Will Audiology become a Registered Profession?

State and Territory Health Ministers have agreed to consider options for regulating the audiology profession in the future, including regulation under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

Audiology is currently a self-regulating profession. Occupational therapists, optometrists, osteopaths, pharmacists, physiotherapists and podiatrists are among the many who are regulated by a Government-controlled practitioner regulatory body. Yet, audiologists regulate themselves via their own peak body.

The catalyst for considering regulation of the audiology profession was audiology failures in Townsville and Adelaide children’s hospitals in 2023 prompting millions in compensation to families and lost learning years for children. Read the background here.

Queensland is leading the development of a Decision Regulatory Impact Statement.* QLD Department of Health has engaged a contractor, Deloitte to assist in the preparation.

A consultation paper has been produced – you can read it here – to support the development of the Decision Regulatory Impact Statement by obtaining stakeholder input into:

  • the nature of the problem
  • options to address the problem
  • the anticipated impacts of different options, including implementation considerations.

A targeted stakeholder consultation process is occurring this month and includes:

  • semi-structured interviews and focus groups with a set of key stakeholders
  • a public submission process hosted on the Queensland Health website, to encourage stakeholder participation through one or both mechanisms.

If you would like to know more or if you have not received an invitation to participate in interviews and focus groups, but think that you should be involved, you might make direct contact with the project team at Deloitte, AudiologyRIS@deloitte.com.au.

Deafness Forum Australia will prepare a submission for members and other stakeholders. We would welcome your input, whether it is simple comments and reflections or more detailed views. Contact us via hello@deafnessforum.org.au

* A Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (Decision RIS) is a document that provides an analysis of the regulatory impacts of proposed policy recommendations. The key points are:

  • It assesses the costs, benefits, and net impacts of the policy options being considered, including the recommended option.
  • It draws on stakeholder feedback and other relevant evidence to quantify the impacts where possible.
  • It identifies the option that is expected to provide the greatest net benefit to the community.
  • It outlines how the recommended option will be implemented and evaluated after implementation.

The Decision RIS must meet best practice regulation requirements set out in government guidelines. The Office of Best Practice Regulation confirms if it meets these requirements.