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31 Oct 2012 | Auxiliary

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National Boards and AHPRA release 2012 Annual Report

The annual report of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the National Boards has been published. The report details the second year of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, as well as extensive data on notifications and registrations information about registered health practitioners.

The report reveals:

  • the number of registered health practitioners in Australia increased by more than 3% (18,000) to 548,000 by June 2012;
  • there were 7,594 notifications about health practitioners made in 2012; 775 of them were mandatory reports. The number and type of voluntary notifications made was broadly consistent with 2011. There was an increase in mandatory reports, especially in Queensland.
  • of more than 68,000 criminal history checks conducted, 400 were assessed as having the potential to affect registration, and the registration of nine practitioners was restricted or refused as a result;
  • AHPRA renewed the registration of 557,000 health practitioners during the year, including the biggest ever health practitioner renewal in Australia when more than 330,000 nurses and midwives renewed by May 2012;
  • there were 110,000 students in accredited courses studying to be registered health practitioners at the end of June 2012; and
  • the work of the 10 National Boards during the year, including 12 new or revised registration standards, and extensive policy development.

Chair of AHPRA's Agency Management Committee, Mr Peter Allen, said AHPRA was focused on bringing out the best of the National Scheme for all Australians.

"Our overarching objective is to protect the public by ensuring that only suitably trained and qualified practitioners are registered," he said.

"In our first year, we put systems and processes in place to ensure this objective was met. In our second, we built on these foundations, streamlined our systems and worked to ensure the registration processes for practitioners continued to improve," Mr Allen said.

AHPRA CEO, Mr Martin Fletcher, said the 2012 annual report revealed the scope of AHPRA's work, with one in every 39 Australians a registered health practitioner.

"The numbers in the annual report are large, indicating the National Scheme is working very smoothly and at a scale never before undertaken in Australia," he said.

Another core objective of the National Scheme was to enable the development of a flexible, responsive and sustainable workforce, which AHPRA supported through the publication and distribution of much of the important information that it collects, consistent with National Law.

"Our data - across our operations - are vital resources and have a huge role in improving standards, informing workforce planning, and prioritising patient safety," Mr Fletcher said.

Analysis of notifications data, including emerging year on year trend data, directly influences National Board policy development and other work to increase public safety. Registration data, including types of registration and the distribution of practitioners between and within professions across Australia, are invaluable for workforce planning and development, he said.

The 2012 Annual Report can be downloaded at

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