A formidable task over, but more still to do

IN March 2008, the Council of Australian Governments signed an intergovernmental agreement to establish a national scheme to register and regulate health professions, and accredit their education and training. 

Just two years later, new legislation was in place in seven states and territories, new structures had been established to support the operation of the scheme and a new regulatory framework was embedded. 

In October 2010, when Western Australia joined the scheme, it became national. 

On any measure, this is a short time line. When you consider the complexity of health professional regulation, the achievement is even more remarkable. Establishing national registers involved transferring more than 1.5 million data records and about 600,000 health practitioners from 38 different IT systems into one IT platform.

The start-up was challenging and there were interruptions – unsurprising under the circumstances, but not