Accreditation processes review

Find out more about our review of existing processes and procedures of accreditation authorities in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme

Learn more about accreditation authorities

About the Review

Accreditation of Australia’s registered health practitioners is an essential element of the National Scheme. It seeks to fulfil the National Scheme’s public protection objective by ensuring people seeking registration as a health practitioner have the knowledge, skills and professional attributes necessary to practise their profession safely and competently in Australia. Appropriate accreditation underpins the health practitioner registration process and is a cornerstone of the National Scheme.

Health ministers commissioned this review in response to the recommendations made by Professor Michael Woods in his 2018 Review of Accreditation Systems within the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. Health ministers accepted in full the recommendation that our office undertakes a review of the complaint and appeal processes of accreditation organisations. Health ministers also broadened the review’s scope to include consideration of the procedural aspects of accreditation processes more generally to ensure fairness and transparency.

Health ministers accepted the Accreditation Systems Review’s recommendation that the Ombudsman and Commissioner’s jurisdiction be extended to include the administrative actions of accreditation organisations. It was agreed that this review would assist our office to prepare for our expanded complaint handling function by establishing connections with accreditation organisations and assist with strengthening existing complaint and appeal processes.

Learn more about accreditation complaints

Scope of the review

This review primarily considers the quality of the existing complaint and appeal processes of organisations performing accreditation functions within the National Scheme. The review also generally considers the fairness and transparency of accreditation processes. As requested by health ministers, the review prioritises consideration of specialist medical colleges’ accreditation processes. From this assessment, the review makes recommendations to ensure dissatisfaction and grievances are appropriately considered and managed.

The review’s assessment of existing complaint and appeal processes is largely based on principles derived from the Australian Standard AS/NZS Guidelines for complaint management in organisations (10002:2022). Some consideration is also given to the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Better practice guide to complaint handling.

This review suggests there are five key principles underpinning effective and efficient processes including that processes are:

  • people-focused
  • transparent
  • responsive
  • fair
  • accountable.

As well as complaint and appeal processes, these principles underpin the review’s consideration of other procedural aspects of accreditation organisations’ activities.

Download the Terms of Reference

Review's progress

The review process consists of three key stages, the first two of which have been completed:

  • Stage one focused on specialist medical colleges and the Australian Medical Council.
  • Stage two considered all other organisations exercising accreditation functions.
  • Stage three will involve preparing, consulting on and finalising the written report of the review.

It is anticipated that the review will be published in early 2023.

  • Our office will soon be able to help with complaints about the processes of accreditation authorities.

  • Learn more about the role of accreditation authorities.

  • Find out more about how our office provides a free and independent complaint handling service for the public and health practitioners.

Find out more about how to make a complaint to the Ombudsman or to the Commissioner.


Can’t find what you’re looking for? Give us a call on 1300 795 265