May 1, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
There are 14 National Boards in Australia. Each of these Boards represents and regulates a specific health profession. The main responsibility of these National Boards is to protect the public from all healthcare aberrations by setting policies and standards that all registered health practitioners are required to meet. The National Boards also register all practitioners and students in that particular specialty. All 14 National Boards are supported by the AHPRA or the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
In addition to supporting the National Boards in their primary role of protecting the public, AHPRA also manages the registration and renewal processes for medical professionals and medical students around Australia. The registration information of individual practitioners is made available to the public through national registers.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has offices in every state and territory across Australia where anyone can make a complaint about a registered health practitioner or student. In case of a complaint, the organisation acts on behalf of the Boards and conducts investigations into the professional performance and conduct of the individual.
AHPRA also helps the Boards develop appropriate registration standards, codes and guidelines.
According to the National Law, which came into effect on 1st July 2010, in the interest of public safety, it is mandatory for all medical students to be registered with AHPRA. The law was introduced in order to have consistent regulation standards for the 14 health professions. It enables the National Boards and AHPRA to take action in case of student impairment concerns or when there is a conviction of a severe nature that may impact on public safety.
Under this law, all students enrolled in approved study programmes or undertaking clinical training are required to notify the local AHPRA office if they have been convicted of or charged with an offence punishable by more than 12 months imprisonment, they have contravened an existing condition or undertaking or their registration under the law of another country that provides for the registration of students has been suspended or revoked.
AHPRA typically receives notifications against students and healthcare professionals, from persons or organisations who may voluntarily report the student for a professional transgression or criminal matter and/or a contravention of an existing condition or undertaking. They may also receive notifications from education providers who are legally required to report students whose health is impaired to such a degree that there may be substantial risk of harm to the public.
All notifications that AHPRA receives are assessed to determine whether it poses any risk to public health or safety. Action is only taken if it is considered necessary to safeguard public health or safety.
National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency do not play any role in the academic progress of students. Matters relating to academic progress are addressed by the education providers.