English language skills registration standard


This standard was approved by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council in December 2011 pursuant to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law), with approval taking effect from 1 July 2012.


All applicants for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner registration must be able to demonstrate they have an adequate command of the English language. 

Scope of application

This standard applies to all applicants for registration. It does not apply to students. 


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners will only be trained in Australia.

English language proficiency can be demonstrated through the completion of the Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice or a qualification considered by the Board to be equivalent.

Practitioners will be required to provide a certified copy of their qualifications upon registration.

The Board retains the power to require further evidence of English language skills under section 80 of the National Law. This may include formal testing of English language proficiency in accordance with the Australian Core Skills Framework.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner means a person registered by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board. The practitioner may use the titles:

  • Aboriginal health practitioner,
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner, or
  • Torres Strait Islander health practitioner.

Clinical practice means direct clinical care of patients, using the current knowledge, skills and attitudes of the profession, whether remunerated or not, and regardless of job title. 


This standard will commence on 1 July 2012. The Board will review this standard at least every three years.

Page reviewed 5/07/2016