The National General Practice Accreditation Scheme
The National General Practice Accreditation (NGPA) Scheme supports the consistent assessment of Australian general practices against the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for general practices.
The National General Practice Accreditation (NGPA) Scheme
The Commission, in collaboration with the RACGP, developed the NGPA Scheme, which commenced on 1 January 2017. This scheme aligns with the RACGP Standards for general practices.
The NGPA Scheme:
- Provides greater choice for general practices seeking accreditation
- Improves support programs for implementation of accreditation
- Includes access to national de-identified data on accreditation performance to enable practices to benchmark themselves.
The NGPA Scheme is aligned to the Australian Health Service Safety and Quality Accreditation Scheme and includes:
- The General Practice Accreditation Coordinating Committee, an industry-based stakeholder committee to provide governance and oversight of the scheme
- An approval process for accrediting agencies assessing general practices
- A data collection and reporting framework for accrediting agencies.
Data collection and reporting framework
The NGPA Scheme includes a data collection and reporting framework for the approved accrediting agencies. Through the implementation of a consistent and standardised approach to the collection of data, the Commission uses assessment data to:
- Monitor the NGPA Scheme and the performance of accrediting agencies
- Understand the perspectives of general practice accreditation
- Identify areas for improvement.
Clause 4.9 of the Guide to the approval process for accrediting agencies outlines the requirements for data reporting by accrediting agencies:
Post-assessment survey of general practices
Following the completion of an accreditation assessment, general practices will be sent a link to complete a brief survey about their experience.
The purpose of the survey is to seek feedback from general practices about their experience of the assessment process and their accrediting agency without fearing it might negatively impact their assessment outcome. The survey asks questions about the surveyor’s skills and their approach to the assessment, and the accrediting agencies processes for organising and preparing for the accreditation assessment.
General practices that recently underwent the accreditation process are encouraged to complete the survey. General practices should contact their accrediting agency if they haven't received the link following finalisation of their assessment process.
Approvals process for accrediting agencies
Accrediting agencies approved under the NGPA Scheme are required to comply with the roles and responsibilities set out in the assessment criteria.
Applications from accrediting agencies are assessed by a panel of industry stakeholders that may include representatives from the RACGP, the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association and the Australian Association of Practice Management. Any accrediting agency seeking to assess general practices to the RACGP Standards for general practices may apply.
The Commission is currently reviewing the criteria for approval for accrediting agencies. An announcement regarding the next approval process, including closing dates for applications, will be made following the completion of the review.
Advisories for the NGPA Scheme
An Advisory is a formal communication from the Commission to accrediting agencies to provide guidance and direction on the interpretation and/or assessment of the RACGP Standards for general practices. Advisories are numbered and dated before distribution. The NGPA Scheme advisories are periodically reviewed to ensure they remain current. any changes to an advisory are summarised in the notes section on the advisory's cover sheet.
The advisories are routinely reviewed to ensure they remain current. All the advisories have been updated following the latest review.
Approved accrediting agencies
The Commission has the delegated authority to approve accrediting agencies to assess and accredit general practices. Under the NGPA Scheme, general practices accessing the Department of Health’s Practice Incentives Program (PIP) or the Workforce Incentive Program (WIP), which will replace Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP) from 1 July 2019, must be assessed by an approved accrediting agency.
In 2016, the Commission conducted an approvals process for accrediting agencies wishing to assess general practices.
As at 1 January 2019 the following agencies are approved to assess general practices to the Royal
Australian College of General Practitioners Standards for general practices.
The Commission’s Advice Centre Contacts
The Advice Centre provides support on the implementation of the NGPA Scheme.
Should you have any queries about the Scheme, please contact the Commission via the Advice Centre:
Phone: 1800 304 056
For more information or questions about the RACGP Standards for General Practice, please contact the RACGP on 1800 472 247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org