Australian Government Department of Health: Message to the Aged Care Sector

Recruiting Allied Health Professionals

Dear Aged Care Provider

You may not be aware that there are options available to expand recruitment of allied health professionals. Providers can consider candidates from both regulated and self-regulated professions.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is the administrative body for the National Regulation and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS), which regulates 14 professions. Entry of professions into the NRAS is based on an assessment of potential risk to the public by services provided by the profession.

Not all Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) are registered with AHPRA. Many of the non-regulated AHPs provide highly valued services that are a vital part in the delivery of health services in Australia. The majority of AHPs are highly trained, with tertiary qualifications.

Some professions are self-regulated by their own professional associations, such as audiologists, social workers, perfusionists, orthotists/prosthetists, sonographers, dieticians, exercise physiologists and speech pathologists, and are not regulated under the NRAS. These professions may be well placed to fill some positions in aged care facilities.

The review of the NRAS recognised that there are unintended consequences of registration where non-regulated AHPs are treated differently to regulated professions. In August 2015, all Health Ministers agreed to encourage the fair treatment of all health care professionals to ensure that the absence of registration is not the sole factor for exclusion.

I therefore recommend that you review your recruitment and contracting processes to allow both registered and self-regulated allied health professions to apply for relevant vacancies in your organisation, as appropriate.

Please contact Ros Knox on 6289 8201 if you require further information.

Yours sincerely

Authorised for electronic distribution.

Louis Young
Acting Assistant Secretary
Primary Healthcare Branch
Department of Health
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