Progressing reforms to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law

Consultation paper: Regulation of Australia's health professions: keeping the National Law up to date and fit for purpose

 

Consultation on the second stage of reforms to the National Law is now open. We welcome your views on potential reforms included in the consultation paper:

Regulation of Australia's health professions: keeping the National Law up to date and fit for purpose (PDF)

Regulation of Australia's health professions: keeping the National Law up to date and fit for purpose (Word)

A number of documents are provided to help you prepare your response including:

The Guide to the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for health professions is also available and provides an overview of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS).
 

Responding to the consultation paper - Making a submission

All submissions are due by midnight Wednesday 31 October 2018.

Written submissions can be sent to NRAS.consultation@dhhs.vic.gov.au or by post to:

NRAS Review Implementation Project Secretariat

Health and Human Services Regulation and Reform

Department of Health and Human Services

GPO Box 4057

MELBOURNE VIC 3001

 

All submissions will be considered public documents and may be posted on this website, unless marked ‘private and confidential’. Additional information about the publishing of submissions, privacy and confidentiality is included in the response template.

 

Progressing reforms to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law

An Independent review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for health professions was undertaken in 2014–15. The NRAS Review recommended a number of reforms to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the National Law) which are being progressed in stages:

 

Stage 1

 

In 2017, the first stage of amendments were made to the National Law following extensive consultation as part of the NRAS Review. Further targeted consultation on the draft Bill was undertaken in February 2017, and this first stage of legislative reform will be completed when the provisions in the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017 commence. While some of these amendments came into effect in September 2017, staged commencement of others will occur through late 2018.

 

Key reforms included:

  • national registration for the profession of paramedicine
  • a new power for the COAG Health Council to change the structure of National Boards by regulation following consultation
  • recognition of nursing and midwifery as separate professions
  • strengthening notifications management and disciplinary and enforcement powers to improve their effectiveness and administration, and better protect the public
  • technical and miscellaneous amendments to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the National Law.

 

The Summary of the draft Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Amendment Act 2017(the stage 1 Amendment Bill) provides a detailed explanation of the reforms in the draft Bill. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  and Supplementary FAQs provide additional information. These documents include specific information relating to registration for paramedics.

 

Stage 1a

 

In March 2017, Health Ministers requested further urgent reforms to the National Law in relation to strengthened penalties and interim prohibition order powers. In August 2017, Ministers requested urgent advice on nationally consistent mandatory reporting provisions under the National Law to be progressed in advance of the Stage 2 process. In April 2018, Health Ministers agreed to a nationally consistent approach to mandatory reporting which will be drafted and proposes exemptions from the reporting of notifiable conduct by treating practitioners (noting Western Australia’s current arrangements are retained) and subject to other jurisdictional formal approval in certain circumstances. Further information in relation to these reforms are outlined in COAG Health Council communiques.

 

Stage 2

 

In July 2018, the second stage reform process began with the release of the consultation paper, Regulation of Australia's health professions: keeping the National Law up to date and fit for purpose. As well as implementing the remaining key reform proposals arising from the Independent Review that were not addressed in the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017, the Stage 2 process also includes:

  • Additional issues and proposals raised by Ministers, jurisdictions, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, the National Health Practitioner Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner and external stakeholders, which have been agreed for consideration
  • Recommended legislative reforms arising from other inquiries and reviews
  • Issues that arose during the consideration of the stage 1 Amendment Act.

 

Other NRAS Review reform projects that are currently underway or are yet to be finalised and/or released are:

  • the Independent Review of Accreditation Systems
  • the Review of NRAS Governance.