Update 4/8/2014 – Since publishing this article we have heard from a professional association who alerted us to the fact that there was a university course in a particular health profession that wasn’t accredited, and the students enrolled weren’t able to continue. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Read on!!
There are literally thousands of courses in the health industry on offer throughout Australia. It depends on the qualification you are seeking as to which one might be right for you. Some courses are accredited, and some are not.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is responsible for implementing the National Regulation and Accreditation Scheme. The professions included in NRAS have their education courses scrutinized to ensure that practitioners are competent and can perform safe professional practice in accordance with Australian standards.
AHPRA has a search function on its website, making it possible to find which courses are accredited for certain professions. AHPRA provides information for courses to become a chiropractor, dental practitioner, medical practitioner, midwife, nurse, optometrist, osteopath, pharmacist, physiotherapist or podiatrist.
Other fields of study are also accredited separately or might have an equivalent course offering in Australia. For the following fields and specializations, the AHPRA has individual accreditation pages where students can check and read more about programs and their accreditation:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice
- Chinese Medicine
- Medical Radiation Practice
- Occupational Therapy
If you are looking for the status of courses not listed by AHPRA, each profession generally has a council or professional body that oversees accreditation. For example, the Australian Dietetics Council and the Council of Ambulance Authorities oversee dietetics and paramedics. Areas such as exercise and sports science are governed by Exercise & Sports Science Australia.