In Sep 2022, the Australian National Cabinet announced an independent review to examine the regulatory settings and qualification recognitions for overseas-trained health professionals, focusing on opportunities to streamline health practitioner regulation and ease skills shortages in critical health professions. On 6 Dec 2023, the National Cabinet considered the Final Report of the Independent Review of Health Practitioner Regulatory Settings, which makes 28 recommendations designed to improve the applicant experience, expand ‘fast track’ registration pathways, enable better workforce planning, provide greater flexibility and enhance regulator performance and stewardship. All 28 recommendations will now be funded and implemented by the Commonwealth, with states and territories.
In response to the initial interim report, released in Apr 2023, The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), had already begun significant reform to streamline the registration process for international medical graduates and have wasted no time in further announcing that from 18 Dec 2023, overseas-based applicants will no longer need to attend an in-person identity check in Australia before their registration can be granted.
This change means AHPRA and National Boards can register an overseas-based health practitioner before they come to Australia. This is great news for our candidates, further reducing red tape and saving overseas health practitioners a lot of time and money in having to make unnecessary trips to present at an AHPRA office in Australia to finalise their registration prior to migrating.
AHPRA intend to continue reviewing all their overseas doctors, nurses and midwives registration pathways to identify further opportunities to remove duplication, streamline processes, reduce timelines, and improve access and navigability. They plan to further reduce red tape by removing duplicated processes and to review current standards, including English language and recency of practice requirements.
There is a recognition of the important role international medical graduates play in Australia’s health workforce and they plan to keep working with their partners across the health system, including specialist medical colleges, to improve the experience of overseas-trained doctors seeking registration and work in Australia, so we look forward to seeing further positive changes in 2024.
You can read the full announcement here: Final report of the Independent Review of Overseas Health Practitioner Regulatory Settings | Regulatory Reform.
This follows the Nov 2023 changes to the RACGP Substantial Comparability assessment for GPs
- The previous mandatory submission of 10 Clinical Case Analyses (CCA) has been abolished.
- Any 50 hours of CPD completed in the 12 months prior to applying for the Comparability Assessment will now be eligible for assessment and the previous limits on the maximum hours per day (10 hours) and the maximum hours in each CPD area (20 hours) have been removed.
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