Revised pharmacists English language, criminal history standards take effect

health professionals lined up: Primary Health Networks

Revised English language and criminal history standards for pharmacists and other health professionals take effect from today, 1 July 2015.

National Boards have previously published the contents of the revised standards and supporting materials to help practitioners understand the new requirements.

The revised criminal history registration standard makes minor amendments to the previous standard. The changes are expected to have minimal impact on practitioners, says the Pharmacy Board, as no changes have been made to the factors National Boards will take into account when considering an applicant’s or registrant’s criminal history.

The revised English language standards apply to all applicants for initial registration, regardless of whether they qualified in Australia or overseas (except for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners). The standards include:

  • a common standard for 10 professions: Chinese medicine, chiropractic, medical radiation, occupational therapy, optometry, osteopathy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, podiatry and psychology;
  • a standard for dental practitioners;
  • a standard for medical practitioners; and
  • a standard for nursing and midwifery.

These revised standards introduce additional pathways for applicants to demonstrate evidence of their English language skills.

Diagrams of how these work and other supporting resources are available on AHPRA’s English language skills registration page.

The revised standards were developed after a review of the existing standards, which included a public consultation. The consultation report provides a summary of responses, rationale for any changes and sets out the proposed way forward, including areas where further work is planned.

The English language skills registration standard for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners is being reviewed at a later date, and will not change today.

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