Accreditation a must for nursing in Australia before registration at skills authority


The Kathmandu Post

Move follows deregistration of Australia Institute of Business and Technology, which left scores of Nepali students in limbo

Binod Ghimire, KATHMANDU, Following the deregistration of an Australia-based technical institution, which has pushed the future of hundreds of students into uncertainty, the country’s education regulatory bodies have made accreditation from Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) mandatory before the registration at Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

Now onwards, any institution running Diploma of Nursing Programme must have accreditation from the nursing and midwifery council to get registered with the skills quality authority. 

The provision was introduced after vocational education and training accreditation of Australia Institute of Business and Technology (AIBT) was revoked as it was found enrolling hundreds of students in the nursing programme without accreditation from the nursing council. The ASQA’s assessment showed that the institute had failed to demonstrate its marketing practices as accurate and factual.

In its update, the nursing and midwifery council says that institutions, which do not have the Diploma of Nursing qualification, should submit an application to ANMAC for accreditation of the programme prior to applying to ASQA. 
Bijay Sapkota, president of the Council of International Students Australia, said the new provision is a welcome move which will stop the incidents like in AIBT. 

“Unlike in the past, no institute in future will enrol students in nursing without ANMAC’s accreditation,” he told the Post over the phone. Along with AIBT, some other institutes in Australia have been found enrolling the students in Diploma in Nursing programme without ANMAC’s accreditation. The Sydney-based Australian Health and Management Institute and Nurse Training Australia are found to have enroled dozens of students, mostly from Nepal, in nursing programme. 

The operators of the education consultancies say the new initiative was a much needed step which will ensure Nepali students are not cheated in future. “The provision ensures that no student will have to enrol in the nursing programme without NAMAC’s accreditation. This will benefit all the Nepali students who want to pursue Diploma in Nursing in Australian academic institutes,” said Santosh Pyakurel, coordinator of the National Educational Consultancies Association, one of five umbrella bodies of education consultancies in the country.

After the ASQA’s decision to deregister the AIBT left hundreds of Nepali students in limbo, a committee under the Ministry of Education was formed to probe the wrongdoings of the education consultancies. The probe committee report showed the consultancies had sent 244 students to nursing and 655 students to other courses at the AIBT. The probe committee, however, did not recommend action against any consultancies that sent students to the institution.

According to Sapkota, the AIBT has appealed at Administrative Appeals Tribunal against the ASQA’s decision and a hearing has been slated for April 5. The tribunal will decide the AIBT’s fate.