The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme

The Forum commenced by considering the COAG plans for health workforce reform. The Forum supported the aim of national registration for the regulated health professions, and that of national accreditation schemes to ensure practitioners are educated to appropriate standards. Since that time it has worked to ensure that the requirements of best practice in accreditation and the independence of the accreditation bodies is reflected in the National Law and in the implementation of the Law.

The Forum, particularly in relation to the planning for the NRAS, has met with State and Territory Ministers for Health; responded to consultations; made submissions (several of which are available on the Statements and Submissions page); attended consultation forums; attended reference groups; and generally had significant involvement in the implementation project.

Following the commencement the NRAS the Forum has continued to be engaged with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and with the Chairs of the National Boards in relation to the operation of the Scheme, particularly in the area of accreditation, education and training. In 2011 the Forum, the National Boards and the AHPRA established a representative joint Accreditation Working Party to prepare papers for consideration by the full membership of the Forum and the National Boards and the AHPRA to ensure an agreed understanding of the accreditation functions under the National Law and the shared responsibilities. Since 2012 this cooperative work has continued with the establishment of the Accreditation Liaison Group (with representatives of AHPRA, the Chairs of the National Boards, and the Forum) working together in preparation for the review of the accreditation arrangements by the National Boards and developing the process for the consultation and review, which was agreed by AHPRA, the National Boards and the Accreditation Councils. Since 2014 the Accreditation Liaison Group has included representation of the Accreditation Authorities which are Accreditation Committees of National Boards.

Good Practice in Accreditation

The Forum endorsed the Professions Australia document: Standards for Professional Accreditation Processes June 2008 as representing the principles for professional accreditation processes agreed by the Councils. Since the Forum adopted this document in 2008 the NRAS has commenced. To assist in building a common understanding of good practice in accreditation of the registered health professions, with the permission of Professions Australia, the Forum has customised the general principles to apply particularly in the context of health professions education and to reflect the provisions and terminology of the National Law in a document Good Practice in Accreditation of Health Profession Education Programs. In addition the Forum has articulated the essential requirements for delivery of appropriate health profession education programs in Essential Elements of Education and Training in the Registered Health Professions.

National Developments

The Forum was actively engaged with the National Health Workforce Taskforce (NHWT) regarding the NHWT Projects, particularly those on Clinical Placements and Clinical Supervision.

The Forum contributed to the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Project through attendance at Consultation Forum, and with the then Chair being a member of the ALTC Academic Standards Project Health, Medicine and Veterinary Science Advisory Group. The Forum continues to have an involvement with the work that has continued from this project – the Harmonising Project.

The Forum commenced engagement with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) as it was being established and has met with the Chief Commissioner.

Workshops / Events

Interprofessional education Workshop, June 2015, Melbourne Collaborating for Patient Care – Interprofessional Learning for Interprofessional Practice”

The Australian Medical Council (AMC), in collaboration with the Australian Pharmacy Council, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council, and the Council on Chiropractic Education Australasia, held a workshop with the aim of improving delivery of coordinated interprofessional education between health professions in Australia.

The workshop was held with support and input from the Health Professions Accreditation Councils Forum (the Forum). It brought together representatives of the regulated health professions’ national boards and accreditation authorities, self-regulating health professions, education providers, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), representatives of government health departments and academics working in this field.

The workshop explored a common understanding of what is meant by interprofessional education, present and discuss international examples of good interprofessional education and assessment, and examine any implications for accreditation functions.

The regulated health professions’ accreditation councils and national boards met, after the workshop and discussed what the workshop outcomes could mean for accreditation processes.

    Outcomes sought from the workshop:

  • Support health profession collaboration for patient care through raised awareness of interprofessional practice and interprofessional health education in Australia
  • Consider learning outcomes of interprofessional education and what makes for success in interprofessional education
  • Explore how accreditation authorities can support interprofessional education in carrying out their accreditation functions
  • Improve understanding of contributing organisations’ roles in delivery, standards setting and regulation of responsible, flexible and innovative health profession education
  • Contribute to improved collaboration and coordination on interprofessional education through opportunities for networking and sharing good practice
  • Determine measurable goals and propose strategies for national boards, accreditation councils, education providers and health service providers to support interprofessional education (an interprofessional action plan).

Update at November 2015 – The Forum members have agreed to the outcomes of this Interprofessional learning (IPE) workshop and have released a position statement. The final report has been released for this event: Workshop Report: Collaborating for Patient Care – Interprofessional Learning for Interprofessional Practice.

Accreditation Workshop, August 2013, Melbourne

A number of representatives from each of the member Councils attended a self funded workshop on accreditation processes. The workshop concentrated on 4 of the attributes in the Quality Framework for Accreditation, as outlined in Accreditation under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act.

  • Managing conflicts of interest.
  • Evaluating new programs and providers.
  • Major program changes.
  • Training of panel members, selection process, issues for assessment of team members.
    The aims of the workshop were:

  • To strengthen networking opportunities and shared understanding of the accreditation processes used by the accreditation Councils operating in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS).
  • To learn from each other’s experience and provide all members the opportunity to share good practice and identify future challenges.
  • To further the Forum’s understanding of sound practice and processes of accreditation.
  • To identify areas for approaches to future collaboration and sharing by Forum members and provide participants with the opportunity to develop action plans (where relevant) arising from the workshop key topics.