From July 1 2012, the standards will apply to any person in Australia who wishes to be known, or whose employer wishes them to be known, as one of the following:
* an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner
* an Aboriginal Health Practitioner
* a Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner.
Health workers who are not required by their employer to use these protected titles will not be required to be registered, and will be able to keep working using their existing titles (e.g. Aboriginal Health Worker, Drug and Alcohol Worker and Mental Health Worker).
The new standards set out what is required of workers in terms of professional development, criminal history, English language skills, professional indemnity insurance and recency of practice.
To register on time, workers are advised to complete their application by 30 March 2012.