AHPRA Changes – Latest Update

AHPRA have published a factsheet on the transition to a new assessment model for internationally qualified nurses and midwives (IQNMs).  While it still lacks specific details it sets out new dates for the transition.

New Model of Assessment for IQNMs

In early 2020 the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia will move to an outcomes-based assessment (OBA) for IQNMs. A new model is a permanent approach to assessment of IQNMs. However, it will only apply to IQNMs who hold a qualification that is relevant but not substantially equivalent or based on similar competencies to an Australian approved qualification.

AHPRA have a list of countries whose qualifications are likely or unlikely to meet the accreditation requirements.

Outcome-Based Assessment (OBA)

This will be a two-step assessment process, where you must pass the first assessment before progressing to the second stage.

Part One: Multiple Choice Exam (step 1)


  • Cognitive Assessment
  • Computer-based
  • Multiple choice exam
Part two: Objective Structured clinical exam (Step 2)


  • Behavioral assessment
  • Objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)
  • Demonstrate nursing knowledge, skills, and competence
  • Assessed at Graduate Level Australian Level
Part Three: Orientation Program

All IQNM’s will be required to complete the orientation programme.


Orientation Program (Part three)

The orientation program will consist of three stages. First, an on-line assessment that introduces IQNM’s to Australia and the Australian Healthcare System.  Secondly, once registered with NMBA IQNM’s will have to learn about the diversity of Australian Culture. Finally, there will be an employer orientation program in line with NMBA guidelines.

When will OBA model commence

The OBA model will be phased over the next 4 months.  From 1st October 2019 applicable IQNM’s* have the choice to be referred to a bridging program or the OBA model.  If they opt to be referred to the OBA model that will begin in January 2020.

From January 2020 the new model of assessment will commence, and applicable IQNM’s* will no longer be referred to bridging courses.

More details to come

The factsheet provided by AHPRA is comprehensive and covers questions like ‘What if I have already started a bridging course?’, so if you have something specific to find out, that would be your first port of call.

However, important information has yet to be confirmed and published.  For example, it still remains to be seen what length of time the new OBA model will take from application to final AHPRA registration.  Where will the OSCE take place (in Australia or in approved centers off-shore), and what is the cost of the assessments.

*applicable IQNM’s  are IQNMs who hold a qualification that is relevant but not substantially equivalent or based on similar competencies to an Australian approved qualification (and who meet the mandatory registration standards)

ICE Group have vacancies in Sydney for ED, ICU, NICU, and Anaesthetic Nurses, as well as Midwives in NSW, ACT, and Victoria.  For more details contact Elizabeth Cox at nurse@icegroup.ie or phone 087 1251531.

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