Articles and Case Studies

Registration Standards – Are You Complying?

28 Feb 2017

Helen Havryk

by Dr Helen Havryk

registration standards

The Medical Board of Australia’s Registration Standards set out the requirements that doctors need to meet in order to be registered.

With the exception of medical students and non-practising registrants, the following standards apply to all doctors:

  • Recency of Practice
  • Continuing Professional Development
  • Criminal History
  • English Language Skills
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance Arrangements.1

On 1 October 2016, the revised standards for Recency of Practice, Continuing Professional Development and Professional Indemnity Insurance standards came into effect.

Recency of practice

Significant changes have been made to the Recency of Practice registration standard with respect to the minimum number of practice hours required to meet the standard. To meet the revised standard, medical practitioners must practise within their scope of practice at any time for a minimum total of:

  • four weeks full-time equivalent in one registration period – a total of 152 hours; or
  • 12 weeks full-time equivalent over three consecutive registration periods – a total of 456 hours.

Full-time equivalent is 38 hours per week. The maximum number of hours that can be counted per week is 38 hours. Possible consequences for not meeting this standard include imposition of conditions on registration or disciplinary proceedings.

For medical practitioners with non-practising registration or who are not registered, but have two or more years’ clinical experience, and who wish to return to practice, the following requirements must be met:

  • No additional requirements are needed for those with non-practising registration or who have not been registered for a period up to and including 12 months.
  • For a period between 12 months and up to 36 months, at a minimum, before re-commencing practice, the equivalent of one year’s CPD activities relevant to the intended scope of practice must be completed. The CPD activities must be designed to maintain and update knowledge and clinical judgement.
  • For a period greater than 36 months, a plan for professional development and re-entry must be submitted to the Board for consideration and approval.

For medical practitioners with less than two years clinical experience who are returning to practice after either not having been registered for more than 12 months, or who have not practised for more than 12 months, Board approval for working under supervision in a training position needs to be sought.

The Medical Board has provided further clarification in relation to frequently asked questions on its website:

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The revised standards for CPD requirements have not significantly changed, other than the requirement for international medical graduates (IMGs) to complete a minimum of 50 hours CPD per year – including the CPD outlined in their supervision plan and work performance report. If this totals less than 50 hours, IMGs must complete additional CPD to reach a minimum of 50 hours per year. In the past, there was no minimum hour requirement for IMGs.

The Medical Board has provided further clarification in relation to frequently asked questions on its website:

Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)

All medical practitioners are now required to have appropriate retroactive PII cover for otherwise uncovered matters arising from prior practice undertaken in Australia.

If appropriate retroactive cover is not included as part of your PII policy, please contact us immediately to amend your cover and ensure you are properly covered. This requirement was effective from 1 October 2016.

We encourage you to take the opportunity to review the revised registration standards and frequently asked questions published by the Medical Board of Australia to ensure these are met, especially if an extended break from practice is being contemplated. Guidance on planning leave can also be found on the Medical Board’s website:

Dr Helen Havryk
Claims Manager, MDA National


  1. Medical Board of Australia. Registration Standards. Available at:
Employment Essentials, Regulation and Legislation, Anaesthesia, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, General Practice, Intensive Care Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ophthalmology, Pathology, Practice Manager Or Owner, Psychiatry, Radiology, Sports Medicine, Surgery, Physician, Geriatric Medicine, Cardiology, Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery, Radiation Oncology, Paediatrics, Independent Medical Assessor - IME


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