Understanding the Recent Changes to AHPRA Rules: What You Need to Know


The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and quality of healthcare services in Australia. As part of its ongoing commitment to improving regulatory practices, AHPRA has recently implemented several changes to its rules. These changes aim to enhance transparency, accountability, and patient safety, while also addressing emerging challenges in the healthcare sector. In this blog post, we will explore the key modifications made to the AHPRA rules and their potential impact on healthcare professionals and consumers alike.

In summary:

  • Improved regulations for cosmetic surgery bring about elevated standards, stricter advertising guidelines, and enhanced registration endorsement.
  • As of July 1, 2023, there are new regulations in place that provide more robust guidance for doctors conducting cosmetic surgery and impose updated rules for advertising such procedures.
  • The latest safety protocols encompass mandatory GP referrals prior to any cosmetic surgery and a strict crackdown on advertising, including on social media, that minimizes or disregards associated risks.
  • The endorsement of cosmetic surgery takes a significant step forward as health ministers approve the registration standard.

Practice updates

The newly introduced guidelines place significant emphasis on online and social media advertising, specifically tailored to the distinctive aspects of cosmetic surgery. These guidelines offer enhanced clarity regarding unacceptable practices in this context.

Advertising must not:

  • be considered false, misleading, or deceptive
  • provide discounts without any accompanying terms and conditions
  • use testimonials
  • generate unjustifiably high expectations of favorable outcomes., or
  • promote careless or unselective usage.

Source: AHPRA

Additionally, from 1 July 2023:

  • medical practitioners must include clear information about their registration type and their registration number
  • clear information about risks and recovery must be easily found
  • videos and images must be used responsibly and not for entertainment
  • videos and images must not be sexualised or include gratuitous nudity
  • the use of negative body language is banned
  • cosmetic surgery advertising must be identified as adult content.

Source: AHPRA

Healthcare practitioners are granted a three-month period to acquaint themselves with the modifications and align their advertising practices with the newly introduced guidelines. This timeframe allows practitioners to make the necessary adjustments and ensure compliance with the updated guidelines.

Starting from September 2022, AHPRA has actively conducted audits of cosmetic surgery advertising and identified a significant number of cases that did not comply with the regulations. The Medical Board has taken appropriate regulatory measures as required. AHPRA will continue its audit program in accordance with the new rules from July 1, 2023. Healthcare practitioners are advised to utilize this period to review their advertising practices and rectify any identified issues.

Karen Noble has been a professional nurse and longtime natural beauty advocate. She specialises in non-synthetic cosmetic treatments and has always followed the previous and will continue to follow the new procedures.. She has worked in theatre and anaesthetics and critical care. While working alongside Plastic Surgeons she witnessed the damage caused by the sun. Karen developed an interest in dermatology and sun cancer prevention which morphed into cosmetics and overall skin health.

Conscious Cosmetic Clinic offers holistic, biomimicking products and services to help restore and rejuvenate skin concerns.

If you’re ready to step out into a journey towards better skin, reach out and book in for a consultation.