General Practice Accreditation Scheme

The GP scheme was originally developed by the Australian Government Department of Health (DoH) to assist general practices to meet standards of safety and quality as outlined in the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for General Practices, as published from time to time by the RACGP. Certification enables general practices to participate in the DoH Practice Incentives Program (PIP).

Note: references to general practice ‘accreditation’ and ‘accrediting agencies’ are references to the responsibilities of a certification body (CB) seeking to gain or maintain JAS-ANZ accreditation for this scheme.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (‘the Commission) subsequently acquired full responsibility for overseeing quality assurance requirements for GP Practice Incentive Payments in 2016. The Commission refers to the accreditation (certification) requirements as: ‘the National General Practice Accreditation Scheme’, which commenced on 1 January 2017.
Applicant CBs will need to comply with these requirements together with those specified in:

  • ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 – Conformity Assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems;
  • Health Care Services Management Systems Part 1: Common requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of Health Care Services Management Systems; And
  • Health Care Services Management Systems Part 3: Additional requirements for bodies providing audit and accreditation to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Standards for General Practice.

If there are any conflicts between these documents, the requirements in the latter part take precedence. The origin of requirements in the HCSMS Part 3 are from Procedure 16 (General requirements for bodies operating assessment and accreditation of general practices for recognition under the practice incentives program), which has been withdrawn.

Note that HCSMS Parts 3 contains requirements which diminish ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015, and therefore certification bodies will not be eligible for accreditation to this standard based on compliance with the GP scheme alone. However, CBs may be eligible for such accreditation if they voluntarily choose to adhere to the full requirements for all (or a defined subset of) general practice clients in their audit programme.

Benefits

  • Obtaining accreditation (certification) to the RACGP standards is a pre-condition of eligibility for PIP payments;
  • Demonstrates that a general practice complies with standards for safety and quality of care.

Scheme owner

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

More information

An application pack, application form and other relevant material is not available on this site. These documents are available through our SharePoint portal. If you are a body that we currently accredit, you can access this information through the Shared CAB Portal. If you are a new applicant, please complete an application enquiry form. Once this form is submitted, the Secretariat will contact you to advise the next steps.  For other stakeholders, please submit your inquiry through the online feedback form.