Are you an international healthcare professional seeking a job in Australia? You’ll need to be registered with the Medical Board of Australia first! This is a critical step in being considered for sponsorship for healthcare jobs in Australia, and it’s advisable to complete this step before you begin applying for jobs, as many companies in the medical profession will not consider applicants who aren’t registered to practice here in Australia.
Registering with the Medical Board of Australia – Registration Requirements
In Australia, an agency called the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or AHPRA, is responsible for implementing the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme across Australia. The Medical Board at AHPRA, is responsible for registering healthcare professionals who wish to work in Australia. The Board ensures that all registered professionals meet the required standards of practice and behaviour.
To register with the Medical Board of Australia, you must meet a number of requirements.
Your qualifications must be recognised, and you must be able to demonstrate that you have a high degree of English language proficiency. You will also need to disclose if you have a criminal record while demonstrating that you have appropriate insurance coverage.
We’ll use this guide to explain the main criteria you will be expected to meet and the fees associated with the registration process.
To register with the Medical Board of Australia, you must have completed an approved program of study in your profession. This means you must have obtained the necessary qualifications required to practice as a healthcare professional in Australia.
The Board requires that they recognize your qualifications. This means they must be satisfied that your qualifications meet their education and training standards. They will assess your qualifications and determine if you meet their requirements for registration.
If your qualifications are not recognized, you may be required to undertake further studies or examinations to meet the Board’s requirements. The Board has specific requirements for each healthcare profession, and you must ensure that you have the necessary qualifications for the profession in which you wish to work.
If you are unsure about whether the Board recognizes your qualifications, you can contact the Board directly for guidance. They will be able to advise you on what you need to do to meet their requirements for registration. By meeting the Board’s requirements for qualifications, you will be well on your way to getting registered with the Medical Board of Australia and pursuing your dream of working as a healthcare professional in Australia.
2. English Language Proficiency
To practice as a healthcare professional in Australia, you must be able to communicate effectively with your patients and colleagues. Therefore, the Medical Board of Australia requires all healthcare professionals seeking registration to demonstrate their proficiency in the English language.
AHPRA English Language Test Exemptions
Generally, if you have completed a primary medical qualification in a country where English is the primary language, you may be exempt from the English language proficiency test.
Similarly, if you have completed a minimum of five years of study in a country where English is the primary language, you may also be exempt from the English language proficiency test. it is best to confirm with AHPRA or refer to their website for specific information regarding exemptions.
Accepted English Language Proficiency Tests
One of the critical requirements for obtaining a healthcare job in Australia is demonstrating your proficiency in the English language. The Australian Medical Board requires all healthcare professionals seeking registration to take a test with an approved company, AHPRA currently accepts the IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL iBT, or OET test to prove their competence in the English language.
AHPRA accepts the following tests as evidence of English language proficiency:
- IELTS: minimum overall score of 7, with a minimum score of 7 in each of the four components.
- OET: minimum score of B in each of the four components you are tested in.
- PTE Academic: minimum overall score of 65, with a minimum score of 65 in each of the four communicative skills.
- TOEFL iBT: minimum total score of 94, with a minimum score of 24 in Listening, 24 in Reading, 27 for Writing, and 23 for Speaking.
Note that AHPRA will only accept results from these exams if they were obtained within two 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.
Choosing an English Language Proficiency Test
In choosing which test to take, we would recommend you research and decide which test is the most suitable or convenient for you.
The IELTS, PTE Academic, and TOEFL iBT test can be taken by applicants from any profession. However, the OET test is not applicable for registration for chiropractic, osteopathy, and psychology applicants, as OET has not yet developed a specific test for these professions. For Chinese medicine, any of the existing OET tests will be accepted as evidence.
Links to the tests are published on the English language skills page on the AHPRA website here.
Additional Information for International Medical Graduates
International medical graduates may also rely on their results of the NZREX clinical exam (NZ) or Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test (UK). For further information, see the FAQs for medicine on the AHPRA website.
Ensuring that you have met the English language proficiency requirements is an important step in your journey to securing a healthcare job in Australia. Be sure to plan and choose the English language proficiency test that is most suitable for you.
By achieving the required scores in an approved English language proficiency test, you will meet one of the essential requirements for healthcare jobs in Australia, and you will be able to communicate effectively with patients and colleagues in your profession.
3. Criminal History
You must disclose your criminal history. The Board will consider your criminal record to determine if it affects your suitability to practice. A criminal history may impact your ability to register with AHPRA, and the acceptable type of criminal history will depend on the profession and the individual circumstances.
In general, AHPRA will consider the seriousness and relevance of the offence, the amount of time that has passed since the offence, and any actions that have been taken to address the offence (such as rehabilitation or restitution). AHPRA has a legal obligation to ensure that registered health practitioners are fit and proper to practise and that public safety is protected, so they will carefully consider any criminal history. In some cases, it may be possible to apply for an exemption or review of a decision relating to a criminal history
4. Professional Indemnity Insurance
The registration boards require healthcare professionals to hold appropriate professional indemnity insurance as a condition of their registration. This insurance helps to protect the public in case of any negligence or other errors in the practitioner’s professional practice.
While many employers may provide professional indemnity insurance as part of their employment package, it is ultimately the individual practitioner’s responsibility to ensure they have appropriate insurance in place. This protects you in case of any legal claims made against you.
5. Registration Fee
You must pay a registration fee to the Board. The registration fee for healthcare professionals in Australia varies depending on the profession. The fee may also depend on whether the application is for initial registration or renewal of registration.
Typically, the fees range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. As of February 2023, the registration fee for medical practitioners in Australia is $860. The registration fees for other professions, such as nursing, midwifery, dentistry, and psychology, are different and may vary depending on the specific registration board. It is important to check with the relevant registration board for the most up-to-date information on registration fees.
Once you’re registered with the Medical Board of Australia, you’ll be able to work in your profession in Australia. This opens up opportunities for sponsorship for healthcare jobs in Australia.
If you’re an international healthcare professional seeking a job in Australia, the process of getting registered with the Medical Board of Australia can seem daunting. But with the right support and guidance, you can navigate the process and achieve your goals.
At 482Jobs, we’re here to help you with your job search and visa sponsorship. Our website advertises healthcare jobs in Australia that offer visa sponsorship to international candidates. We understand the importance of being registered with the Medical Board of Australia, and we can provide you with the guidance and support you need to achieve this.
Are you looking to secure sponsorship here in Australia? Do you have any questions about AHPRA registration or membership? If you do, please let us know by commenting below and a member of the 482 Jobs team will try our best to help you.
You may find these additional resources helpful – please note the links open in a new tab for your convenience.
English Language Skills FAQ: https://www.ahpra.gov.au/English-language-skills/FAQ.aspx
Criminal History Registration Standards: https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Criminal-history.aspx
Current Registration Fees: https://www.medicalboard.gov.au/fees.aspx
Professional Indemnity requirements: https://www.ahpra.gov.au/PII.aspx