National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS)

The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for health practitioners commenced on 1 July 2010. The NRAS has been established by state and territory governments through the introduction of consistent legislation in all jurisdictions. The NRAS is not a Commonwealth Scheme.

Page last updated: 02 February 2016

The aims of NRAS include:

  • protecting the public by ensuring that only suitably trained and qualified practitioners are registered;
  • facilitating workforce mobility across Australia; and
  • enabling the continuous development of a flexible, responsive and sustainable Australian health workforce.

Professions currently regulated under the NRAS are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practice
  • Chinese medicine
  • chiropractic
  • dental practice
  • medicine
  • medical radiation practice
  • nursing and midwifery
  • occupational therapy
  • optometry
  • osteopathy
  • pharmacy
  • physiotherapy
  • podiatry
  • psychology

Each profession has a National Board which regulates the profession, registers practitioners and develops standards, codes and guidelines for the profession. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) administers NRAS and provides administrative support to the National Boards.

Further information for members of the public, employers, educators or practitioners is available at the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website.

Unregistered Professions

National registration is currently confined to those health professions which were already regulated or partially regulated prior to 1 July 2010. However, with concerns raised about the risks associated with the provision of health care services by unregistered or unqualified practitioners, on 17 April 2015 Health Ministers agreed to the first National Code of Conduct for health care workers (the National Code), which sets standards of conduct and practice for all unregistered health care workers who are not registered under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. Health Ministers also agreed that each State and Territory will be responsible for enacting new or amending existing legislation and regulations and determining a suitable local body to receive and investigate breaches of the National Code and issue prohibition orders. The implementation of the National Code will also provide for a nationally accessible web based register of prohibition orders.

The National Code was released on 20 April 2015.

Recency of Practice

National Boards are responsible for regulating the practice of each profession by registering practitioners and developing professional practice standards. Specific registration standards for each profession fall under the responsibility of the respective boards. Details of each board’s standards, including recency of practice, can be found on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website. Concerns or questions about standards should be directed to the relevant board.

English Language Standards

National Boards are responsible for regulating the practice of each profession by registering practitioners and developing professional practice standards. Specific registration standards for each profession fall under the responsibility of the respective boards. Details of each board's standards including the English language skills registration standard can be found on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website. Concerns or questions about standards should be directed to the relevant board.

Complaints about practitioners

Members of the public are able to complain about a health practitioner or student’s health, conduct or performance under the NRAS. Under the National Law, these complaints are called notifications and are received by AHPRA on behalf of the relevant Board. Practitioners, employers and education providers are all mandated by law to report notifiable conduct relating to a registered practitioner or student. Notifiable conduct is limited to situations:

  • where a practitioner practises the profession while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs;
  • where a practitioner practises in a way that places the public at risk of substantial harm because of an impairment;
  • where a practitioner practises in a way that constitutes a significant departure from accepted professional standards; or
  • where a practitioner engages in sexual misconduct in connection with the practise of the profession.

Further information for members of the public, employers, educators or practitioners is available at the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website.


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