Accreditation services

Overview

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) is the independent accrediting authority for the nursing and midwifery professions in Australia. A primary function of ANMAC as the accreditation authority is to ensure that programs leading to registration and endorsement of nurses and midwives in Australia meet the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) approved standards for accreditation. We function under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, which was introduced on 1 July 2010.

ANMAC was established as the accrediting authority by the Australian Government’s Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) under what is known as the National Law.

National approach

Previously, the nursing and midwifery regulatory authorities in each state and territory were responsible for accreditation under the National Accreditation Framework. This was complex. It involved eight states and territories and more than 85 health profession boards across the country, governed by 66 Acts of Parliaments.

To streamline the approach, the Australian Government put accreditation of nursing and midwifery programs under a single authority—ANMAC—and under its National Scheme. Never before in Australia had all of this work been undertaken by one organisation and the benefits in making the system more straightforward and consistent made it worthwhile.

The new co-regulatory environment involves a close working relationship between ANMAC and the NMBA—both national bodies. It also involves close working relationships with:

  • all states and territories (their nursing and midwifery boards)
  • other professionals operating under the National Scheme
  • key stakeholders involved in the nursing and midwifery professions.

In this role we are responsible for developing new accreditation standards and regularly reviewing and improving existing accreditation standards approved under the National Scheme.

ANMAC’s accreditation services are methodical, rigorous and comprehensive and, as such, it can take at least nine months from the time of the initial submission by the education provider to the completion of the ANMAC process of determination to the NMBA. This timeline does not include the time taken for the NMBA process to be completed. This extensive process ensures we perform our obligations to the highest standards on behalf of the Australian Government and helps us protect the integrity of outcomes. It also ensures we fulfil our responsibility to help protect the health and safety of the community by promoting high quality standards for nursing and midwifery education.

What we assess

We assess for accreditation hundreds of programs of study leading to qualifications for entry to practice and registration or endorsement as:

  • registered nurses
  • enrolled nurses
  • nurse practitioners
  • registered midwives
  • eligible midwives.

We also assess programs for re-entry to the register and entry programs for internationally qualified nurses and midwives.

Goals

The goals of Accreditation Services section are to:

  • ensure the prinicples guding the national accreditation scheme are reflected in our work
  • work in partnership with the NMBA and other relevant stakeholders
  • develop and implement a monitoring and quality assurance framework to support the national accreditation scheme
  • continue to ensure that the National Accreditation Framework and standards remain contemporary
  • communicate the framework and standards to the community.

Scope

Our Accreditation Services team continues to build robust operational policy and standard operating procedures while :

  • undertaking assessment of programs of study to be accredited, including full assessments and modifications to existing accredited programs
  • monitoring accredited programs and managing complaints and concerns where these have been identified
  • working with all stakeholders to facilitate the transition to the National Scheme.

Who we work with

Accreditation Services works with two main groups:

  • Education providers, who deliver programs for nursing and midwifery leading to registration and endorsement. We work with more than 160 education providers accrediting up to 480 programs of study leading to registration and endorsement of nurses and midwives across eight categories. These programs are delivered in both the higher education and the vocational education and training sectors.
  • Accreditation assessors, who work as members of assessment teams to assess programs of study for accreditation and significant modifications to accredited programs. Most assessors have full-time jobs and perform key leadership and other roles in the nursing and midwifery professions and/or education sectors. They are selected as assessors for their knowledge, expertise and commitment to the nursing and midwifery professions.

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