AHPRA

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Date Updated: 2024-04-09

What is AHPRA?

AHPRA stands for The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Along with the Medical Board of Australia, AHPRA will be the one to grant you your medical registration, assess IMGs before practicing in Australia, and create the guidelines necessary for the medical field.

What are the AHPRA Registration Levels?

There are 4 different AHPRA registration levels:

  • Limited AHPRA Registration
  • Provisional AHPRA Registration
  • General AHPRA Registration
  • Specialist AHPRA Registration

Limited AHPRA Registration

This is for Doctors who have their AMC Part 1 only (not AMC Part 2).  

There are two applications for Limited AHPRA Registration-

  • ALPS-30 is the application form ID for Limited AHPRA Registration for Post Graduate Training & Supervised Practice which you are eligible for with AMC Part 1.
  • AANG-30 is the application form ID for Limited AHPRA Registration for Area of Need, which you are eligible for with AMC Part 1 & 3 years assessed GP experience.

You will be required to work under supervision, with this level of registration.

For Limited AHPRA Registration, Area of Need (AANG-30) you will require 3 years of GP experience equivalent (which is interpreted to mean assessed). Limited AHPRA Registration, Postgraduate Training & Supervised Practice (ALPS-30) has no experience requirements, although we suggest caution as AHPRA may still consider your experience in their decision.

Provisional AHPRA Registration

This is for Doctors who have completed their AMC Part 1 & AMC Part 2, or who are entering via the Competent Authority Pathway

APRI-30 is the application form ID for Provisional AHPRA Registration. 

You will be required to work under supervision, with this level of registration.

Provisional AHPRA registration has no experience requirements, although we suggest caution as AHPRA may still consider your experience in their decision.

General AHPRA Registration

There are multiple ways to General AHPRA. This is for Doctors who:

  • Completed AMC Part 1 & AMC Part 2  in a hospital job, completing the mandatory rotations in Medical, Surgical & ED, Or;
  • Completed AMC Part 1 & AMC Part 2 in a GP job, and have 12 months of supervised practice, Or;
  • Completed AMC Part 1 & WBA, Or;
  • Are on the Competent Authority Pathway by applying for Provisional Registration and completing 12 months of supervised practice
  • Are Australian medical graduates who completed accredited internship in Australia
  • Are Australian medical graduates who completed medical internship in another country, and have 12 months of supervised practice in Australia
  • GPs who have previously held General Registration in Australia

Doctors may want to get General AHPRA as they will no longer require a supervisor, or to apply to AHPRA for registration to work in a different job. Additionally, AHPRA only allows 3 renewals of Limited AHPRA, so General AHPRA is an option in case it takes you longer to get Fellowship.

Specialist AHPRA Registration

This is for Doctors who have completed Fellowship Exams & Requirements, or completed the Specialist Pathway and its requirements. 

Do I need to sit an English Language Test?

If you are an IMG you will be required to sit an English Language Test unless:

  • English is your first language and you have completed primary and secondary education and assessed in English in a recognised country*, and completed your medical qualifications which were taught and assessed solely in English. Or;
  • You have a combination of secondary education and tertiary qualifications, where you satisfactorily completed at least two years of your secondary education which was taught and assessed solely in English in a recognised country*, and completed your medical qualifications which were taught and assessed in English. Or; 
  • You have satisfactorily completed at least six years’ (full-time equivalent) continuous education taught and assessed solely in English, in a recognised country, which includes your medical qualification

*Recognised countries include Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, and South Africa.

Which English Language Tests does AHPRA accept?

AHPRA accepts the IELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, and PTE Academic. For profession-specific tests, they also accept the New Zealand Registration Examination (NZREX) and Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board test (PLAB test). Based on experience, they will only accept results from these exams if they were obtained less within 2 years before the date you lodge your AHPRA application, unless you lodge your application for registration within 12 months of finishing your last period of employment. 

The tests will have four components which are focused on Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

For IELTS, there is an academic module which is a paper or computer test that will be done in a testing venue including IELTS One Skill Retake (OSR). Your score will depend on the institution since they set their own IELTS score requirements. You can check your organisation here. Based on AHPRA’s registration standards, you will need a minimum overall score of 7 and a minimum score of 7 in each four components.

For OET, the tests are paper or computer-based (OET CBT) and will be taken at a testing venue. You will need a minimum score of B in each of the 4 components you are tested in. You may also utilize their sample tests as preparation here.

For PTE Academic or Pearson, the tests are taken via computers at the testing centre. You will also need a minimum overall score of 65 and a minimum score of 65 in each of the four communicative skills.

For the TOEFL iBT, ​you will require a minimum total score of 94. If you’re looking at using these scores additionally for your visa, please be aware that AHPRA advised to check the Department of Home Affairs website for test updates, because TOEFL iBT is currently not offering English language tests for Australian visa from 26 July 2023 onwards.

Whilst there are several online versions of the English Language Test—some even run by TOEFL iBT and IELTS—AHPRA has informed us that they will not accept the results of these exams from 23 February 2023 onwards. 

On that note, only the OET CBT has been approved by the Boards, but other “any at home and/or ‘indicative’ versions of any of the English language skills tests or versions that include any element of remote proctoring” is not accepted.

Do I need supervision? 

Yes – If you have been granted Limited or Provisional Registration with AHPRA, you’ll be required to complete a minimum of 12 months supervised practice in Australia.  

No – So long as you hold General AHPRA Registration. 

Who can provide supervision? 

In our experience, AHPRA can be very strict with regards to their Supervision Guidelines. As a general rule, supervisors should be Vocationally Registered, have current Specialist AHPRA Registration, and have at least 3 years of experience with General and/or Specialist AHPRA Registration in the field of General Practice. 

Let’s get technical! Principle Supervisors & Co-Supervisors must not:

  • have conditions imposed on their AHPRA registration or undertakings accepted by the Board as a result of health, performance or conduct issues
  • be a relative or domestic partner of the IMG, and  
  • be an employee of the IMG.

If your either supervisors have been grandfathered – i.e. Weren’t required to sit for GP Fellowship before being granted Specialist Registration with AHPRA, this will need to be noted in the SPPA-30 Supervision Plan. It’s also recommended to provide evidence of the grandfathering by way of an advice letter or email confirmation if possible.

If your AHPRA Registration is approved and the supervisors have not previously offered supervision, they will need to complete the Board’s online education and assessment module.  

If your Principal Supervisor or Co-Supervisor only has General AHPRA Registration, it is unlikely that your Supervision arrangements will be approved. 

How many supervisors should I have?

AHPRA prefers two supervisors, both a Principle and Co-Supervisor, to be nominated to ensure the appropriate level of supervision and support is provided to enable safe practice.  

However, if the clinic cannot possibly provide 2 supervisors, 1 primary supervisor may oversee the IMG with the right supervision plan.

Are there limits to how many GPs can be supervised at any time?

Yes, a supervisor, who is concurrently consulting their own patients, can supervise up to 4 IMGs. However, they are only permitted to supervise 1 IMG under level one supervision.  

If a supervisor is not consulting their own patients whilst the IMG is practicing, they can supervise up to 4 IMGs across all supervision levels.

If your Supervisor is planning on offering Supervision to more than four IMG’s must provide the AHPRA board with a proposal outlining how they plan to provide supervision to each IMG. 

What are the different Supervision Levels?

Supervision can be offered from Level 1 to Level 4. AHPRA generally prefers for most IMG’s to start at Level 1 Supervision for at least the first 3 months to ensure safe practice and support for the IMG. The Supervision Levels have the following requirements: 

Level One Supervision 

In our experience, IMG’s gaining registration for the first time are likely to get level one supervision.  

Under level one supervision, the Principle Supervisor and Co-Supervisor are directly responsible for each individual patient the Supervised GP consults with.

  • A supervisor must be physically present in the practice at all times while the supervised GP practices (Supervision via phone or any other telecommunication is not acceptable). 
  • The supervised GP must consult with their supervisor about the management of each patient before concluding the consultation and before the patient leaves the practice.

Level Two Supervision 

Under level two supervision, both the supervised GP and supervisors share the responsibility of each individual patient. For this reason, the supervisors are to ensure the level of patient management undertaken by the supervised GP is based on their knowledge and level of competency.  

  • Supervision via phone or any other telecommunication is acceptable, however a supervisor must be physically present in the practice for a minimum 80% of the time the supervised GP practices.  
  • The supervised GP must consult with their supervisor daily about the management of individual patients.

Level Three Supervision  

Under level three supervision, the supervised GP is primarily responsible for each individual patient.

  • A supervisor must ensure that there are measures in place that enable the monitoring of the supervised GP and safe practice. 
  • The supervised GP is permitted to work alone, so long as a supervisor is contactable via phone or video link.

Level Four Supervision  

Under level four supervision, the supervised GP is fully responsible for each individual patient.

  • A supervisor must oversee the supervised GP’s practice and must be available for consultation should it be required. 
  • A supervisor must periodically conduct reviews of the supervised GPs practice.

Formal and Informal Supervision Requirements 

The type of Supervision provided will depend on the IMG’s Level of Supervision and their individual needs. 

Formal Supervision is scheduled time for in-depth discussion and reflection on the IMG’s practice. This meeting will provide time to review and provide feedback on the performance of the IMG, identify weaknesses, discuss difficult or unusual cases and conduct medical record reviews. 

Informal Supervision involves day-to-day observation of the IMG’s practice and discussion of management plans. The Principal Supervisor will provide guidance, support and advice during this time. 

We Can Help You

Here at People Medical Consulting, we have a passion for guiding medical practitioners through their career pathways to Australia. We have extensive experience in assisting medical facilities in recruiting doctors from local and overseas who will best suit their requirements.

We provide Document Assistance for those requiring support for their PESCI with IME, ACRRM or RACGP, registration and all other mandatory AHPRA requirements, fellowship program related forms and letters, application for Medicare provider and prescriber numbers, application for 19AB or 19AA exemptions and preparation of employment documents.

If you want to talk to someone about your pathway or practice management—book a consultation with us below, or if you need Recruitment or Document Assistance, contact us at help@peoplemedical.com.au or click the buttons below. We’d be glad to help you!

Information from this blog has been taken directly from:

FAQs

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