Analysis of Forum Member Responses to changes in accreditation due to COVID19
Intent and purpose
The COVID19 pandemic has necessitated that significant measures are needed to be made to society. These measures aim to reduce the impact on the health of our communities and our health workforce.
The Forum has collated and analysed the approaches by Forum members regarding their accreditation functions during the COVID19 pandemic. It is further to the consensus statement published by the Forum on the 13 March 2020. By describing these approaches our intention is to demonstrate that Accreditation Authorities and Committees of the 15 professions in the National Registration and Accreditation (NRAS) scheme are flexible, adaptive and practical in exercising their accreditation roles.
Stakeholders are asked to reflect on the specific role of Accreditation Authorities and their appointed responsibilities under the National Law in protecting the Australian public by accrediting education programs that produce graduates with the knowledge, skills and professional attributes necessary to practice their profession. The following analysis and the approaches documented, reflect the Forum’s high level principles for accreditation and the functioning under the National Law.
The Forum’s collective position with respect to accredited programs and the impact of COVID-19, March 2020
The Forum is closely monitoring the evolving situation surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as it continues as a public health risk. Forum members understand that education providers, and the accredited programs across the regulated health professions are concerned about the many potential impacts of COVID-19 on their operations including ongoing ability to meet the accreditation standards for their specific profession.
The Forum position is guided by publicly available information from the Australian Government Department of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The Forum will also consider the statements of its MoU partner, the Tertiary Education and Quality Standards Authority (TEQSA), and other education and health service standards bodies to ensure consistency of approaches.
Project on Developing cross-professional policies and guidelines (Efficiency strategic pillar) October 2019
A consensus set of agreed terminology and guidance for accreditation terms was agreed by all members at it’s August 2019 meeting. The Forum thanked the Accreditation Manager’s Sub-Committee for their work on preparing this..
Read the Glossary of Terms for annual program monitoring reports August 2019
Position Statement on Interprofessional Learning (IPE) – updated 2018
While these principles were agreed to by the then members of the Health Professions Accreditation Councils’ Forum in 2015 they are still relevant today and agreed to by all current members of the Health Professions Accreditation Collaborative Forum in November 2018.
Read the full position statement November 2018
PUBLIC CONSULTATION on the three Accreditation Committees revised draft accreditation standards
The Forum supports processes which reflect an appropriate balance of these regulatory objectives and has responded to the AHPRA Public Consultation Paper on the Accreditation Committees revised draft accreditation standards
Read the full position statement October 2018
Launch of the Shared Statement of Intent for the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme
This week, a landmark commitment is being launched to help achieve equity in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians to close the gap by 2031.
Launching on Thursday 5 July, the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme Statement of Intent is signed by 37 health organisations, including leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations and entities working to implement Australia’s regulation scheme for health practitioners; AHPRA, all National Boards and all accreditation authorities.
The work to develop the Statement of Intent and its associated work is being led by the National Scheme Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group and coordinated by AHPRA on behalf of the National Scheme. It has been developed in close partnership with a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and experts.
The group shares a commitment to ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have access to health services that are culturally safe and free from racism so that they can enjoy a healthy life, equal to that of other Australians, enriched by a strong living culture, dignity and justice.
To help achieve this, the group is focusing on:
- a culturally safe health workforce supported by nationally consistent standards, codes and guidelines across all professions in the National Scheme
- using our leadership and influence to achieve reciprocal goals
- increased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ participation in the registered health workforce
- greater access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to culturally safe services of health professions regulated under the National Scheme, and
- increased participation across all levels of the National Scheme
Quotes from some of the participating organisations
Mr Martin Fletcher, CEO, AHPRA
The Statement of Intent is a clear direction for all 37 organisations, all of whom have an important role to play within the regulatory scheme in Australia and in health generally.
This work aims to make a difference right across the health system through the work of the National Scheme in regulating over 700,000 health practitioners across 15 professions.
National Boards set important standards that all registered health practitioners must meet to be registered. Accreditation authorities develop and monitor standards for education of health practitioners. Between us, all the signatories to the Statement of Intent commit to do our part towards closing the gap in health outcomes, which is good for all patients.
Associate Professor Gregory Phillips, CEO, ABSTARR Consulting and co-chair of the National Scheme Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group
The only way to achieve equity in health outcomes is to bring cultural safety to the centre of patient care.
The only way to achieve equity in health outcomes is to bring cultural safety to the centre of patient care. We know and understand the links between cultural and clinical safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ patient safety. These concepts are inextricably linked. Achieving equity in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is important for all Australians as it will address inequities that have led to a 10-year difference in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians.
Dr Joanna Flynn AM, Chair of the Medical Board of Australia and co-chair of the National Scheme Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group
This work is an important first step. I invite other health leaders to seek the guidance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experts and make a genuine commitment to do their bit to close the gap.
Inequity is a big and important problem to tackle. Closing the gap in health outcomes can only be achieved with the collaboration and support of all parts of the health system, including the health professions. We must work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to make sure that our work is culturally appropriate, respectful and addressing the right areas.
Ms Bronwyn Clark, Chair, Health Professions Accreditation Collaborative Forum (a forum for all accreditation authorities in the National Scheme)
Being able to make this commitment across all the signatories to the Statement of Intent will be far reaching. Between us, we work with partners and stakeholders that will help extend this commitment even further.
For the accreditation authorities in the National Scheme, developing accreditation standards that assist with recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples into our health professions, and assist education providers to ensure students are able to deliver culturally safe care in the future, is a role we are uniquely placed to undertake. Our work reaches all education providers with accredited programs, and in turn, the students and graduates of those programs.
Ms Janine Mohamed, CEO, Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives and one of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders on the National Scheme Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group
This work will reach right across the health system and is an important step towards eliminating racism from that system.
Sometimes racism is overt. Sometimes it is less so, and often it’s not deliberate. But that doesn’t make it less damaging for patients. There is plenty of evidence of the effect of inequity on both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander registered health practitioners.
The Statement of Intent and the work that it brings will start addressing some important objectives, including growing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ participation in the registered health workforce and training key decision-makers in the National Scheme in cultural safety.
Strategic Action Plan 2017 – 2019
The Forum has a Strategic Action Plan 2017 – 2019 to take forward work that will contribute to improvements in accreditation practices, and allow the Forum to use its expertise to influence the development of accreditation under the National law.
New accreditation publications about costs and international systems
Two new papers have been published today about key aspects of the accreditation functions under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme). The papers provide a new analysis of accreditation costs and an international comparison of accreditation systems for registered health professions in comparable health systems.
The papers were developed by the Accreditation Liaison Group (ALG), a subcommittee of the Forum of NRAS Chairs that provides advice within the National Scheme on common accreditation issues. The ALG involves representatives of National Boards, Accreditation Authorities (through the Health Professions Accreditation Councils’ Forum and Accreditation Committees), and AHPRA.
The ALG Co-Chairs, Dr Joanna Flynn, Chair of the Forum of NRAS Chairs and Chair of the Medical Board of Australia and Professor Michael Morgan, Chair of the Health Professions Accreditation Councils Forum and the Australian Dental Council said that the publication of the reports was an important contribution to information about accreditation in the National Scheme.
“This is the first time that this type of costs information has been compiled within the National Scheme and made publicly available. We hope that the information is useful for stakeholders and plan to build on this initial report by publishing an annual update.” Dr Flynn said.
“The papers reflect the growing collaborative work across Accreditation Authorities and are an important basis for further work.” Professor Morgan said.
Collectively, Accreditation Authorities, National Boards and AHPRA have the best information about the costs of accreditation in NRAS. To prepare for the Accreditation Systems Review, a working group was established by ALG to progress work already started by Accreditation Authorities in identifying the cost of accreditation in the Scheme so that the best available cost data would be available to the review team.
The CWG Paper provides detailed cost information and activity data as well as background information, to give important context. For example, a key difference between the National Scheme and other schemes is that the assessment of overseas trained practitioners seeking registration is Australia is an accreditation function, whereas in other schemes this process is treated separately. This means that in the National Scheme the costs of these assessments are included in accreditation costs, rather than allocated to other functions such as registration.
International Comparisons paper
The ALG also developed an overview of the similarities and differences in accreditation systems for registered health professions in comparable health systems (the UK, Canada, USA, New Zealand and Ireland).
The International Comparisons Paper provides an overview of each of the international systems as well as diagrams which show the requirements for general registration and, where relevant, specialist registration for each profession under the Scheme.
Read the Costing Paper (CWG) March 2017
Read the International Comparisons Paper March 2017
All Members of the Health Professions Accreditation Councils’ Forum (the Forum) aspire to achieve the high level accreditation principles outlined in this position statement. Each Accreditation Authority undertakes its own self-assessment against these principles, and works independently and in collaboration with others to achieve them.
Read the full position statement June 2016
The Forum members have agreed to the outcomes of the Interprofessional learning (IPE) workshop, held in June 2015 and have released a position statement. The Forum has also endorsed the World Health Organization’s definition of interprofessional education.
Read the full position statement November 2015
The Forum endorsed the principles contained in the guidance document prepared jointly by the Forum and AHPRA Accreditation Liaison Group (ALG) Management of complaints relating to accreditation functions under the National Law – a guidance document
Read the full position statement June 2015
A guidance principles document, prepared jointly by the Forum and AHPRA Accreditation Liaison Group (ALG) – Communication between Accreditation Authorities and National Boards about accreditation and program approval decisions and changes to accreditation standards – a guidance document about good practice .
Read the full guidance document May 2015
This position statement, developed by the Health Professions Accreditation Councils’ Forum (the Forum), provides guiding principles for accreditation authorities to consider when developing and/or reviewing prescribing standards for their profession.
Read the full position statement December 2013
This position paper which has been developed by accreditation authorities, national boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) provided information about accreditation under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act as in force in each state and territory (the National Law)
It covers a range of issues associated with the accreditation functions, including:
- the guiding principles and objectives of the National Law
- relationships and communication between accreditation authorities, national boards and AHPRA about accreditation
- the Quality Framework for the Accreditation Function, and
- the Procedures for the Development of Accreditation Standards.
The information in this paper Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the National Law, including Quality Framework for the Accreditation Function (App C) was agreed by accreditation authorities, national boards and (AHPRA) after a Joint Meeting to consider accreditation issues on 7 June 2011 (the 2011 Joint Meeting)
Read the full position statement February 2012
This position papers Standards for Professional Accreditation Processes Professions Australia was prepared by Theanne Walters (Australian Medical Council) and members of the Professions Australis Accreditation Forum
Read the full position paper June 2008
In 2008, Professions Australia adopted Standards for Professional Processes as a statement of good practice in the process of assessing and accrediting programs of study that lead to entry to the professions. The document was endorsed by the Forum of Australian Health Professions Councils – Accreditation of Health Professions Education Programs (Documents 1 and 2)
Read the full position statement March 2011