19 Oct 2020
Optometrists are due to renew their general or non-practising registration by 30 November 2020.
Look out for an email from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) providing access to online renewal; the quickest and easiest way to renew.
If you do not renew your registration by 30 November 2020, or within the following one-month late period, your registration will lapse. Your name will be removed from the national register of practitioners and you will not be able to practise without making a new application for registration.
Ahpra and National Boards are working with government, health services and others to support health practitioners during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have adapted our regulatory approach to support you in these exceptional circumstances. Your registration fees go directly to funding this work and regulating for safety in your profession. We sincerely thank you for your continuing commitment and professionalism.
We encourage you to continue to do continuing professional development (CPD) that is relevant to your scope of practice and your current work environment. However, we understand that some health practitioners may have trouble meeting the CPD requirements during this challenging time.
The Board’s CPD registration standard requires practitioners to complete cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training every three years. However, these courses may have been postponed by private providers as the CPR component has to be done in person. We will be flexible during the pandemic. If you are due to complete CPR training in 2020, the Board asks that you do this when there is no longer an unnecessary risk involved in participating in a course.
You should answer all renewal questions honestly and accurately. Ahpra and the Optometry Board will not take action if you declare that you could not meet the CPD requirements for the 2020 registration period as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A payment plan is available for health practitioners experiencing genuine financial hardship due to COVID-19. If you meet the criteria, you will be eligible to pay half your registration fee now and make a second payment in the first half of 2021.
The payment plan has been developed in response to the exceptional circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic presents. When making decisions about financial hardship applications, Ahpra and National Boards will consider the financial sustainability of the National Scheme to continue to protect the public balanced with the circumstances of individual applicants and access to the workforce.
You’ll need to complete the financial hardship form and wait to hear the outcome prior to renewing your registration – we can’t consider an application for the financial hardship payment plan if you have already renewed.
Information on the financial hardship payment plan and how to apply is on the Board’s registration renewal FAQs page.
You will be required to complete a new declaration that your advertising complies with Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (National Law) advertising requirements.
This is part of a risk-based approach to enforcing the National Law’s advertising requirements and compliance by registered health practitioners who advertise their services and will include auditing of health practitioners to check advertising compliance.
Paper certificates are no longer issued but you can print a registration certificate from your online services account after you’ve renewed. You can also download your tax receipt.
The online register of practitioners is updated every day making it the safest way for practitioners and employers to check registration status.