Optometry Board of Australia - New approach to International criminal history checks
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New approach to International criminal history checks

13 Nov 2014

From early 2015, National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will implement a new procedure for checking international criminal history.

The new approach aims to balance protecting the public without unnecessarily delaying the registration process for applicants.

Under the National Law, National Boards must consider the criminal history of an applicant who applies for registration, including any overseas criminal history.

From early 2015, certain applicants and practitioners will need to apply for an international criminal history check from an AHPRA approved supplier. The list of AHPRA approved suppliers will be published soon. The supplier will provide the international criminal history check report to the applicant and directly to AHPRA.

‘This process brings our international criminal checks in line with our approach to domestic criminal history checks. It is fair and reasonable for practitioners and will give the community in Australia greater assurance,’ says AHPRA CEO, Martin Fletcher.

‘International criminal history checks are an example of National Boards and AHPRA working together to manage risk to patients and the public,’ he said.

Mr Fletcher said the approach aimed to strike a balance between public safety and regulatory burden for practitioners.

‘This is a new process, and we will review it to make sure it is working well,’ he said.

’We need to understand and manage any risk to patients and the public from someone’s international criminal history, while not creating undue delays for people applying for registration in Australia,” Mr Fletcher said.

AHPRA is announcing the process now so applicants have advance notice and can prepare for the changes that will come into place early next year.

There will be no change to existing domestic criminal history check requirements.

More information is available on our International criminal history checks page.

For more information

Page reviewed 13/11/2014