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HomeminewsCriminal Record Consultation

Criminal Record Consultation

The National Boards are working with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to refine the requirements for criminal history checks from jurisdictions outside Australia.

Under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, National Boards set registration standards that every registered practitioner must meet. One of these standards relates to criminal history.

AHPRA says it receives between 5,000-10,000 international applications for registration each year, and judging by the rate of Australian applicants returning ‘disclosable court outcomes’, it would expect
300-600 of those to have a criminal history.

The current approach to checking criminal histories for international applicants involves a check of Australian criminal history through CrimTrac and requiring applicants to sign a declaration disclosing any criminal history outside Australia.

The National Boards must decide whether this is adequate or if the scrutiny of applicants’ international criminal history should be increased.

When a criminal history is disclosed, further investigations are made and the criminal history is assessed according to the relevant Board’s Criminal History Registration Standard.

The National Boards must decide whether this is adequate or if the scrutiny of applicants’ international criminal history should be increased. In effect, the Boards must balance their responsibility to protect the public, with the need to ensure there is no unnecessary red tape in assessing and managing applications for registration as a health practitioner in Australia.

Details are published in a consultation paper, which is available on the AHPRA website (under Optometry Board–Current Consultations). Feedback is due by 17 August.

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