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Regulation of health professionals
Some health professionals are required to be registered and accredited; others are not.
Learn more about:
- Registered health professionals
- Which health practitioners must be registered?
- Unregistered health practitioners
Registered health professionals
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and 15 National Boards regulate the health practitioners listed below. Health practitioners must meet certain standards before they can be registered and accredited with a National Board. Registration helps ensure only trained and competent health professionals practise within these professions. Students in an approved study program or doing clinical training must also be registered with the relevant National Board.
AHPRA works with the National Boards to investigate complaints about health practitioners. If you have concerns about the health, performance or conduct of a registered health practitioner, you can notify AHPRA. It is unlawful for a person to pretend to be a registered health practitioner. You can check a health practitioner’s registration at AHPRA.
Which health practitioners must be registered?
The following health professionals must be registered:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners
- Chinese medicine practitioners
- dental practitioners
- medical practitioners (GPs and specialists)
- medical radiation practitioners
- nurses and midwives
- occupational therapists
Allied and complementary health practitioners who are not required to be registered with a National Board are known as unregistered health practitioners. They must follow the National Code of Conduct for health care workers, which sets minimum standards of conduct and practice.
This code must be displayed in the premises. Unregistered health practitioners may also join a professional association that sets minimum standards of conduct and practice (further to those covered in the National Code). If you have an issue with an unregistered practitioner, talk to them first. If you’re not satisfied with the outcome, you can lodge a complaint with a health complaints organisation or with their professional association (if they are a member).
Prof Sarah Lewis, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, NSW; Kevin Bloom, Senior Social Worker, Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW; Danielle Curnoe, Consumer; Alana Fitzgibbon, Clinical Nurse Consultant – Gastro-Intestinal Cancers, Cancer Services, Royal Hobart Hospital, TAS; Hall & Wilcox (law firm); Johanna Jordaan, Consumer; Dr Deme Karikios, Medical Oncologist, Nepean Cancer and Wellness Centre, Nepean Hospital, NSW; Melissa Lawrie, Breast Cancer Clinical Nurse, Cancer Services, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service, QLD; Jacqueline Lesage, Consumer Reviewer, Cancer Voices NSW; McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Louise Pellerade, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Andrew Potter, Consumer; Siân Slade, PhD Candidate, Nossal Institute for Global Health and Non-Executive Director (health, disability sectors), VIC; Paula Watt, Clinical Psychologist, WOMEN Centre, WA.
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