Overview of the National Registration & Accreditation Scheme and the National Law

The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law) is an Act providing for the adoption of a national law to establish a national registration and accreditation scheme for health practitioners.

In 2008 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) decided to establish a single National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for 10 health professions. In 2012 four more health professions joined NRAS, including Chinese Medicine.

There is a National Board for each profession. AHPRA is the single agency that supports the Boards and the National Scheme.

Further information on the National Law is available on the AHPRA website under Legislation.

In 2008 the Council of Australian Governments decided to establish a single National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for 10 health professions. There is a National Board for each profession. AHPRA is the single agency that supports the Boards and the National Scheme. AHPRA has offices in each state and territory, with the head office in Melbourne.

A further four health professions joined the scheme from 1 July 2012, including Chinese medicine practitioners. The National Scheme has been established under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act (the National Law), as in force in each state and territory. The Board's main purpose is to protect the public by registering suitability qualified, safe and competent practitioners. The Board is led by the profession and is separate to, and independent of, professional associations and unions.

Further information on the National Law is available on the AHPRA website under Legislation.

Each of the National Boards has responsibility for the regulation of a specific profession such as Chinese medicine under the National Law. The primary role of each National Board is to protect the public and set standards and policies that health practitioners must meet in order to be registered.

The Chinese Medicine Board of Australia was appointed by Australian Health Ministers in July 2011. Its work includes:

  • developing and consulting on registration standards, codes and guidelines for the profession
  • registering Chinese medicine practitioners and students
  • handling notifications, complaints, investigations and disciplinary hearings
  • keeping the national register of practitioners.

The Chinese Medicine Board of Australia currently meets on a monthly basis. A communique from each Board meeting is published on the Board's website for general information.

The key principles are:

  • that the National Scheme is to operate in a transparent, accountable, efficient, effective and fair way
  • fees required to be paid are to be reasonable
  • restrictions on the practice of a health profession are only to be imposed if they are needed to make sure that health services are safe and appropriate.

Some of the benefits of the National Scheme are:

  • once a practitioner is registered they can practice anywhere in Australia
  • everyone who is registered has to meet the same standards.

A national Register of Practitioners is available on the AHPRA website so that everyone can see who is registered and can see any conditions which are attached to a practitioner's registration (note that if a practitioner has any health conditions which are attached to their registration, these will not appear on the national register).

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners
  • Chinese medicine practitioners
  • Chiropractors
  • Dental practitioners (including dentists, dental hygienists, dental prosthetists & dental therapists)
  • Medical practitioners
  • Medical radiation practitioners
  • Nurses and midwives
  • Occupational therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Osteopaths
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Psychologists

Practice means any role, whether remunerated or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a health practitioner in their profession. For the purposes of this registration standard, practice is not restricted to the provision of direct clinical care. It also includes working in a direct nonclinical relationship with clients; working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy development roles; and any other roles that impact on safe, effective delivery of services in the profession and/or use their professional skills.

 
 
 
Page reviewed 25/09/2013