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Indigenous Health Workers can now find out exactly what is required of them in order to meet the new national standards for their profession.
The standards were published by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia on 16 January 2012.
From July 1 2012, the standards will apply to any person in Australia who wishes to be known, or whose employer wishes them to be known, as one of the following:
These job titles are now 'protected', and cannot be used by people who don't meet the national standards.
Health workers who are not required by their employer to use these protected titles will not be required to be registered, and will be able to keep working using their existing titles (e.g. Aboriginal Health Worker, Drug and Alcohol Worker and Mental Health Worker).
The new standards set out what is required of workers in terms of professional development, criminal history, English language skills, professional indemnity insurance and recency of practice.
To register on time, workers are advised to complete their application by 30 March 2012.
Aboriginal Health Workers currently registered in the Northern Territory will be advised by letter about how their current registration translates into registration under the national scheme.
All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners across Australia are urged to visit the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia website to read the mandatory national registration standards (see links below).
The website is updated regularly and has a host of information to make transition to the national scheme as easy and as smooth as possible.
Staff are available to help health workers move towards national registration. They can be contacted by phoning 1300 419 495.