The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for health professions came into operation on 1 July 2010. NRAS was implemented through enactment of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law in each state and territory (the National Law). The objectives and guiding principles of NRAS are set out in section 3 of the National Law and include:
- to facilitate the provision of high quality education and training of health practitioners
- to facilitate the rigorous and responsive assessment of overseas-trained health practitioners
- to enable the continuous development of a flexible, responsive and sustainable Australian health workforce
- to enable innovation in the education of, and service delivery by, health practitioners.
In 2014, AHWMC commissioned an independent review of NRAS which identified significant concerns with the high cost, lack of transparency, accountability, duplication and approach of the existing accreditation processes. The NRAS Review recommended a number of measures to address these issues, including further exploration of the United Kingdom approach to accreditation.
The purpose of this Accreditation Systems Review is to build upon the information collated through the NRAS Review and provide advice to the Ministerial Council on the governance, structure and cost-effectiveness of accreditation systems in the National Scheme. The desired outcome is to ensure that educational programs support a sustainable health workforce that is flexible and responsive to the changing health needs of the Australian community.