Renewal FAQ for medical practitioners

The following frequently asked questions (FAQ) answer common queries that you might have about registration renewal. If this information does not provide you with what you are looking for, please contact our Customer Service Team on 1300 419 495.

You are due to renew your general and/or specialist registration or non-practising registration with the Medical Board of Australia annually by 30 September. 

Look for an email from Ahpra announcing that online renewal is open. You will get email reminders several times during the renewal period, so use our online services to check that Ahpra has your current contact details. Check the national register to confirm your registration details.

Doctors on the pandemic response sub-register don’t need to renew their medical registration. If you are one of these doctors, you have been extended to stay on the temporary sub-register for up to 12 months (to 5 April 2022). Your practice is limited to helping with the COVID-19 vaccination program only. This followed a request in early April 2021 from the Commonwealth Health Minister to extend the sub-register to support the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. Your registration will have a notation, which appears on the public Register of practitioners. The notation says: ‘Registered on pandemic response sub-register. Limited to practice for the COVID-19 vaccination rollout’. If you wish to practise in an area outside of this, you will need to apply for registration on the main register through the standard application process.

More information about the extension of the sub-register and how to apply for registration to the main register is on the Ahpra website.


As a medical practitioner in Australia, you must meet Medical Board registration standards when renewing your registration. These registration standards include criminal history, professional indemnity insurance (PII), recency of practice and continuing professional development (CPD). Before making any declarations, you must read the requirements for renewal of registration carefully. If you hold more than one specialty registration, you must ensure that you meet the CPD requirements for each when you apply to renew registration.

In 2020, the Medical Board relaxed requirements for CPD as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, the Medical Board announced that it expected medical practitioners to resume CPD activities, noting that participation in CPD is central to good medical practice and providers have adapted their programs to be COVID-safe.

When you renew your registration in 2021, we will ask whether you have met the CPD registration standard for the preceding registration period (1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021). If you have not met the standard because of the Board’s 2020 flexibility in relation to CPD, the Board will not take regulatory action

No. If you perform exposure-prone procedures, you will be asked whether you have complied with the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) guidelines: Australian national guidelines for the management of healthcare workers living with blood borne viruses and healthcare workers who perform exposure prone procedures at risk of exposure to blood borne viruses.

In summary, the CDNA Guidelines require healthcare workers who perform exposure prone procedures to take reasonable steps to know their blood-borne virus (BBV) status and to be tested for BBVs at least once every three years. Healthcare workers who are living with a blood-borne virus and who perform exposure-prone procedures have additional requirements.

We do not need to know your test results. Only a yes or no declaration about your compliance with the CDNA guidelines.

For more information, see the Board’s Guidelines: Registered health practitioners and students in relation to blood-borne viruses and the CDNA Guidelines.

You will need to decide what type of registration best suits your circumstances.

However, most medical practitioners with specialist registration have both general and specialist registration because:

  • there is no extra cost - you pay one annual renewal registration fee to maintain both general and specialist registration
  • the recency of practice requirements are the same - regardless of your type of registration you must have worked at least the minimum number of hours required by the registration standard, in your scope of practice
  • the CPD requirements are the same - you must complete the CPD program of the relevant accredited specialist medical college or you can choose a self-directed program of CPD but only if it meets the requirements for CPD set by the relevant college
  • if you choose to surrender your general registration, you will be restricted to practice within the scope of your specialty.

When renewing your registration, you will be asked which registrations you wish to renew or if you would like to opt out of any of your registrations. You may choose to maintain both your general and specialist registration or opt out of any you no longer wish to hold.

You will need to decide what type of registration best suits your circumstances. If you are ceasing all medical practice, you may want to consider not renewing general and specialist registration or you can apply for non-practising registration.

Regardless of your types of registration (excludes non-practising registration) you must have worked at least the minimum number of hours required by the recency of practice registration standard, in your scope of practice.

However, if you are no longer practising in one or more specialties and you don’t want to do the CPD for each specialty, you can let one or both of your specialist registrations lapse, and retain only your general registration. If you have only general registration, you must complete 50 hours CPD in your scope of practice.

In addition, maintaining only general registration means:

  • you cannot use the protected specialist title associated with the specialist registration you surrendered
  • you can continue to use the protected title ‘medical practitioner’
  • the annual registration fee to renew only general registration is the same as the fee to renew both general and specialist registration
  • you cannot access Medicare specialist level rebates for your patients.

When renewing your registration, you will be asked which registrations you wish to renew or if you would like to opt out of any of your registrations.

You may choose to maintain both your general or specialist registration or opt out of any you no longer wish to hold.

When you renew your registration, you are asked if you have you previously disclosed to Ahpra all known complaints made about you to:

  • a registration authority, or 
  • another entity having functions relating to professional services provided by health practitioners or the regulation of health practitioners (in Australia or elsewhere).

You do not need to tell us about any complaints made about you to: 

  • Ahpra 
  • a health complaints entity in Australia
  • the Medical Council or the Health Care Complaints Commissioner in New South Wales
  • the Office of the Health Ombudsman in Queensland.

You need to tell us about any other complaints, including any made to an entity with responsibility for regulating medicines, drugs or poison in a state or territory of Australia, or an overseas regulatory body.

If you:

  • do not need to tell us or do not know of any complaints made about you, please answer N/A 
  • have already told us about all known complaints, please answer yes
  • have not yet told us about all known complaints, please answer no and give us details in the text box provided.

You can renew online and on time using your Ahpra user ID and password. If you experience any difficulties, please phone the Customer Service Team on 1300 419 495 and a team member will talk you through the process.

Your user ID is included in the registration renewal reminders sent by Ahpra. Alternatively, you can complete an online enquiry form and select ‘Online Access – Practitioner’ as the category type. You can get a new password by entering your user ID on our reset your password page. A new password is emailed within 15 minutes. You can use our secure online services to change the supplied password to one of your choosing.

See the fees schedule for costs of annual renewal and registration. There is an annual renewal fee for 12 months of registration. The fees are set at a level that enables the Medical Board to effectively regulate medical practitioners in Australia and meet its legal responsibilities under the National Law. If you submit your application to renew in the one-month late period after 30 September, you will be charged a late payment fee.

If you are experiencing financial hardship, you can pay your renewal fee in two instalments.

You’re considered to be in financial hardship when unable to provide the following for yourself, your family, or other dependents:

  • food
  • accommodation
  • clothing
  • medical treatment
  • education, and/ or
  • other basic necessities.

You must apply for consideration of financial hardship, and receive the outcome of your application from us, before you apply for renewal of registration. We can’t consider an application for financial hardship after you have applied for renewal.

Your application for financial hardship needs to be submitted no later than 15 working days before the expiry of your registration. For medical practitioners with a general and/or specialist registration, financial hardship application is due by 9 September.

You can find information on eligibility and how to apply on the consideration of financial hardship page.

Yes. It is a requirement of the National Law that the suburb and postcode of your principal place of practice is published on the national register. A form is available if you believe that publishing information about you on the public register would pose a serious risk to your health or safety. The Medical Board will consider each application individually.

Yes, when renewing online you can also participate in a health workforce survey. Your survey responses will help inform workforce planning and provide a comprehensive profile of Australia’s current medical practitioner workforce.

Please check that your details on the national register are correct. Use the secure online services to make sure Ahpra has your current contact information, including email and mobile, to receive renewal reminders.

You can choose the online option ‘not to renew’ or ignore future reminder notices. In order to ensure that everyone who intends to keep practising is reminded to renew, Ahpra will continue to send reminders to medical practitioners who:

  • haven’t lodged an application for renewal of registration, or 
  • don’t opt online ‘not to renew’.

If you do not renew your registration, you will receive a letter after the late period confirming that your registration has lapsed. Your name will be removed from the national register and you will not be able to practise medicine in Australia. If you want to resume practice in the future you will be required to lodge a new application for registration.

Once your application is assessed, your details will be updated on the national Register of medical practitioners.

You can download a certificate from Ahpra’s online portal after you’ve renewed.

If a practitioner or employer wants to check someone’s registration details the safest and most up-to-date way to do so is via the online register of practitioners which is updated every day.

You can download your tax receipt from Ahpra’s online portal after you’ve renewed.

You have a one-month late period after the registration expiry date during which you can apply to renew, under the National Law.

If Ahpra receives your application before the end of the one-month late period, you will remain registered and be able to practise within the scope of your registration. Your listing on the national register will be updated when assessment of your application is complete.

If Ahpra receives your application during the one-month late period, you will incur a late payment fee.

Your registration will lapse if you do not renew within one month after your registration expiry date. Your name will be removed from the national register and you will not be able to practise.

If you wish to keep practising you must submit a fast track application for registration. Fast track application forms will be available on the Medical Board website or by phoning the Customer Service Team on 1300 419 495 during November.

If submitting a fast track application, you cannot practise until your application is assessed and your registration details are updated on the national register.

Yes. A fast track application fee is payable in addition to the annual renewal fee. You must submit your application in the four weeks after your registration lapses if you wish to keep practising.

 
 
 
Page reviewed 17/06/2020