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National standards and registration for Indigenous Health Practitioners

Posted on: 7 March, 2012
Issue: Vol 12 No 1, January 2012 – March 2012
Related to Policies Workforce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers

Standards for Indigenous Health Practitioners have been established by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia.The standards will apply from 1 July 2012 to any person in Australia who wishes to be known, or whose employer wishes them to be known, as one of the following:

  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner
  • an Aboriginal Health Practitioner
  • a Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner.

These job titles are now ‘protected’, and cannot be used by people who don’t meet the national standards. Health workers who are not required by their employer to use these titles will not be required to be registered, and will be able to keep working using their existing titles (e.g. Aboriginal Health Worker, Drug and Alcohol Worker and Mental Health Worker).

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia is now accepting registration applications and has requested that practitioners apply for registration by 30 March 2012 (to allow time for applications to be processed before 1 July 2012). Aboriginal Health Workers currently registered in the Northern Territory will be advised by letter about how their current registration translates into registration under the national scheme.

The new standards set out what is required of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners and they are urged to visit the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia website to read the mandatory national registration standards. The website is updated regularly and has a host of information to make transition to the national scheme as easy and as smooth as possible.  The documents that need to be filled in as part of the registration application are available from the Board’s website.

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