Accreditation of courses ensures that the education and training leading to registration as a health practitioner is rigorous and prepares the graduates to practise a health profession safely.
The Accreditation Authority may be a committee of a National Board, or a separate organisation. More information about accreditation is published on the website of each National Board.
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A court, tribunal, panel or council inquiry that hears matters under the National Law.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, established by section 23(1) of the National Law.
An allegation is a claim of a fact which a person claims to be able to prove. Allegations remain assertions without proof, until they can be proved.
The end date of the National Board’s approval of a program of study. In most cases this will be the date that the next submission is due from the Education Provider to the accreditation authority in order to gain further accreditation and approval from the National Board.
The start date of the National Board’s approval of a program of study.
Any individual role/organisation (committee) which has been delegated powers by a National Board.
A formal caution may be issued by a National Board or an adjudication body. A caution is intended to act as a deterrent so that the practitioner does not repeat the conduct. A caution is not usually recorded on the national register. However, a National Board can require a caution to be recorded on the register of practitioners.
A National Board or an adjudication body can impose a condition on the registration of a practitioner or student, or on an endorsement of registration. A condition aims to restrict a practitioner’s practice in some way, to protect the public.
Conditions can be placed on a practitioner’s registration for disciplinary reasons, such as because a National Board has found that a practitioner has departed from accepted professional standards.
Conditions can also be placed on a practitioner’s registration for reasons that are not disciplinary, such as for a practitioner who is returning to practice after a break.
Current conditions which restrict a practitioner’s practice of the profession are published on the register of practitioners. When a National Board or adjudication body decides they are no longer required to ensure safe practice, they are removed and no longer published.
Examples of conditions include requiring the practitioner to:
– complete specified further education or training within a specified period
– undertake a specified period of supervised practice
– do, or refrain from doing, something in connection with the practitioner’s practice
– manage their practice in a specified way
– report to a specified person at specified times about the practitioner’s practice, or
– not employ, engage or recommend a specified person, or class of persons
There may also be conditions related to a practitioner’s health (such as psychiatric care or drug screening). The details of health conditions are not usually published on the register of practitioners.
Also see the definition of Undertaking.
A jurisdiction which is not participating in the health, performance and conduct process provided by the National Law, but is involved in other parts of the National Scheme. New South Wales is a co-regulatory jurisdiction, so the health professionals councils work with the Health Care Complaints Commission to assess and manage concerns about practitioners’ conduct, health and performance.
The type of the program of study delivered by the Education Provider (e.g. Diploma, Bachelor)
A court outcome or decision may result from criminal proceedings or appeal proceedings.
Criminal proceedings are those which arise from an investigation conducted by Ahpra and charges laid on behalf of Ahpra arising out of a contravention of the National Law.
Appeal proceedings are those proceedings brought by a practitioner in Court to review a decision made by Ahpra or a Board or proceedings brought by a practitioner, Ahpra or a Board to review a decision of a Tribunal or another Court.
The date a practitioner was first registered in a specific profession in Australia. This date remains the same throughout the practitioner’s lifetime. The date may be before the start of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, as it reflects when the person was first registered in the profession, whether under the National Law or previous legislation. This date does not apply to student registration. This date does not change.
Part of a health profession. A practitioner can be registered in more than one division within a profession. Not all professions have divisions. For a list of divisions, see Professions and Divisions.
The name of the university, tertiary education institution, specialist medical or other health profession college that provides a program of study.
An endorsement of registration recognises that a person has an extended scope of practice in a particular area because they have an additional qualification that is approved by the National Board.
See Endorsement of Registration Fact Sheet (56.7 KB,PDF)
There are a number of different types of endorsement available under the National Law, including:
An endorsement can include more than one 'subtype'. The table below shows which National Boards use endorsements on registration, which groups of practitioners they apply to, what the endorsement is and, in psychology and nursing and midwifery, what subtypes there are.
1 For registered nurses, there is an additional endorsement subtype to supply scheduled medicines (rural and isolated practice).
Company, corporation, individual or organisation, for example, hospital, health practice registered as a business.
Physical or mental impairment, disability, condition or disorder (including substance abuse or dependence), that detrimentally affects or is likely to detrimentally affect a registered health practitioner’s capacity to safely practise the profession or a student’s capacity to undertake clinical training.
Immediate action can include:
Concerns about the registered practitioner’s health, performance, or conduct, related to events/behaviour raised within a notification. Also applies to concerns about a student’s health.
Notification that an entity is required to make to Ahpra under Division 2 of Part 8 of the National Law.
COAG Health Council, constituting Commonwealth, state and territory health ministers, which oversees the National Scheme.
Appointed by Ministerial Council to regulate the profession in the public interest and meet the responsibilities set down in the National Law. National Board members and/or state board members and/or committee members are delegated the functions/powers of the National Board.
The details of any conditions imposed by the National Board on the approval of a program of study if the National Board Approval Status is "Approved with Conditions"
The details of any information the National Board believes is relevant when a qualification is reviewed for the purposes of registration.
The Act, adopted in each state and territory, setting out the provisions of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law. The National Law has been adopted by the parliament of each state or territory through adopting legislation. The National Law is generally consistent in all states and territories. New South Wales did not adopt Part 8 of the National Law.
The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for registered health practitioners was established by the Council of Australian Governments to ensure that all regulated health professionals are registered against consistent, high quality national professional standards and can practise across state and territory borders.
Under the National Law, eleven professions1 became nationally regulated by corresponding National Boards in 2010.
Additional professions joined the National Scheme in succeeding years: four professions2 in 2012, and one3 in 2018.
1 2010 - chiropractic, dental, medical, nursing and midwifery, optometry, osteopathy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, podiatry and psychology
2 2012 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice, Chinese medicine, medical radiation practice and occupational therapy
3 2018 - paramedicine
Is used by National Boards to describe and explain the scope of a practitioner’s practice by noting the limitations on that practice. The notation does not change the practitioner’s scope of practice but may reflect the requirements of a registration standard.
The registered health practitioner has:
Anyone can make a notification (complaint) about a registered health practitioner. This is the way to raise a concern about a practitioner’s professional conduct, performance or health. More detailed information about notifications is published on the Notifications & Outcomes page. If you have concerns about the conduct, health or performance of a registered health practitioner, please contact AHPRA on 1300 419 495.
Notifications may be investigated by National Boards. A National Board may decide to take action about the notification if:
The pandemic response sub-register has been established in response to COVID-19 to fast track the return of experienced and qualified health practitioners to the workforce. Practitioners on the sub-register previously held general or specialist registration and left the Register of practitioners or moved to non-practising registration in the past three years. Practitioners on the sub-register are not obligated to practise.
This definition of practice is used in a number of National Board registration standards.
It means any role, whether remunerated or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a practitioner in their regulated health profession. Practice is not restricted to the provision of direct clinical care. It also includes using professional knowledge in a direct non-clinical relationship with patients or clients, working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy development roles and any other roles that impact on safe, effective delivery of health services in the health profession.
Some National Boards have also issued guidance about when practitioners need to be registered. Search under ‘guidance’ on the relevant Board website.
Location declared by the practitioner as the address at which they mostly practise the profession. If the practitioner is not practising, or not practising mostly at one address, then the practitioner’s principal place of residence is used instead.
If the location of the principal place of practice is in Australia, the following information is displayed on the registers of practitioners:
If the location is outside Australia, the following information is displayed on the registers of practitioners:
In rare cases, when a practitioner has demonstrated that their health and safety may be at risk from the publication of this information about their principal place of practice, a National Board may choose to not publish this information.
Name of the profession being practised by a practitioner. Since July 2010, 10 health professions have been regulated under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, see Professions & Divisions.
From July 2012, four new professions will join the scheme:
A code to uniquely identify each program of study for a particular Education Provider. This code is issued by the Education Provider.
The status of a program identifies whether this program of study is approved and currently delivered by an education provider:
Applicants for registration with an “approved” qualification will be qualified for general registration under section 53(a) of the National Law (and other equivalent sections appropriate for the type of registration)
Applicants for registration with an “inactive” qualification may be qualified for general registration under section 53(b) of the National Law (and other equivalent sections appropriate for the type of registration)
Each program of study provides a qualification that may be suitable for different types of registration or for endorsements or other aspects of registration. The qualification type describes what the qualification is suitable for:
Professional qualifications that a practitioner must have to meet the requirements for registration in a profession. Undergraduate and postgraduate Australian qualifications recognised by National Boards are published on the National Board’s websites.
Individual practitioner’s approved qualifications are published on the register of practitioners.
An individual who:
Date when a practitioner’s current registration expires. Practitioners must apply to renew their registration annually. If the practitioner's name appears on the register, they are registered and can practise within the scope of their registration and consistent with any conditions or undertakings that apply.
Under the National Law, registrants who apply to renew on time are able to practise while their annual renewal application is being processed.
Practitioners remain registered for one month after their registration expiry date. If they apply to renew their registration during this period, they are required to pay a late fee and are able to continue to practise while their application is being processed.
Since March 2012, practitioners have been allocated one unique registration number for each profession in which they are registered. This number stays with the practitioner for life, even if they have periods when they are not registered. Practitioners registered in more than one profession have one registration number for each profession.
A registration requirement records the practitioner’s Board approved area of practice details or supervision arrangements, which are inherently required for Limited or Provisional registration. The registration requirement varies for each profession and is dependent on the profession’s registration standards and accompanying codes and guidelines. The practitioner may only practice the profession within the parameters of their Board approved area of practice details or supervision arrangements.
Status of a registration is described below:
The National Law defines the type of registration that a National Board can grant to an eligible practitioner.
For a detailed description, view the Registration Types Fact Sheet (93.1 KB,PDF).
A reprimand is a chastisement for conduct; a formal rebuke. Reprimands issued since the start of the National Scheme (1 July 2010 or 18 October 2010 in WA) are published on the Registers of Practitioners.
There are currently three professions with specialist registration under the National Law: podiatry, dental and medicine. The Ministerial Council (Australia’s health ministers) is responsible for approving a list of specialties for each profession and for approving one or more specialist titles for each specialty on the list. The National Boards each decide the requirements for specialist registration in their profession.
Requirements for specialist registration vary across the professions that have specialist recognition (medical, dental and podiatry). Please refer to the Boards’ specific requirements on their websites.
For a list of specialties, fields of specialty practice, and related specialist titles, see Specialties and Specialty Fields. Also see the definition of Specialty Subtype and Registration Type - Specialist Registration on this page.
In medicine, a practitioner can be registered in more than one specialty subtype, within a specialty, or in more than one specialty. For a list of medical specialty subtypes, see Specialties & Specialty Fields. Specialist registration is granted consistent with the provisions of the National Law and is available to medical practitioners who have been assessed by an Australian Medical Council-accredited specialist college as being eligible for fellowship of that college. Ongoing membership of a specialist college is not a pre-requisite for specialist registration. To check if a doctor is a current member of a specialist college, please contact that college. Links to all specialist college websites are published here.
Note: Specialty subtype is also referred to as a ‘field of specialist practice’.
Languages other than English spoken fluently by the practitioner. Under the National Law, practitioners can advise a National Board if they fluently speak a language other than English, and this can be published on the register of practitioners.
This is the start date of a practitioner’s current registration in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme under the National Law. The National Scheme came into effect on 1 July 2010 (18 October 2010 in WA). This date can be different from the date of first registration in a profession in Australia.
A person whose name is entered in a student register as being currently registered under the National Law.
If a practitioner’s registration is suspended, they are not eligible to practise. A tribunal has the power to suspend a practitioner’s registration as a result of a hearing. A National Board also has the power to suspend a practitioner’s registration pending other assessment or action, if it believes there is serious risk to the health and safety of the public from the practitioner’s continued practice of the profession, and that suspension is necessary to protect the public from that risk. A Health Panel can suspend a practitioner’s registration if the panel finds that the practitioner (or student) has an impairment and it is necessary to suspend the practitioner’s registration to protect the public.
An adverse decision made by a responsible tribunal under the National Law about a registered health practitioner.
National Boards can seek and accept an undertaking from a practitioner to limit the practitioner’s practice in some way if this is necessary to protect the public. The undertaking means the practitioner agrees to do, or to not do something in relation to their practice of the profession. Current undertakings which restrict a practitioner’s practice of the profession are published on the register of practitioners. When a National Board or adjudication body decides they are no longer required to ensure safe practice, they are revoked and are no longer published. Current undertakings which relate to a practitioner’s health are mentioned on the national register but details are not provided.
An undertaking is voluntary, whereas a condition is imposed on a practitioner’s registration.
Professional conduct that is of a lesser standard than that which might reasonably be expected of the health practitioner by the public or the practitioner’s professional peers. A more extensive definition is available under section 5 of the National Law.
Each profession has a set of standards and guidelines which clarify the acceptable standard of professional conduct. Go to www.ahpra.gov.au to access the website of each National Board.
The knowledge, skill or judgement possessed, or care exercised by, the practitioner in the practice of the health profession in which the practitioner is registered is below the standard reasonably expected for a health practitioner of an equivalent level of training or experience.
A notification made on a voluntary basis. The grounds for a voluntary notification are set out in section 144 of the National Law.