Shaping the Health Workforce

2008 - 09

This project will involve consumer networks in the implementation of the Intergovernmental Agreement for a National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for Health Professionals, which has significant implications for improved safety and quality for consumers. CHF has been involved in workforce issues since its inception in 1987.

NRAS will take safety and quality to a new level in Australia. Health professionals will be assessed against national standards, closing the gaps and inconsistencies between the states. The Scheme also provides the opportunity to bring better understanding between health professional groups of each other's roles and the potential for sharing good practices in education and training and working together to ensure complementary standards and consistent accreditation practices.

For consumers, the Scheme offers the opportunity to be a central place to check health professional registrations, obtain information about the different roles and experiences of various health professionals and to raise concerns about health professionals, while being sure that they will be directed to the right place for action and that their health care will not be compromised.

Consumers have a valuable viewpoint to contribute so that the Scheme is the best it can be and has consumer confidence.

Project objectives

The ten month project will allow CHF to:

  • engage with consumer networks and contribute to policy development around the legislation and governance arrangements for the Scheme
  • promote awareness among consumer networks about the implementation of the Scheme
  • contribute to the consultations that are being held around its legislation
  • provide input to the development of professional standards for accreditation and registration, including standards for consumer involvement by the professions
  • develop principles for the appointment and ongoing involvement of community representatives in national registration and accreditation bodies and state committees as a guide for government and professional organisations.

Guidance for the project

A three or four member Reference Group will be convened shortly to provide guidance on the project.


CHF gained funding for this project from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing on behalf of the Practitioner Regulation Subcommittee of the Health Workforce Principal Committee and the National Registration and Accreditation Implementation Project team.