The National General Practice Accreditation Scheme

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) administers the National General Practice Accreditation (NGPA) Scheme, which supports the consistent assessment of Australian general practices against the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for general practices.

Accreditation assessments in 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create challenges for the health system. In some instances, this may impact the ability of general practices to participate in on-site accreditation assessments to the RACGP Standards for general practices.

To provide certainty for general practices, and to facilitate accreditation assessments proceeding where possible, the following provisions for accreditation assessments apply in 2022:

  1. On-site assessment is to proceed, whenever safe and feasible.
  2. Hybrid assessment may occur where it is not possible for a full assessment team to be on site. This assessment involves part of the assessment team being on site and part of assessment team off site.
  3. Off-site virtual assessment may be allowed in exceptional circumstances. All virtual assessments must be followed up with an on-site assessment.
  4. Accreditation can be maintained and the accreditation expiry date revised by up to six months. This option is available to general practices with assessments scheduled before 31 July 2022 that are experiencing COVID-19 related disruptions or unable to proceed due to public health orders imposing travel and border restrictions.

To find out how these arrangements apply to you, download the fact sheet:


Requests for approval of hybrid or virtual assessments and extensions to accreditation expiry

Applications for hybrid or virtual assessment and extensions to accreditation expiry can be submitted to the Commission for consideration using the form below. All applications will need to provide a strong rationale in compliance with the eligibility criteria. For information of the criteria for approval refer to Fact sheet: Accreditation assessments in 2022 or Advisory GP18/01: Extensions to accreditation. Based on the evidence and rationale provided, the Commission will determine approval on a case-by-case basis.

The Commission recommends that general practices liaise with their accrediting agency prior to submitting a request. The Commission will contact the accrediting agency in order to make a determination.

FAQs: Accreditation during the COVID-19 pandemic

Evaluation of the NGPA Scheme

In 2021, the Australian Government Department of Health commissioned an independent review of general practice accreditation arrangements, including the National General Practice Accreditation Scheme. The purpose of the consultation was to seek stakeholder feedback on the strengths and limitations of general practice accreditation and its intersection with educational accreditation. 

For further information on the review, or to access the final report, visit Australian Government Department of Health Consultation Hub.

Background

The Commission in collaboration with the RACGP developed the NGPA Scheme, which commenced on 1 January 2017. The NGPA Scheme supports the accreditation of Australian general practices to the RACGP Standards for general practices.

The Approval under the NGPA Scheme to conduct assessments outlines the policy and processes for obtaining, maintaining and removing approval as an accrediting agency under the NGPA Scheme.


Where can I find a list of approved accrediting agencies?

General practices wishing to become accredited to the RACGP Standards for general practices will need to engage an approved accrediting agency to conduct their practice’s accreditation assessment.

Under the NGPA Scheme, general practices accessing the Department of Health’s Practice Incentives Program (PIP) or the Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) - Practice Stream must be assessed by an approved accrediting agency.

As at 1 January 2020 the following agencies are approved to assess general practices to the RACGP Standards for general practices.

ACHS

Australian Council on Healthcare Standards

5 Macarthur Street
Ultimo NSW 2007
Phone: 02 9281 9955
Email: achs@achs.org.au
Website

AGPAL

AGPAL Group of Companies

PO Box 506
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
Phone: 1300 362 111
Email: info@agpal.com.au
Website

Global-Mark

Global-Mark Pty Ltd

Suite 4.07 32 Delhi Road
North Ryde NSW 2113
Phone: 1300 766 509
Phone: 02 9886 0222
Email: Health@Global-Mark.com.au
Website 

IHCAC

Institute for Healthy Communities Australia Certification Pty Ltd

PO Box 5582
West End QLD 4101
Phone: 1800 035 033
Email: ihcac@ihcac.com.au
Website

QPA

Quality Practice Accreditation Pty Ltd

136 Mount Street
Gundagai NSW 2722
Phone: 1800 188 088
Email: info@qpa.health
Website

ACHS

Australian Council on Healthcare Standards

5 Macarthur Street
Ultimo NSW 2007
Phone: 02 9281 9955
Email: achs@achs.org.au
Website

AGPAL

AGPAL Group of Companies

PO Box 506
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
Phone: 1300 362 111
Email: info@agpal.com.au
Website

Global-Mark

Global-Mark Pty Ltd

Suite 4.07 32 Delhi Road
North Ryde NSW 2113
Phone: 1300 766 509
Phone: 02 9886 0222
Email: Health@Global-Mark.com.au
Website 

IHCAC

Institute for Healthy Communities Australia Certification Pty Ltd

PO Box 5582
West End QLD 4101
Phone: 1800 035 033
Email: ihcac@ihcac.com.au
Website

QPA

Quality Practice Accreditation Pty Ltd

136 Mount Street
Gundagai NSW 2722
Phone: 1800 188 088
Email: info@qpa.health
Website

Accrediting agency approval process now open

For organisations seeking approval to conduct assessments under the NGPA Scheme, 2022 round of approvals is now open. Applications are currently being accepted and will close 5pm AEST 28 October 2022. Click here for more information.  

Fact sheets and Advisories

The Commission has developed a range of fact sheets and advisories to support the accreditation of general practices to the RACGP Standards for general practice.

Fact sheets and flow charts


Advisories

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 and are periodically reviewed to ensure they remain current.  Any changes to an advisory are summarised in the notes section on the advisory cover sheet. 

The following advisories are currently under review.  Once finalised they will be available on this webpage. If you would like to receive information directly about updates to the NGPA Scheme please subscribe to our Primary Care Newsletter.


Can I appeal the outcome of my accreditation assessment?

There is provision within the NGPA Scheme for general practices to appeal the outcome of their accreditation assessment. General practices may appeal to the Commission where the process conducted by the accrediting agency has not complied with the NGPA Scheme.

A general practice may only appeal to the Commission where their accrediting agency did not comply with:

  • The NGPA Scheme as set out in the policy
  • Commission fact sheets or Advisories.

Appeals to the Commission will not be considered for reasons such as:

  • The general practice did not allow sufficient time, or comply with the reasonable directions of the accrediting agency to finalise the administration of the assessment prior to the accreditation expiry date
  • The general practice is transferring between accrediting agencies
  • The general practice is disputing the ratings awarded at assessment to actions in a set of standards not part of a Commission accreditation scheme.

The process

An appeal to the Commission can follow an appeal to the accrediting agency, or occur without a prior appeal to the accrediting agency. Where an appeal is made directly to the Commission it must be within 20 business days of the general practice receiving its final assessment report from its accrediting agency. Where an appeal is made following an appeal to its accrediting agency, it must be made within 20 business days of the accrediting agency ruling on its appeal.

All appeals are to be in writing and submitted via the submission form for general practices and accrediting agencies. One receipt of an appeal the Commission will seek information from the accrediting agency.

Contact us

For queries regarding the NGPA Scheme, please contact

Safety and Quality Advice Centre

Phone: 1800 304 056

Email: AdviceCentre@safetyandquality.gov.au 

Updates

To be notified of NGPA Scheme updates, please subscribe to our Primary Care Newsletter

The RACGP

For more information or questions about the RACGP Standards for general practices, please contact the RACGP on 1800 472 247 or email racgp@racgp.org.au