Glossary

Find out more about words we commonly use

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency is established by s. 23(1) of the National Law.

Ahpra’s primary role is to support the 15 National Health Practitioner Boards that are responsible for regulating the health professions.

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Management Committee

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Management Committee is established by s. 29 of the National Law.

The functions of the Agency Management Committee include deciding the policies of Ahpra (subject to any directs of the Ministerial Council) and ensuring that Ahpra performs its functions in a proper, effective and efficient way.

Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council 

AHMAC is the advisory and support body to the COAG Health Council (CHC).

AHMAC is responsible for providing effective and efficient support to the CHC by:

  • advising on strategic issues relating to the coordination of health services across Australia and, as applicable, with New Zealand
  • operating as a national forum for planning, information sharing and innovation.

COAG Health Council

The COAG Health Council (CHC) is a mechanism for the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, and state and territory governments to discuss matters of mutual interest concerning health policy, services and programs.

National Health Practitioner Boards

The National Health Practitioner Boards are established by s. 31 of the National Law, including:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia
  • Chinese Medicine Board of Australia
  • Chiropractic Board of Australia
  • Dental Board of Australia
  • Medical Board of Australia
  • Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia
  • Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
  • Occupational Therapy Board of Australia
  • Optometry Board of Australia
  • Osteopathy Board of Australia
  • Paramedicine Board of Australia
  • Pharmacy Board of Australia
  • Physiotherapy Board of Australia
  • Podiatry Board of Australia
  • Psychology Board of Australia.

National Health Practitioner Commissioner

The National Health Practitioner Privacy Commissioner is an independent statutory officer appointed by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council. The role was established on 1 July 2010 to coincide with the introduction of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (as in force in participating states and territories).

For efficiency, the separate Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner roles are combined in the single office of the National Health Practitioner Ombudsman.

National Health Practitioner Ombudsman

The National Health Practitioner Ombudsman is an independent statutory officer appointed by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council. The role was established on 1 July 2010 to coincide with the introduction of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (as in force in participating states and territories).

For efficiency, the separate Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner roles are combined in the single office of the National Health Practitioner Ombudsman.

National Law

The Act adopted in each state and territory that sets out the provisions of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law. The applicable legislation in each jurisdiction is:

  • Australian Capital Territory: Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (ACT) Act 2010
  • New South Wales: Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) No 86a
  • Northern Territory: Health Practitioner Regulation (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2010
  • Queensland: Ombudsman Act 2013 (prior to 1 July 2014: Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009)
  • South Australia: Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (South Australia) Act 2010
  • Tasmania: Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Tasmania) Act 2010
  • Victoria: Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Victoria) Act 2009
  • Western Australia: Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (WA) Act 2010.

The National Law establishes a national registration and accreditation scheme for health practitioners in 16 professions. In order to implement this scheme, the National Law establishes the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra), the AHPRA Management Committee, the Australian Health Workforce Advisory Council, and the 15 National Health Practitioner Boards.

National Scheme

In 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to establish the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for registered health practitioners.

The objective of the National Law is to establish the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

Notification

Notification means a mandatory notification (according to Division 2 of the National Law) or a voluntary notification (according to Division 3 of the National Law).

Anyone can make a notification about a registered health practitioner to Ahpra. This is the way to raise a concern about a practitioner’s professional conduct, performance or health.

Notifications may be investigated by National Boards. A National Board may decide to take action about the notification if:

  • the practitioner has been found to have engaged in unprofessional conduct or professional misconduct
  • the practitioner has been found to have engaged in unsatisfactory professional performance, or
  • the practitioner’s health is impaired and their practice may place the public at risk.

Registered health practitioner

An individual who practises a health profession.

The following professions, including a recognised speciality in any of the following professions:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practice
  • Chinese medicine
  • chiropractic
  • dental (including the profession of a dentist, dental therapist, dental hygienist, dental prosthetist and oral health therapist)
  • medical
  • medical radiation practice
  • nursing and midwifery
  • occupational therapy
  • optometry
  • osteopathy
  • paramedicine
  • pharmacy
  • physiotherapy
  • podiatry
  • psychology.

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