Allied health in the ACT

 

Allied health professionals in the ACT

The allied health sector is diverse in the ACT and includes therapeutic, diagnostic and scientific professions.

Allied health professionals are employed in a wide range of settings including the ACT and Commonwealth public sectors, non-government organisations, community services, and private sectors. You can find allied health in:

  • hospitals
  • community health centres
  • GP surgeries
  • private practices
  • aged care settings
  • disability services
  • mental health services 
  • schools
  • home care services

Watch the following clips to get a glimpse into some of the diverse allied health professions that are helping improve the lives of the Canberra community.
 

Meet a Public Health Officer

Meet a Microbiologist

Meet an Occupational Therapist

Meet a Physiotherapist

Meet a Paramedic

In the ACT, allied health includes the following professions. The links below will take you to professional association or peak body for that profession:

Allied health assistants

Allied health assistants are a valued and important part of the workforce in the ACT. Allied health assistants work under the supervision of allied health professionals to support the best outcomes for patient care.

Allied health assistants provide care across many disciplines including dietetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, exercise physiology, podiatry, social work and speech pathology. They may work in hospital settings, rehabilitation, aged care, mental health, private practices and community centres.

Canberra Institute of Technology is the local provider of allied health assistance qualifications. For more information, visit Allied health at CIT.

Check current job vacancies within ACT Public Service at ACT Government Careers and Opportunities.

Regulation of allied health professionals

Generally, allied health professions fall into one of two groups – those that are regulated through the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) and those that are self-regulated.

National Registration and Accreditation Scheme regulated professions

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, works with national boards to regulate professionals under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

National Registration and Accreditation Scheme regulation is outlined in the Health Practitioner Regulation Law Act (ACT) 2010.  This regulation process ensures the public has access to a safe health workforce.

Renewal of registration is an annual requirement and requires the individual practitioner to meet their Boards’ standards for recency of practice, continuing professional development, English skills, criminal history and professional indemnity insurance.

The Australian Health Practitioner Agency maintains a public list of the health practitioners who are registered, including those with conditions relating to their practice. 

For more information on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and the 15 national boards, or the public list of health professionals, see www.ahpra.gov.au.

The following allied health professions are required by law (National Health Practitioner Regulation Law Act (ACT)) to be included under the national registration and accreditation scheme:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners
  • Chinese medicine practitioners
  • Chiropractors
  • Dental practitioners
  • Medical radiation practitioners (e.g. radiation therapists and radiographers)
  • Occupational therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Osteopaths
  • Paramedics
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Psychologists

Doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives are also regulated through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Self-regulated health professions

Most remaining allied health professions are self-regulated.  This means that professionals are regulated by a peak body or professional association. The profession specific peak body may have membership criteria that require their practitioners to meet standards such as continuing professional development and ethical practice.  Accreditation of approved programs of study and recognition of overseas trained health professionals is usually managed by the relevant professional body.

The National Alliance of Self-Regulating Health Professions (NASRHP) aims to support national consistency for self-regulating health professionals. Allied health professions with membership of NASRHP include:

  • Audiologists
  • Dietitians
  • Exercise physiologists
  • Genetic counsellors
  • Orthotists/Prosthetists
  • Music therapists
  • Perfusionists
  • Rehabilitation counsellors
  • Social workers
  • Speech pathologists
Allied health research

The Office of the Chief Allied Health Officer recognises the importance of quality improvement and research and is committed to building research capacity in ACT allied health professionals.

We support a number of initiatives that strengthen allied health engagement in research, including:

The Office of the Chief Allied Health Officer is a member of the Canberra Health Services Allied Health Research Network. This Network includes membership from a wide variety of allied health professional groups at Canberra Health Services and Calvary Public Hospital Bruce, along with the ACT Health Office of Research and the Professor of Allied Health Research. The role of this group includes helping to build research culture, capability, and capacity across all allied health professions within ACT public health services.

For more information about health research in the ACT see ACT Centre for Health and Medical Research.

Complaints, concerns and feedback

The Office of the Chief Allied Health Officer is committed to providing safe and quality health services within the ACT.

If you would like to provide feedback to a public health facility, visit the:

If you would like to provide feedback about a private health service, contact the ACT Health Services Commissioner, part of the Human Rights Commission.

Alternatively, complaints regarding a professional’s behaviour, including unsafe or behaviour which places the public at risk, can be made with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) or the relevant self-regulating professional body directly.

Page last updated on: 24 Oct 2022