National Registration and Accreditation Scheme
State and territory governments established the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for health practitioners in 2010 by introducing consistent legislation in all jurisdictions. While NRAS is not an Australian Government scheme, it affects the health workforce across the country.
About the scheme
The Council of Australian Governments established the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) so there would be one scheme for registered health professionals in Australia.
The scheme started in 2010 and now covers 15 professions:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners
- Chinese medicine practitioners
- dental practitioners
- medical radiation practitioners
- medical practitioners
- nurses and midwives
- occupational therapists
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.
See Aphra’s site for more about the scheme.
Why it is important
NRAS is important because it:
- ensures that all regulated health professionals are registered against consistent, high-quality, national professional standards
- makes it easier for health professionals to work across different states and territories in Australia, as they don’t have to re-register in each jurisdiction.
Complaints about health professionals
You can complain about a registered health practitioner or student if you think they are behaving unsafely. Under the National Law, these complaints are called notifications and Ahpra receives them on behalf of the relevant board.
Practitioners, employers and education providers must make mandatory notifications in some circumstances.
Complaints about unregistered professions
The National Code of Conduct for health care workers sets minimum standards of conduct and practice for all unregistered health care workers who provide a health service. Under this code, you can complain about incompetent or impaired health care workers, or those behaving in exploitative, predatory or illegal ways.
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (Ahpra)
Ahpra is the organisation responsible for the implementation of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme across Australia.