National Regulation and Accreditation Scheme
The COAG Health Council acting in their capacity as the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council has a function under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the National Law) to oversee the National Regulation and Accreditation Scheme.
Health Ministers from each state and territory and the Commonwealth are members of the Ministerial Council.
Guide to the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for health professions
In 2008 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) signed the Intergovernmental Agreement for a National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for the health professions (NRAS). The agreement established a single, national scheme for registered health practitioners. The NRAS ensures that all regulated health professionals are registered against consistent, high quality, national professional standards and can practise across state and territory boarders without having to re-register in each jurisdiction.
The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law
The National Law is enacted in each state and territory.
Under the National Law, the objectives of the NRAS are to:
- provide for the protection of the public by ensuring that only practitioners who are suitably trained and qualified to practise in a competent and ethical manner are registered
- facilitate workforce mobility across Australia and reduce red tape for practitioners
- facilitate the provision of high quality education and training and rigorous and responsive assessment of overseas-trained practitioners
- have regard to the public interest in promoting access to health services
- have regard to the need to enable the continuous development of a flexible, responsive and sustainable Australian health workforce and enable innovation in education and service delivery.
A video about the National Scheme can be accessed at http://www.ahpra.gov.au/About-AHPRA/What-We-Do.aspx#video
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is the statutory authority responsible for administering the NRAS. It also provides support to the National Boards. AHPRA is required to establish procedures for developing registration standards, accreditation standards and codes and guidelines to ensure they are developed in accordance with good regulatory practice. The Agency Management Committee oversees the work of AHPRA and is appointed by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council.
More information about AHPRA and the NRAS can be found at https://www.ahpra.gov.au/
The National Boards
Each health profession that is part of the NRAS is regulated by a National Board.
The 14 National Boards are:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia
- Chinese Medicine Board of Australia
- Chiropractic Board of Australia
- Dental Board of Australia
- Medical Board of Australia
- Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia
- Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
- Occupational Therapy Board of Australia
- Optometry Board of Australia
- Osteopathy Board of Australia
- Pharmacy Board of Australia
- Physiotherapy Board of Australia
- Podiatry Board of Australia
- Psychology Board of Australia
The accreditation agencies
Accreditation authorities (external authorities or a committee established by a National Board) facilitate high quality education and training of health practitioners by assessing whether a program of study provides practitioners with the knowledge, skills and professional attributes to practise in the profession.