Accreditation processes review
Find out more about our review of existing processes and procedures of accreditation authorities in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme
Part one: A roadmap for greater transparency and accountability in specialist medical training site accreditation
The part one report focusses on the review’s findings and recommendations regarding specialist medical training site accreditation.
The report was published on 10 November 2023 following Health Ministers' support of the recommendations.
Effective accreditation of Australia’s specialist medical training sites supports quality and safe patient care. Australia is fortunate in being highly regarded for the quality of its specialist medical practitioners and training.
The review found that the complex arrangements underpinning accreditation in the National Scheme have created an environment where gaps have emerged in the accountability mechanisms for processes related to the accreditation of specialist medical training sites. For example, the accreditation of specialist medical training sites is not a recognised accreditation function under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the National Law).
Concerns also continue to be raised regarding specialist medical training site accreditation standards and requirements, and their ability to respond appropriately to immediate workforce needs and broader workforce planning undertaken by jurisdictional health departments across Australia.
These circumstances give impetus to ensuring specialist medical training site accreditation processes are people-centred, transparent, fair, responsive and accountable.
Part one of the Processes for progress report outlines the review’s findings on key processes related to specialist medical training site accreditation in relation to five priority areas for improvement:
- Enhancing accountability and transparency in accreditation standards
- Ensuring fairness and transparency in accreditation processes and assessments
- Clarifying and strengthening monitoring processes for accredited training sites
- Developing an appropriate framework for:
- assessing and managing concerns about accredited training sites
- managing non-compliance with the accreditation standards, including processes for making adverse changes to a training site’s accreditation status (such as placing conditions on, suspending or withdrawing accreditation).
- Ensuring grievances about accreditation processes and decisions are managed fairly and transparently.
The review has focussed on delivering practical, outcome-focussed recommendations to provide a roadmap for progress. In recognition of capacity and time constraints, recommendations have been graded by priority.
On 1 September 2023, Health Ministers issued a policy direction to clarify expectations regarding the accreditation of specialist medical training sites. The policy direction included that the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) and the Medical Board of Australia (the Medical Board) require the Australian Medical Council (the AMC) to work with jurisdictions and colleges on an implementation plan for the review’s suggestions for reform. This recognises that a collaborative and coordinated approach is necessary to successfully implement the review’s recommendations.
The Ombudsman has welcomed recognition by colleges and health jurisdictions of the importance of working together to achieve positive change.