Registration complaints

Complaints about the registration process generally relate to delay, unfair processes or policies and fees 

Make a complaint

The registration process

Practitioners must be registered by the National Board that represents their profession in order to work within one of the 16 registered health professions.

Registered practitioners are required to renew their registration every 12 months.

The registration process is generally managed by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra), which is responsible for receiving and processing registration applications. Depending on the nature of the registration application, the relevant National Board may also make decisions about the matter. 

Common registration complaints

In 2022–23, 23 per cent of all complaints to the Ombudsman were about the health practitioner registration process.

Complaints about the registration process generally related to three key areas:

  • delays in the processing and assessment of applications for registration and renewals of registration
  • unfair processes or policies related to registration
  • registration fees.

Who makes registration complaints

It is free to make a complaint about the registration process and we welcome complaints from people who have concerns about this process.

We receive complaints from people at different stages of the registration process including:

  • recent graduates applying for registration for the first time
  • practitioners with overseas qualifications who are applying for registration in Australia
  • practitioners renewing their registration
  • practitioners moving between registration types (for example, from non-practising to practising registration) .

Outcomes for registration complaints

Our office works with the complainant and Ahpra to resolve the issue.

This could include Ahpra:

  • answering an individual’s queries about the registration process
  • providing an update on the progress of an application
  • speeding up the processing of a delayed matter in exceptional circumstances
  • providing further information about a registration policy or standard.

We often achieve these outcomes by transferring the complaint to Ahpra and asking it to respond to the concerns being raised.

Find out more about the transfer process

We generally do not investigate registration matters that are still active with Ahpra. This is because the concerns may be resolved when a decision is made about the practitioner’s registration. Where we do decide to investigate a registration complaint, possible outcomes include suggesting that a decision be reconsidered by Ahpra or a National Board, or making suggestions for improvement to Ahpra or a National Board.

Our office also continues to closely monitor how Ahpra is working to improve its communications about expected timeframes for processing registration applications.

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

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