for registration. Our graduate team is ready to start assessing these applications in October. Once a regulatory officer has started assessing your application, they will be in contact with you if further information is required. However, it’s important to remember that we cannot complete assessment of your application until we have received confirmation from your education provider that you are eligible to graduate. You do not need to do anything to provide these results to us as they are provided directly to us by your education provider.

Generally, it takes 14 days to assess your application once we have received all the required information – what we call a ‘complete application’.

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 the 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 applicant), or
  • there is a delay in receiving the results of International criminal history checks from an approved supplier. However, in most cases this check will be available by the time the registration application has been assessed.

If we require further information for your application, we will contact you. 

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 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.

Registration standards FAQ

Before we can register you, we first need to make sure you are suitably trained and qualified and meet the professional standards for registration in your profession. For this we need your graduate results which we receive direct from your education provider. We also need any other documents required by your National Board to prove that you’ve met the registration standards for your profession (see below). The questions that you need to answer in your application form relate to these requirements.

If you have applied online, the form will prompt you to upload scanned copies of your correctly certified supporting documents to complete your application. Please read these instructions carefully and make sure the information you provide is complete before the documents are uploaded. Incomplete applications are the main reason for delayed assessment.

You may need to provide certified copies of supporting documents to meet the registration requirements of your profession’s National Board. Please see the Supporting documentation for graduate applications page for further information.

If you have graduated and you have been issued your academic transcript and certificate, please upload a copy with your application (or a certified copy if providing a hardcopy application).

If you have not yet graduated and do not yet have your certificate, you do not need to send it in later. After you have successfully completed your course, your education provider will send your graduate results directly to us. Providing you have met all other registration requirements, we will then finalise your application.

Each National Board has registration standards that aim to ensure that every registered health practitioner has the qualifications and skills to provide safe care to the Australian community. As part of your application you will be asked questions about how you meet the registration standards set by the National Board for your profession. They are published on each Board’s website, accessible via the Registration Standards page. For new graduates they are:

  • criminal history
  • English language skills, and
  • professional indemnity insurance.

Application fees FAQ

You will be asked to pay both an application fee and a registration fee when you apply for registration. These fees will be automatically calculated based on your profession when you fill out the online application form. For further information please see the schedule of fees on your National Board’s website.

If you apply for registration but do not successfully graduate or choose to withdraw your application after it has been assessed, we will refund your registration fee only. The application fee is non-refundable, as this is required to assess your application.

Graduates of some professions can apply for consideration of financial hardship regarding payment of registration fees. 

The policy does not apply to recent graduates for the following professions, because a reduced application or registration fee already applies:

  • Chinese medicine
  • Medical, or
  • Nursing and midwifery.

You’re considered to be in financial hardship when unable to provide the following for yourself, your family, or other dependents:

  • food
  • accommodation
  • clothing
  • medical treatment
  • education, and/ or
  • other basic necessities.

You must apply for consideration of financial hardship, and receive the outcome of your application from us, before you apply for registration. You can start your application online and pause it if you need to contact us about financial hardship.

You can read more about consideration of financial hardship including information about how to apply, and download the relevant application form for your state or territory here.


What is an approved program of study? FAQ

An approved program of study is a course that qualifies a graduate for registration as a health practitioner. Programs of study are approved by your profession’s National Board. Please see Approved programs of study for a list of approved courses.

Yes, but you are unable to apply using the graduate application pathway. Registration information for students from non-approved programs of study is available on the Forms section of your health profession’s National Board website.


How can I submit my hardcopy application? FAQ

Please mail your supporting documents with your hard copy application form to the Ahpra Registration team for your profession at GPO Box 9958 in your capital city. Our full mailing addresses are available on the Contact us page.

If you’ve received a request for additional supporting documents from us, please email them to the address provided in the request for additional information.

You cannot upload these via our online service.


Webinar FAQ

You should apply three months before you’re due to complete your course, or if you’ve already completed your course, You can apply now.

This means you should apply three months before the time you expect to complete all your course requirements, including any placements.

You do not need to wait until you have officially graduated to apply, as your education provider will confirm to us directly that you have successfully completed your course.

Pharmacy and psychology graduates seeking provisional registration have additional requirements and should apply once their supervised practice arrangements are in place.

If you’re unsure about your expected completion date, please contact your education provider.

There are a range of authorised officers who can certify documents for you. You should view our Certifying documents: instructions for applicants and authorised officers to see the full list of authorised officers.

Some of the authorised officers who might be most easily accessible to you, include members of the following health professions: chiropractic, dentistry, medicine, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, physiotherapy, and psychology, and full-time teachers, lecturers and members of the legal profession.

Yes. Certifications are valid for the same period as the document, so you can certify your documents in advance. Before arranging for your documents to be certified, please make sure you review our Certifying documents: instructions for applicants and authorised officers.

Any photographic ID must be certified with the statement 'I certify that this is a true copy of the original and the photograph is a true likeness of the person presenting the document as sighted by me'.

You’ll need to provide evidence of your current Australian residential address with your application. If your driver’s licence doesn’t show your current address, you’ll need to provide a separate document with proof of your Australian residential address or update the address on your licence.

For the full list of acceptable documents, you can use to demonstrate your current Australian residential address, please see our Proof of identity requirements.

Once you hold registration, you can update your address details via our online services at any time.

The certification wording must be written or stamped on the document. If your authorised officer is unable to certify your document in accordance with our requirements, you’ll need to review the list of authorised officers.

There are a range of authorised officers who can certify documents for you. You should view our Certifying documents: instructions for applicants and authorised officers to see the full list of authorised officers.

Some registered health practitioners (chiropractors, dentists, medical practitioners, nurses, optometrists, pharmacists, physiotherapists and psychologists) can certify documents.

If you travelled overseas but didn’t stay in any one country for more than six months, you don’t need to provide an international criminal history check. You only need to complete an international criminal history check for countries in which you lived, or were permanently based, for six consecutive months or more over the age of 18.

You do need to complete an international criminal history check if you have a criminal history in a country other Australia.

If you need an international criminal history check (ICHC), you’ll need to apply for the check through either Fit2Work or AIS International, our approved ICHC suppliers.

The online application form will prompt you to provide your ICHC reference number during the application process, but the ICHC doesn’t need to be finished when you apply.

However, we can’t complete your application until the supplier has completed the ICHC. Once the ICHC is complete, the supplier will release the results to Ahpra directly.

Read more and apply for your ICHC.

As a regulator, Ahpra receives a report of all criminal matters, including spent convictions over 10 years ago, and cases where no conviction was recorded. You do need to disclose this type of information in your application and provide us with details. It is unlikely to affect your registration, but it needs to be assessed. Any matters not disclosed that appear on our police checks will cause delays to your application, as we will need to seek more information from you.

Page reviewed 29/08/2023