Regulatory principles for the National Scheme

These regulatory principles underpin the work of the National Boards and Ahpra in regulating Australia’s registered health practitioners, in the public interest. They shape our thinking about regulatory decision-making and have been designed to encourage a culturally safe and responsive, risk-based approach to regulation across all professions. The regulatory principles consider community expectations and reflect ministerial directions.

  1. The National Boards and Ahpra administer and comply with the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law). The scope of our work is defined by the National Law.
  2. Public protection is our paramount objective in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. We act to support safe, professional practice and the safety and quality of health services provided by registered health practitioners.
  3. We protect the health and safety of the public by ensuring that only registered health practitioners who are suitably trained and qualified to practise in a competent and ethical manner are registered.
  4. In all our work we:
    1. identify the risks that we need to respond to
    2. assess the likelihood and possible consequences of the risks
    3. respond in ways that are culturally safe, proportionate, consistent with community expectations and manage risks so we can adequately protect the public, and
    4. take timely and necessary action under the National Law.
    This applies to all our regulatory decision-making, the development of standards, policies, codes and guidelines as well as the way we regulate individual registered health practitioners.
  5. The primary purpose of our regulatory response is to protect the public and uphold professional standards in the regulated health professions. When we learn about concerns regarding registered health practitioners, we apply the regulatory response necessary to manage the risk, to protect the public.
  6. Our responses consider the potential risk of the registered health practitioner’s health, conduct or performance to the public including:
    • people vulnerable to harm, and
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
  7. When deciding on regulatory responses, we are fair and transparent, and consider the importance of maintaining standards of professional practice that support community confidence in regulated health professions.
  8. We work with our stakeholders including patient safety bodies, healthcare consumer bodies and professional bodies to protect the public. We do not represent the health professions, registered health practitioners or consumers. However, we work with practitioners and their representatives and consumers to achieve outcomes that protect the public.

Download a PDF version of the Regulatory principles


The regulatory principles are part of broader work to advance community confidence in regulated health practitioners, including:

National Scheme Strategy 2020-25

The National Scheme Strategy 2020-25 describes the vision, purpose, values and strategic themes that guide our work as we continue to evolve to meet the needs of our stakeholders

Find out more » 

Regulatory guide

The Regulatory guide, which sets out how Boards manage notifications about the health, performance and conduct of practitioners.

Find out more » 

National Scheme Engagement strategy 2020-25

The National Scheme Engagement strategy 2020-25 to build the trust and confidence of key stakeholders in the work of the National Boards and Ahpra to protect public health and safety.

Find out more » 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy which strives to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People have access to health services that are culturally safe and free from racism.

Find out more » 
 
 
Page reviewed 5/10/2021