National Boards are consulting on options for refining international criminal history checks used to assess applications for registration as a health practitioner in 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.
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.
The current approach involves checking Australian criminal history through CrimTrac and requiring applicants to sign a declaration disclosing any criminal history outside Australia. 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 they should increase the scrutiny of applicants' international criminal history.
In effect, the Boards must balance their responsibility under the National Law 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.
The National Boards are open to feedback and seeking input on this complex issue.
Details of the options under consideration and background information in relation to international criminal history checks are published in a consultation paper. Feedback on the consultation is due by 17 August 2012.