Translating Publications of the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia


The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law) limits the use of certain titles. The protected titles for Chinese medicine are Chinese medicine practitioner, Chinese herbal dispenser, Chinese herbal medicine practitioner, Oriental medicine practitioner and acupuncturist (see s.113 of the National Law).


The Chinese Medicine Board of Australia has an English Language Standard which was approved by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council in December 2011 pursuant to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law), with approval which took effect from 1 July 2012.

Under transitional arrangements that apply only to applications for registration applications received up to 30 June 2015, some registered practitioners who are unable to meet the standard have English language conditions of registration. This allows those practitioners to register and engage in clinical practice involving direct patient contact, subject to meeting these conditions which ensure effective communication with patients and emergency services.

It is expected that registered Chinese medicine practitioners will make suitable arrangements to ensure their understanding of all documents issued by the Board. These documents are always published in English.

From time to time, however, the Board will consider the need to translate some publications into other languages to facilitate understanding. To ensure consistency, the Board has agreed on the following principles to facilitate timely and good decision making on this issue.

National Board position: the agreed principles

The Board has agreed to the following principles for assessing whether to translate publications:

  • whether the document relates to a significant public safety issue 
  • the primacy/relevance of the document to the issue 
  • the existence of notifications/breaches related to the issue 
  • cost-effectiveness of providing in-language publications, i.e. potential for achieving improved compliance and minimisation of future breaches

Each situation will be individually assessed against these principles.

Page reviewed 10/09/2014