06 Oct 2021
Optometrists have until 30 November 2021 to renew their general or non-practising registration.
Look out for an email from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) providing access to online renewal. You’re encouraged to renew early to avoid delays – it might save you a call to Ahpra during the busy renewal period!
Ready to renew?
Read the renewal FAQs on the Ahpra website for helpful tips and more information on what you need to do to renew.
We cover common questions on professional indemnity insurance, recency of practice, continuing professional development, and what to do if you have a change in your criminal history or health impairments you need to tell us about.
Embedding cultural safety in the ways we work
The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Strategy aims to make patient safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples the norm. We strive to embed cultural safety in the ways we work within the National Scheme too.
From 2021, you’ll be asked if you identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander when you renew your registration. This will help us continue to develop culturally safe ways of working.
Renewal is now online only with changes to payment options
We’ve moved to online only for general and non-practising registration renewal. Over 99% of health practitioners already renew online, it’s the quickest and easiest way to renew.
Renewal fees can be paid by credit/debit card. If you do not have a credit/debit card you can purchase a pre-paid debit card from various retail outlets for a nominal fee. BPay is no longer available for any profession.
Advertising declaration and audit
Proactive advertising audits have now started. If you are renewing your general registration, you’ll be asked to declare that, if you are advertising health services, 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. This approach includes auditing health practitioners to check advertising compliance.
What if I can’t meet the CPD requirements because of COVID-19?
The Optometry Board of Australia (Board) expects you to make reasonable efforts to complete your required Continuing Professional Development (CPD). However, we understand that some practitioners may have had trouble fully meeting CPD requirements due to the impacts of COVID-19, particularly the interactive and CPR requirements. Continuing professional development is important as it helps maintain competence and supports safe and effective care.
The Board will not take action if you have not been able to complete CPD for the 2020–21 registration period due to the exceptional circumstances of COVID-19 and you declare on your renewal application that you have not met the CPD Registration standard.
It’s important that you answer all questions honestly and accurately when completing your registration renewal and declare that you have not met the CPD requirements if that is the case. If you declare that you did not meet the CPD Registration standard the Board may request evidence in the future of what you have done to address any identified gaps in your CPD learning needs such as any interactive or face to face CPD requirements.
Given the importance of CPD and the increasing availability of flexible and COVID-safe CPD options, you will be expected to fully meet CPD requirements in the future and when renewing in 2022.
There are many flexible-delivery and COVID safe options for CPD and interactive CPD can be completed virtually. COVID-related learning activities can be counted towards CPD.
Updating your CPD portfolio
If you have not met the CPD requirements due to the impacts of COVID-19 you should update your CPD portfolio to explain how you will address any resulting learning needs, such as your face to face or interactive requirements, in the next registration period. The Board expects you to access any specific training requirements as soon as you are able e.g. by scheduling face to face or interactive requirements when available.
What if I can’t meet recency of practice requirements because of COVID-19?
The Board is aware that some practitioners’ personal circumstances in combination with the impact of COVID-19 may mean they are concerned about not meeting the Board’s recency of practice requirements. The Board would like to remind optometrists that practice is not limited to direct face-to-face patient contact but can also include any role where you use your skills and knowledge as a registered health practitioner. More information about how the Board defines practice can be found in the Recency of practice registration standard.
All practitioners are reminded of the importance of honest declarations when renewing their registration. If you declare you have not met recency requirements for the profession you should provide details to the Board of why you have not met the standard. Declarations will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
The online register of practitioners is updated every day making it the safest way for practitioners, employers and the public to check registration status.