Occupational Therapy Board of Australia - Overview of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme
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Overview of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme

In 2008 the Council of Australian Governments decided to establish a single National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for 10 health professions. There is a National Board for each profession. AHPRA is the single agency that supports the Boards and the National Scheme. AHPRA has offices in each state and territory, with the head office in Melbourne.

A further four health professions joined the scheme from 1 July 2012, including occupational therapists. The National Scheme has been established under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act (the National Law), as in force in each state and territory. The Board’s main purpose is to protect the public by registering suitability qualified, safe and competent practitioners. The Board is led by the profession and is separate to, and independent of, professional associations and unions.

Further information on the National Law is available on the AHPRA website.

Each of the National Boards has responsibility for the regulation of their profession under the National Law. The primary role of each National Board is to protect the public and set standards and policies that health practitioners must meet in order to be registered. The Occupational Therapy Board of Australia was appointed by Australian Health Ministers in July 2011. Its work includes:

  • developing and consulting on registration standards, codes and guidelines for the profession.
  • registering occupational therapists and students
  • handling notifications, complaints, investigations and disciplinary hearings
  • keeping the national register of practitioners.

The Occupational Therapy Board of Australia currently meets on a monthly basis. A Communiqué from each Board meeting is published on the Board’s website for general information.

The key principles are:

  • that the National Scheme is to operate in a transparent, accountable, efficient, effective and fair way
  • fees required to be paid are to be reasonable
  • restrictions on the practice of a health profession are only to be imposed if they are needed to make sure that health services are safe and appropriate.

Some of the benefits of the National Scheme are:

  • once a practitioner is registered they can practice anywhere in Australia
  • everyone who is registered has to meet the same standards

A national practitioner register is available on the AHPRA website so that everyone can see who is registered and can see any conditions which are attached to a practitioner’s registration (note that if a practitioner has any health conditions which are attached to their registration, these will not appear on the national register).

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners
  • Chinese medicine practitioners
  • Chiropractors
  • Dental practitioners (including dentists, dental hygienists, dental prosthetists & dental therapists)
  • Medical practitioners
  • Nurses and midwives
  • Occupational therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Osteopaths
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Psychologists
Page reviewed 28/11/2019