We provide a free, impartial and independent complaint handling service

We join Ombudsman and Commissioner offices around the world in providing a free, impartial and independent complaint service to communities.

Our office sees every complaint as an opportunity not only to address someone’s concerns but also to identify systemic issues that may be affecting others.

In Swedish, ‘Ombudsman’ generally translates to mean a representative or protector of citizens.

We are independent and impartial

Trust in the decision-making processes of regulators is essential. The establishment of our office demonstrates that the scheme for regulating Australia’s registered health practitioners values fairness and accountability.

The law gives the Ombudsman (and her delegates) the power to consider and investigate how the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra), the National Boards and accreditation organisations, including specialist medical colleges, regulate Australia’s registered health practitioners. The Commissioner (and her delegates) also has the power to handle privacy complaints and to review the merits of Freedom of Information decisions. Find out more about our legislation.

The Health Ministers’ Meeting (formally known as the COAG Health Council) appoints the Ombudsman and Commissioner for a term of three years. The Health Ministers’ Meeting Forum is made up of health ministers from the Commonwealth and each state and territory in Australia. The Health Chief Executives (HCEF, formerly the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council) is the advisory and support body to the Health Ministers’ Meeting.

Our office is funded by registration fees paid by health practitioners. The HCEF decides on the appropriate budget for our office each year after receiving a budget request from the Ombudsman and Commissioner. The HCEF then directs Ahpra to transfer to our office the approved funds from the registration fees they receive directly from health practitioners.

Ahpra does not determine how much funding our office receives and does not decide how we use these funds.

Our independence is invaluable

Independence is one of our core values. This means that we make decisions and recommendations based on evidence and without taking sides.

Our Service Charter outlines some of the ways our services support our independence.

  • Anyone can contact us and our services are free.
  • We will thoroughly consider all the information provided to us without taking sides.
  • We will record and analyse information gathered through our services to achieve our purpose.
  • We will publicly share information about our work and be accountable for our performance.

Learn more about our values

Read more about our Service Charter

  • Learn more about our vision, purpose and values.

  • Find out more about how we strive for fair and positive change in the regulation of health practitioners.

  • Find out more about the current Ombudsman and Commissioner, Richelle McCausland.

  • Learn more about the laws that govern our work.

  • Find out more about the policies that guide our office.

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

Find out more about how to apply for a review of Ahpra's FOI decision.

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