National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for Health Professionals (Including Students)

In March 2008 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to establish a single national scheme for the registration and regulation of health professions and also the accreditation of their education and training. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is the organisation responsible across Australia for the implementation of this National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

AHPRA supports the 10 National Health Practitioner Boards, which are responsible for regulating the 10 health professions indicated below. The primary role of the Board is to protect the public by setting standards and policies that all registered health practitioners must meet.

From 1 July 2010, the following professions are regulated under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme;

  1. chiropractors
  2. dental practitioners (including dentists, dental hygienists, dental prosthetists & dental therapists)
  3. medical practitioners
  4. nurses and midwives
  5. optometrists
  6. osteopaths
  7. pharmacists
  8. physiotherapists
  9. podiatrists and
  10. psychologists

As a result of this, students enrolled in university or VET professional entry programs (courses) for these professions are now also required to be registered.

From 1 July 2012, the following four health professions will be included in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme:

  1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners
  2. Chinese medicine practitioners
  3. Medical Radiation practitioners (including diagnostic radiographers, nuclear medicine technicians, radiation therapists and sonographers)
  4. Occupational Therapists

Student Registration

All universities and VET organisations (education providers) across Australia that run professional entry programs for the above professions are obliged to provide AHPRA with the relevant details of the students enrolled in these programs for student registration purposes. The University of Sydney does this as a standard procedure for all relevant students.

Student obligations (for students enrolled in professional entry programs indicated above);

Within seven days of the following, the student must notify the National Health Practitioner Board for their profession, of:

  • a charge for an offence punishable by 12 months imprisonment or more
  • a conviction or finding of guilt for an offence punishable by imprisonment
  • suspension or cancellation of student registration in another country
Mandatory Obligations of Education Providers, Registered Health Practitioners and Voluntary Notifications to AHPRA

There are a number of mandatory reporting requirements of Education Providers and Registered Health Practitioners as well as opportunity for voluntary notifications regarding registered students. More information can be found by reviewing this presentation.