Reforming accreditation for specialist medical training sites

Health ministers in Australia asked the National Health Practitioner Ombudsman to review the process for accrediting specialist medical college training sites. Learn more about the resulting reform that’s in progress.

About the reform

In 2018 Professor Michael Woods completed a review of accreditation systems within the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. He recommended that the National Health Practitioner Ombudsman review some of the processes of accreditation organisations.

The National Health Practitioner Ombudsman reviewed accreditation processes for transparency and fairness, including complaint and appeal processes. The review found that the complex process has led to gaps in accountability related to accreditation of specialist medical training sites. Learn more about their review and its outcomes.

The Health Workforce Taskforce is working with the Australian Medical Council and medical colleges on implementing the National Health Practitioner Ombudsman’s recommendations. The taskforce will evaluate the implementation and report to the Health Ministers’ Meeting in November 2024.

Why it is important

Medical colleges play a critical role in making sure doctors are appropriately trained, so patients can access the care they need in a safe environment. Making sure that Australia’s specialist medical training sites are properly accredited is key to ensuring this.

It is also important that our specialist medical training sites can respond to both current and future workforce needs.

Implementation update

Communication protocol

The Australian Medical Council (AMC) has a key role in developing accreditation standards for medical programs in Australia. In consultation with specialist medical colleges and jurisdictions, they have developed a communication protocol that outlines the roles and responsibilities, related to accreditation of training sites, for:

  • specialist medical colleges
  • health departments
  • accredited organisations.

The protocol will:

  • clarify responsibilities for the training and supply of the medical workforce
  • help improve communication about accreditation between all stakeholders.

The Health Chief Executives’ Forum (HCEF) has endorsed the protocol. All specialist medical colleges have agreed to the protocol, except for the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians.

The protocol requires all parties to establish a generic contact point that receives all communications concerning accreditation of training site matters. See the list of contacts on the AMC website.


Health Workforce Taskforce secretariat

Contact us for more information about the Health Workforce Taskforce.
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