Medical Board of Australia - Non-practising registration FAQ
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Non-practising registration FAQ

Download a PDF copy of the Frequently asked questions on non-practising registration (297 KB,PDF)

The Medical Board of Australia (the Board) provides the following information to help answer some questions about non-practising registration.

This type of registration is open to people who are not practising. It allows a person to remain on the register and to continue to use the protected title “medical practitioner”. Anyone with non-practising registration must not provide medical treatment or opinion about the physical or mental health of an individual. They are not able to prescribe or to formally refer to other health practitioners.

People with this type of registration remain subject to the Medical Board’s jurisdiction in relation to their professional conduct. They are not required to take any steps to meet the Board’s registration standards in relation to professional indemnity insurance, continuing professional development or recency of practice as these standards specifically exclude those with non-practising registration.

The Board has published a statement on Medical Registration – What does it mean? Who should be registered? to help individuals with medical qualifications to decide whether or not they should be registered.

In this statement the Board advises that it would be appropriate for those with non-practising registration to engage in the activities listed as not requiring registration, but not those activities listed as requiring registration.

There is a reduced fee for non-practising registration. Practitioners with non-practising registration continue to receive the Board’s publications.

Practice is any role, whether remunerated or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a health practitioner in their profession. For the purposes of the Board’s standards, practice is not restricted to the provision of direct clinical care. It also includes using professional knowledge in a direct non-clinical relationship with clients, working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy development roles, and any other roles that impact on safe, effective delivery of services in the profession.

Under the National Law, medical practitioners with non-practising registration must not practise the profession. The definition of practice is intended to be broad and inclusive. It allows individuals with medical qualifications to be registered if they are using their skills and knowledge as a health practitioner, regardless of whether they are providing direct patient care. This definition does not prevent individuals working in non-clinical roles from holding registration as long as they meet the relevant registration requirements.

No. If you are a medical practitioner and you want be able to prescribe and/or refer to other health practitioners, you may apply for general or specialist registration and will need to meet the Board’s registration standards for:

  • continuing professional development
  • recency of practice
  • professional indemnity insurance arrangements
  • criminal history

The Board recognises that non-practising practitioners may find themselves in a circumstance when it is appropriate for them to provide assistance in an emergency. In such a circumstance, the Board recognises that the practitioner will, and should, provide the best care that they can. The Board would not have any grounds to take action against a non-practising practitioner for rendering medical assistance in an emergency unless they claimed to hold a type of registration that they do not hold or used a protected specialist title.

If you do not renew your registration, your registration will lapse and you will no longer be able to use the protected title “medical practitioner”. Your details will be removed from the Register of Medical Practitioners. You can still use the title “doctor” and have access to the Board’s website, but you will not receive any Board publications.

Yes, you can apply for registration at a later date, but you will need to meet the Board’s registration standards applicable to the type of registration you are applying for. You will also be required to undergo a criminal history check and verification of qualifications and identity.

Page reviewed 9/05/2023