Changes to the recognition of medical specialties from 2014
The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law ('the National Law') as in force in each state and territory states that a National Board (in the case of medicine, the Medical Board of Australia) can make a recommendation to the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council to approve a specialty and associated specialist titles. That is, the Ministerial Council recognises specialties, on the recommendation of the National Board. The National Law also states that the Board, in making such a recommendation to the Ministerial Council, may have regard to relevant advice provided by the accreditation authority for the profession (for medicine, this is the Australian Medical Council), or a specialist college for the profession.
The Ministerial Council has recently issued National Boards with guidance on submissions to the Ministerial Council for specialist recognition. This advice is available here.
In the Ministerial Council's guidance, the National Board has the responsibility for preparing and making a submission to the Ministerial Council for approval of a specialty under section 13 of the National Law.
The AMC and the Medical Board of Australia are currently developing a process for prospective applicants that meets the requirements of the Ministerial Council. Once this new process is finalised, details will be made available on this website.
In the meantime, all enquiries and further information regarding the recognition of medical specialties should be addressed to the Medical Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC, 3001.