FAQ - Registration standards

Topics on this page include the Board's:

  • Continuing Professional Development Registration Standard 
  • English Language Skills Registration Standard 
  • Criminal History Registration Standard 
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance Arrangements Registration Standard 
  • Recency of Practice Registration Standard 
  • Grandparenting Registration Standard

Under the National Law, practitioners must meet nationally consistent registration standards and be adequately qualified to be able to practise. Each National Board has registration standards, including the following five mandatory standards (which are common across all the nationally registered professions):

  • continuing professional development
  • criminal history
  • English language skills
  • professional indemnity insurance
  • recency of practice

As well as the five mandatory standards, the Boards have also agreed on grandparenting arrangements, which are the special transitional arrangements that provide a possible pathway to registration for experienced practitioners who do not have the approved qualifications proposed by the National Board. If you want to apply for registration under the grandparenting provisions you must apply prior to 30 June 2015.

As of 4 February 2015, a new process applies for checking criminal history outside of Australia. For more information, please refer to the International criminal history page on the AHPRA website.

Information detailing these standards is available on this website.

If you do not have internet access, paper copies can be requested by phoning AHPRA on 1300 419 495.

 

Continuing professional development

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an interactive process to maintain, enhance and extend a practitioner’s knowledge, expertise and competence throughout his or her career. It is a process of lifelong learning for all individual practitioners and health care teams that ensures health practitioners’ knowledge and skill sets are up-to-date. The CPD cycle involves reviewing practice, identifying learning needs, planning and participating in relevant learning activities, and reflecting on the value of those activities. CPD helps to ensure that the needs of clients are met and that the health outcomes and healthcare priorities of the community are delivered.

All occupational therapists who hold general registration must complete a minimum of 30 hours of CPD per year. These CPD requirements and a guideline explaining them are available on this website. All practitioners must become familiar with these.

CPD is mandatory under the National law.

The community has the right to expect that health practitioners will provide services in a competent and contemporary way, and meet best practice standards. CPD is an important component in providing safe and effective services.

All registered health practitioners must undertake CPD. All practitioners must familiarise themselves with the board’s CPD requirements. To help you understand this standard, the Board has developed CPD guidelines.

The CPD requirements do not apply to students or practitioners who have been granted ‘non-practising’ registration.

Proper professional development is achieved through a wide range of activities practitioners may pursue throughout their career. There are many and varied opportunities for CPD and the Board has ensured that recognized CPD activities include options accessible to those whose opportunities are limited by cost or geography. Examples are provided in the Board’s CPD Guidelines.

The Board notes that practitioners who become professionally isolated are at higher risk of lapses in competence or judgment. This includes practitioners isolated by geography. Only a portion of CPD should be self-directed learning with no peer interaction.

You are not required to provide records beyond 30 hours of CPD if you are audited. However, recording more than 30 hours of CPD covers those instances where you may have included some items that are questionable in their relevance. You may not have achieved all of your goals upon completing 30 hours of CPD. It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of regularly recording your CPD. For all of these reasons, it’s good therefore to record all the CPD you do, regardless of whether this is in excess of the required 30 hours per year.

You need to keep a record of activities and hours of CPD – you can use the Board’s template example if you like. You also need a portfolio of evidence that supports the hours claimed. It can be any type of folder that helps you keep your evidence together. For example, if you attend a seminar, fill out the activity record, record the hours and then put the evidence – something that substantiates the activity – in your portfolio. In the webinar recorded in July 2014, the Chair of the Board showed examples of CPD records and portfolios. The webinar can be found on our website. It’s also a good idea to print out the CPD guidelines and flyer which you can keep with your portfolio as a quick-reference to CPD categories and what counts.

The three CPD categories are:

  • formal learning (up to a maximum of 25 hours per year) 
  • informal learning (up to a maximum of 25 hours per year), and 
  • engaging with the profession (up to a maximum of 10 hours per year).

Maximum hours apply because it’s valuable to do a diverse range of CPD activities, across at least two of the categories.

You do need to document your goals for CPD because clear goals help justify the activities that you’re claiming and also demonstrate how the activities that you are claiming relate to your current and/or intended scope of practice. Goals are also a good way to cover changes in your role or place of work, or management duties.

The CPD you undertake has to be relevant or specific to your current and/or intended scope of practice, and you should set goals that reflect this. It is expected that you would be choosing development activities that are relevant to your management and leadership role, aligned with your goals and your scope of practice.

Yes, if you keep detailed records and a portfolio of evidence. The same tips about record-keeping and relating the activity back to your goals apply, as detailed previously – or look at the guidelines on CPD for further information.

 

CPD - Supervision

Supervision of students can be recorded for CPD in category three – engaging with the profession.

It is recommended that you record each supervision session separately. It can be on the same template as other sessions, but it should be listed individually for each session. Include the date, the hours, the people who participated, the actions/outcomes and a summary of issues. The record should be signed by all parties.

Supervision can be recorded for CPD in category three – engaging with the profession. A maximum of 10 hours can be claimed in this category, out of the total 30 hours of CPD required each year. Evidence needs to be documented as detailed in the answer above.

In category three of CPD, you can claim up to 10 hours for activities which contribute to maintaining and developing quality in service delivery, training and development of students in occupational therapy and other disciplines. The Board’s CPD guideline will help you to identify what activities you can claim for CPD hours.

To be claimed as CPD in category two, the supervision received should be delivered by an occupational therapist with general registration, and it should relate to your CPD goals around your own scope of practice.

 

CPD Evidence

A record of attendance alone is not enough evidence that CPD has occurred in this case. What needs to be documented is the learning that occurred – this could be done in a variety of ways, such as hand written notes, or reflective journaling under category two – informal learning. Keep a record of hours, date and participants but most importantly, document the learning outcomes.

Reading counts in category two – informal learning, and up to 25 hours can be claimed as CPD in this category each year. It needs to be professional reading that is relevant to your goals and scope of practice. You should keep notes, or document in a journal your reflections about its relevance. You could make margin notes as you’re reading or write a summary at the end about the things you learned.

It is not mandatory to use our CPD template. You can create or use a template that suits your needs – as long as it contains sufficient detail. Note that if you are audited, you will need to provide a record of activities and evidence which substantiates the activities you have claimed.

The CPD you do has to be relevant or specific to your current and/or intended scope of practice, and you should set goals that reflect this. You can then assess whether the activities you’re recording relate back to these goals and your scope of practice.

The Board’s CPD standard includes a range of formal and informal activities, as well as engagement with the profession. You can refer to the CPD flyer as a quick-reference to what counts.

Some examples of things that would not count as CPD include: fire or building evacuation training, checking emails, general communication in the workplace or time spent compiling your CPD portfolio. If you’re unsure about whether an activity counts, ask yourself if you are developing or learning by doing these activities, in relation to your scope of practice as an occupational therapist.

Look at the list of options on the CPD flyer for some ideas. Activities in category two – informal learning, are a good option, particularly free or low-cost activities such as reading. The CPD requirements in the informal learning category have been developed with accessibility and affordability in mind. It is important that all occupational therapists participate regularly in activities that help you to learn and develop. A combination of activities in categories two and three can provide good opportunities to maintain and develop currency of knowledge, without accessing formal CPD events.

If you maintain general registration, yes, the CPD requirements are the same – 30 hours of CPD per year. You could consider applying in advance for a partial exemption for CPD or switching to non-practising registration if you are planning an extended break during which you will not be practising as an occupational therapist.

No, as the expectation is that if you are practising, you need to maintain currency and be undertaking development activities, regardless of the hours worked each week. We all need to engage in ongoing learning to update our knowledge, skills and to maintain currency of practice.

 

CPD - Non-practising

If you hold non-practising registration, then there is no requirement to meet the Board’s CPD standard of 30 hours per year.

No, you won’t need to meet the Board’s CPD standard before applying for general registration, provided you meet the recency of practice standard (i.e. you have practised for at least six months full-time equivalent in the past five years). Once you have general registration, you will need to complete 30 hours of CPD per year.

 

CPD - partial exemptions

You must submit a request for a CPD exemption in writing to AHPRA before the end of the registration period (30 November each year). Special circumstances are ill health, maternity/paternity or parenting leave, travelling overseas, ongoing medical condition, carers leave or other extenuating circumstances. The Board’s position is that even while not working, it is reasonable and not overly burdensome to normally expect a minimum of 12 hours of CPD by a practitioner for each registration period, unless a compelling reason exists to accept fewer hours of CPD. Refer to the partial exemptions guidance document for further information. This document also contains a request form and address details for lodgement of the form.

 

English language standards

General

The new English language skills registration standard came into effect on 1 July 2015.

In order to be registered as a health practitioner in Australia, you must be able to demonstrate that your English language skills will enable you to safely practice your profession. The English language skills registration standard is one of the five core standards required under the National Law.

Initial registration means the first time that you apply for registration as a health practitioner in Australia.

You are also considered to be applying for initial registration if:

  • your registration has lapsed (or you are moving from non-practising registration to another registration type) and you have not used English as your primary language for more than five years, and you are now re-applying for registration, or 
  • you currently hold or previously held limited registration and were granted an exemption from the English language registration standard under specified circumstances, and you are now applying for another type of registration.

There are four pathways that you can use to demonstrate your English language competence. These are outlined in the English Language skills registration standard. The pathways are:

  1. Primary language pathway 
  2. Combined secondary and tertiary education pathway 
  3. Extended education pathway, or 
  4. English language test pathway

Each pathway is outlined in the English Language skills registration standard.

A flow diagram to help you find the most appropriate pathway for you can be found on the English language skills page on the AHPRA website.

If you grew up and completed all of your education in Australia, the most appropriate pathway for you is the combined secondary and tertiary education pathway. This pathway requires that at least two years of your secondary education as well as the qualification you are relying on for registration were taught and assessed in English in a recognised country (such as Australia). Although you may meet the standard through other pathways, it will be easiest for you to satisfy the evidence requirements (see evidence guide on the English language skills page on the AHPRA website) through this pathway.

If your qualification was taught and assessed in English, and English is your primary language, the primary language pathway is the most appropriate for you.

This pathway requires that English is your primary language (that is, the language you use most frequently and are most familiar and comfortable with), that you completed all of your primary and secondary education in English in a recognised country (such as Australia) and that the qualification you are relying on for registration was taught and assessed in English. However, this qualification does not need to have been obtained in a recognised country.

If your qualification as a health practitioner was not taught and assessed in English, you will need to demonstrate that you meet the standard through the English language test pathway.

If you have completed at least six years (full-time equivalent) continuous education in English, including your relevant health qualification, in a recognised country, you meet the standard through the extended education pathway.

If your qualification as a health practitioner was not taught and assessed in English, you will need to demonstrate that you meet the standard through the English language test pathway.

The information you provide in your application for registration about your English language skills may be checked by AHPRA. However, it is up to you to ensure that you maintain your level of English language proficiency once you are registered, even if you frequently communicate with patients in a language other than English.

The National Boards and AHPRA may also reassess your English language skills if specific concerns arise, e.g. if a complaint is made about you.

The recognised countries are: Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and South Africa. With the exception of South Africa and Australia, these countries are the same as the countries recognised by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) for the purpose of exempting visa applicants from having to sit a test to demonstrate English language competency.

This approach reflects similar approaches taken by state and territory health practitioner boards in Australia before the National Scheme commenced, as well as National Boards' experience since the National Scheme started. The recognised countries have health care delivery systems with significant similarities to Australia. In most of these countries, health care is almost always delivered in English.

South Africa is included in the list of ‘recognised countries’ in the standard, consistent with the approach taken by a number of Australian health practitioner regulators before the National Scheme started. In developing the current standard, National Boards consulted on whether South Africa should be removed from the list, bringing it into line with DIBP. After considering the available evidence, National Boards decided that South Africa should remain on the list of recognised countries for the time being.

At this time there are no plans to add any new countries to the list of ‘recognised countries’.

This issue was considered as part of the recent review of English language skills registration standards but no substantive evidence to support the addition of new countries was uncovered.

National Boards may reconsider this issue in future reviews of the standard if new evidence comes to light.

The English language skills registration standard applies to all applicants for initial registration as a health practitioner in Australia. This means that all new applicants for registration must meet the standard, regardless of their language background or visa status.

The standard aligns closely with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) English language requirements for skilled migration visas. The four tests listed in the new standard – IELTS Academic, OET, TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic – are also used by DIBP to assess English language competence. If you sat one of these tests as part of your application for a skilled migration visa in the past two years and you achieved the results specified in the standard, you can use those results and do not need to sit another test.

Note that the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test is accepted by DIBP but is not currently accepted by National Boards.

The new English language skills registration standard has been developed to ensure that the high level of English language skill expected of registered health practitioners in Australia is maintained. However, additional pathways have been added to ensure that applicants who demonstrably meet the standard are not disadvantaged due to their particular circumstances. The new standard also includes two new English language tests, giving applicants greater choice in how they demonstrate that they meet the standard through the English language test pathway. Increasing the number of test sittings from which results can be counted in certain circumstances also provides reasonable flexibility for applicants, without altering the level of English language competence required in order to meet the standard.

 

English language tests

The tests used by the National Boards to determine English language competence are also used by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) to determine visa eligibility. The scores required to demonstrate English language competence for each test are specified in the standard. Each test is slightly different, however the scores required to meet the standard have been benchmarked so they are set at equivalent levels across all the tests. It is not easier to achieve the required scores on one test, compared with any of the others.

The IELTS, PTE Academic and TOEFL iBT test can be taken by applicants from any profession. Currently, the OET test is not applicable for chiropractic, osteopathy and psychology applicants for registration, as OET has not yet developed a specific test for these professions. For Chinese medicine, any of the existing OET tests will be accepted as evidence.

In choosing which test to sit, you will need to do your own research and decide on which test is the most suitable or convenient for you. Links to the tests are published on the English language skills page on the AHPRA website.

International medical graduates may also rely on their results of the NZREX clinical exam (NZ) or Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test (UK). For further information, see FAQs medicine below.

Ideally, you will be able to demonstrate that you meet the standard in one test sitting. However, National Boards will accept results from a maximum of two test sittings in a six month period so long as certain minimum scores are achieved in each sitting. These vary from test to test and are outlined in the standard. Note that this does not mean that you can only sit the test twice in the six month period; you may sit the test more than twice if you wish (although this is not recommended by the testing authorities). However, only the results from two sittings will be considered by National Boards.

No, you will need to re-sit the entire test and achieve the required result in the relevant component, and any other minimum scores as outlined in the standard.

If you do not achieve the required results, you will have to re-sit the entire test again. You may only count the results of two tests within a six month period.

Generally, yes.

However there are certain circumstances in which you may not have to sit another test. If, within twelve months of sitting the test, you started or continued employment as a registered health practitioner in one of the recognised countries where English was the primary language of practice; or you commenced or continued your enrolment in a Board approved program of study and you applied for registration within 12 months of completing that employment or study, you may not have to sit another test. Each application will be assessed to ensure that the employment or study undertaken satisfies the requirements specified in the standard.

For further information on the evidence you will need to verify your test result and your period of employment or study, please see the English language skills registration standard evidence guide published on the English language skills page on the AHPRA website.

No. If you have demonstrated that you meet the standard through the English language test pathway, you do not need to sit another test as long as you remain registered.

If the two tests were taken within a six month period, and the first test was taken less than two years ago, then it is possible that you now meet the standard. Your results will need to be assessed to ensure that they meet all the criteria for multiple test sittings specified in the standard. You should contact AHPRA to check the status of your application.

 

Evidence requirements

The evidence required to demonstrate secondary education taught and assessed in English in one of the seven recognised countries listed in the standard may vary, depending on where it occurred.

For detailed information about the evidence you need to provide, please see the English language skills registration standard evidence guide published on the English language skills page on the AHPRA website.

The evidence required to demonstrate tertiary education taught and assessed in English in one of the seven recognised countries listed in the standard may vary, depending on where it occurred.

For detailed information about the evidence you need to provide, please see the English language skills registration standard evidence guide published on the English language skills page on the AHPRA website.

You should provide as much information as possible in the application form. AHPRA will consider whether the information you have provided is sufficient evidence of meeting the standard. If not, you may need to sit an English language test.

‘Full-time equivalent’ means:

  • a course load that a student would need to take in order to complete a course in the minimum time (not including accelerated or fast-track courses). For example, a full-time load for a four year undergraduate degree would be the normal course load for a student who would expect to complete that degree in four years, or 
  • a combination of part-time courses, which together make up a full-time course load. For example, two part-time courses taken at the same time, each consisting of a 50% course load.

Course loads for particular programs of study are set by educational institutions.

If your course load is greater than full-time, you cannot count the additional study towards the total number of years you are claiming. For example, if you are undertaking full-time study for a particular course, but are also studying another course part-time, you cannot claim the equivalent of 1.5 times the duration of study in English. That is, one year of full-time equivalent study is the maximum that you can claim in a single year, regardless of whether your subject load would normally be considered to be in excess of full-time.

You can count part-time studies as long as your overall course load is full-time equivalent. For example, you may be studying one part-time course with a 40% course load and another part-time course with a 60% course load. Together, this would be considered a full-time equivalent course load.

Any period of leave within the 6 years extended education that is not an education institution’s scheduled holiday, eg for overseas travel or maternity leave, means that the 6 years is not continuous as required by the English language skills registration standard. The best option in this situation is to use the English language test pathway, which is intended for applicants who cannot meet the other pathways in the standard and is not affected by gaps in education or employment.

Yes, as long as your overall course load is full-time equivalent and it meets the requirements in the definition for vocational education. Please see the English language skills registration standard evidence guide for the definition for vocational education.

Yes, you may be able to include this course if it meets the requirements in the definition for vocational education. The length of time you may count towards the required number of years of study in English will depend on whether you studied full-time or part-time. If you studied part-time, you can only count this course if you were studying another course part-time (that also meets the requirements in the definition), such that your total hours of study in English would be considered ‘full-time equivalent’.

Potentially. You can count online study provided that the course requires you to use English language speaking, writing, reading and listening skills. Courses that are delivered entirely online and do not require students to use all these English language skills to communicate are not acceptable. For vocational education, the course must also meet the requirements in the definition for vocational education. You may be required to provide further evidence about the program and delivery method.

It is unlikely. Traineeships and apprenticeships generally involve full time work and on the job training by an employer, which is supplemented by some formal education with a Registered Training Organisation, whereas the extended education pathway considers a full time course of study that is formally assessed. For example, a Pharmacy intern training program will not be accepted as vocational education under the extended education pathway.

 

Criminal History

As of 4 February 2015, a new process applies for checking criminal history outside of Australia. This new approach requires certain applicants and registered practitioners to apply for an international criminal history check from an AHPRA approved supplier. For more information, please refer to the International criminal history page on the AHPRA website.

The Board will consider ten factors (which are set out in the criminal history registration standard) when deciding whether your criminal history will affect your application for registration. Factors include such things as, the nature and gravity of the offence and its relevance to health practice, time that has elapsed since the offence, whether or not the offence is part of a pattern of behaviour, and so on. While every case will need to be decided on an individual basis, the ten factors provide the basis for the Board’s consideration.

No, you do not need to obtain a police check. AHPRA will conduct a domestic criminal history check if you are selected for audit on the criminal history standard. Note that a criminal history check is more detailed and goes further than a police check (which only covers the past 10 years).

From 4 February 2015 onwards, a new process will apply for checking criminal history outside of Australia. This new approach requires certain applicants and registered practitioners to apply for an international criminal history check from an AHPRA approved supplier. For more information, please refer to the international criminal history page on the AHPRA website.

Yes, you should declare anything you think falls within the standard, and this will be examined on a case-by-case basis. Refer to the Board’s criminal history standard for more information.

 

Professional indemnity insurance

The PII required for registration of health professionals is designed to cover the risks arising from a health practitioner’s provision of health care to a person.

Under the National Law, a registered health practitioner must not practise their profession unless they have appropriate PII arrangements in force. The Board may require a registrant to provide evidence of this. The PII registration standard is available on this website.

Public hospitals and other public sector employers often provide PII cover for their employees, however, it is the responsibility of the individual registrant to check that appropriate PII arrangements are in place.

No. The PII requirements do not apply to a person granted non-practising registration. The PII registration standard is available on this website.

It’s the responsibility of each practitioner to do the assessment of what the risks are and what level of insurance is required for your scope of practice. The Board’s Registration standard for PII provides a series of prompts that help you to assess the risks that are involved in your area of practice. If you’re in doubt about what’s an appropriate level of cover, you might find it helpful to consult an insurance professional. They will help you assess the potential risk of harm to the public and the appropriate level of cover for you.

If you hold general registration, you must hold Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) for any practice you undertake. This includes paid and voluntary practice. While you are not doing any practice at all, you will not need PII. Note that the Board’s definition of practice is broad, and can be found on the non-practising registration form.

 

Recency of practice and Re-entry to practice

Recency of practice refers to how recently you have practiced your profession, as well as the nature and extent of that practice.

In accordance with the National Law, the Board may decide that an individual is not a suitable person to hold general registration in the occupational therapy profession if the nature, extent, period and recency of any previous practice of the profession is not sufficient to meet the Board’s recency of practice registration standard.

When a practitioner renews their registration, they must also make a declaration that they have met the requirements set out in the recency of practice registration standard.

This registration standard applies to everyone applying for initial registration or renewal of registration. It does not apply to students or practitioners who have non-practising registration.

The Occupational Therapy Board of Australia (the Board) requires practitioners maintain competence to practice.
The Board requires that a minimum of six months full time equivalent (FTE) occupational therapy practice has been undertaken during the five-year period prior to commencement of the registration period.

Practitioners returning to practice following a break longer than five years are required to have completed 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in the 12 months before applying for registration, regardless of the other requirements required for re-entry. 

Thirty hours per week or more is considered full-time by the Board.

The Board considers 30 hours per week to be full-time equivalent. Based on this, six months full-time practice in the previous five years would be equal to 720 hours of practice. Full-time equivalent hours can also be accumulated through part-time work.

The Board’s definition of ‘practice’ is broad and inclusive. Practice means any role, whether remunerated or not, in which you use your skills and knowledge as a health practitioner in your profession. Practice is not restricted to the provision of direct clinical care. It also includes working in a direct, non-clinical relationship with clients, working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory, or policy development roles, and any other roles, that impact on safe, effective delivery of services in the profession and or/use their professional skills. Based on this definition, there are a number of different ways in which you may be able to demonstrate your competency to practise in your profession.

Practitioners planning a break from practice, should familiarise themselves with the Board’s Recency of practice registration standard.

The standard provides important information which will allow you to plan for your return to practice by ensuring you maintain your recency of practice, regardless of your period of absence.

If you are planning a break from practice, but anticipate returning to occupational therapy practice at some point in the future, it is important that you consider the following questions:

  • Do I want to return to practice?
  • How long will my absence from practice be?
  • How quickly will I want to return to practice?
  • Can I meet the continuing professional development requirements while I’m taking a break?

Whether you’re taking parental leave, or intending to travel, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for an absence.

If you are a practitioner re-entering the workforce your AHPRA case officers, or the AHPRA Customer Service Team assist you to navigate the return to work process, understand the Board’s expectations in relation to supervised practice or to seek advice when planning a break from practice.

Practising occupational therapy overseas can count for the purposes of meeting the Board’s recency of practice and CPD requirements if you keep detailed records.

Evidence could include certificates of service from employers that record details of hours (part-time or full-time).

If you decide to maintain your general registration you are expected to meet all the Board’s registration standards.

As an alternative, you might want to consider switching to non-practising registration, which has a lower fee and no CPD or PII requirements. This is a better option than letting your registration in Australia lapse.

If you decide to maintain your general registration during your period of maternity or parental leave, you will need to ensure you meet all the Board’s registration standards, including the requirement to complete 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) per year.

You may wish to consider applying in advance for a partial exemption from the CPD requirement by submitting a written request to AHPRA before the end of the current registration period (30 November each year)

The Board’s position is that even while you are not working, it is reasonable and not overly burdensome to complete a minimum of 12 hours of CPD for the registration period.

You can refer to the partial exemptions guidance document for further information.

As an alternative, you might want to consider switching to non-practising registration, which has a lower fee and no CPD or PII requirements.

For periods of absence longer than five years, you will need to be mindful of the Board’s requirements as set out in the Board's recency of practice registration standard.

The Board’s assessment of applications and renewals that do not meet the recency of practice requirement will take into account a range of items. The Board may decide, based on the evidence and circumstances, to:

  • grant or renew general registration
  • grant general registration, but require the completion of a period of supervised practice in addition to other conditions to ensure competency, or
  • grant provisional registration to complete supervised practice, noting that this option will typically be reserved for applicants who have had extensive breaks from practice of between 10 and 20 years. 

It is the responsibility of the individual to seek their own supervision arrangements, including finding an appropriate supervisor. If you require further guidance on the process please contact the AHPRA Customer Service Team.

The supervisee and proposed supervisor should also ensure that they are familiar with the Supervision guidelines for occupational therapy.

To be a supervisor you must be a suitably qualified and experienced occupational therapist with general registration who will assess, monitor and report about the performance of the practitioner under supervision to the Board. Supervisors will preferably have more than two years experience as an occupational therapist. Supervisors should not themselves be subject to Board-related supervisory arrangements and their registration should not be subject to conditions or undertakings that would affect their ability to effectively supervise the practitioner.

The Board does not consider that it is overly burdensome for a practitioner to undertake the role of being a supervisor. Instead, it is expected that the role of a supervisor, would be no different from a standard mentor relationship that would exist in most work environments for new employees.

A supervisor must formally consent to act as a supervisor and must be approved by the Board.

If you are approved as a supervisor, it is your responsibility to assess, monitor and report about the performance of a practitioner undertaking supervised practice to the Board.

If you are a supervisor supporting a practitioner to re-enter the workforce, the AHPRA Customer Service Team can help you understand the Board’s expectations in relation to supervised practice.

The Board may consider other registered health practitioners as supervisors in exceptional circumstances. If you are requesting that the Board consider other health practitioners as your proposed supervisor, this should be accompanied with an explanation for this request to assist the Board in making an informed decision for the proposed supervision arrangement.

You and the proposed supervisor must provide the following to the Board.

  • a signed supervision agreement, which is available, and
  • any other supporting documentation, such as your registration application, position description, fees, completion of an orientation to the Australia health care system report (if your qualification was obtained outside of Australia).

If you haven’t already, you and your approved supervisor must provide a supervised practice plan that sets out the objectives, levels, type and amount of supervision proposed and how supervision is to occur. A supervised practice plan template and guidance on how to complete a supervised practice plan is available on the Board's website.

The Board may exercise its discretion in requiring different levels of supervision to those proposed in the supervised practice plan and make other amendments to the plan as it sees fit.

The main cause for delay in processing applications is when the information provided by an applicant is incomplete. To facilitate the quick processing of applications, applicants are encouraged to lodge their application early and to thoroughly check their application to ensure that they have provided full and complete information.

All things being considered and with a straightforward application, applicants would normally expect applications to be processed within a month although this may be longer during peak periods (for example, during the annual renewal period).

Further information about the registration process can be found on the AHPRA website.

 

Grandparenting arrangements

Grandparenting arrangements are the special transitional arrangements that provide a possible pathway to registration for experienced practitioners who do not have the approved qualifications proposed by the national board. The Grandparenting registration standard is available on this website.

These special transitional arrangements for registration are set out under Section 303 of the National Law and are available until 30 June 2015. The grandparenting arrangements end after 30 June 2015 and applicants will no longer be able to register using this pathway. Instead, all registrants will be required to meet all the Board standards including those for qualifications, skills and training.

It may be possible for you to register using the grandparenting provisions. You will have to submit evidence that you have practised for at least five years between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2012 and you will also have to submit evidence of competence.

The five year’s practice requirement is understood to mean full-time equivalent.

 
 
 
Page reviewed 16/10/2014