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General practice accreditation in Australia: Data from 2010–2021

Summary

Summary

Accreditation is important for assuring and improving the quality and safety of healthcare. General practice accreditation is voluntary in Australia. The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC), in collaboration with The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), developed the National General Practice Accreditation Scheme to oversee the consistent assessment of Australian general practices against the RACGP Standards for general practices (5th edition) (the Standards). This paper describes the uptake of accreditation in Australia between 2010 and 2021.

The information presented in this paper is based on quantitative analysis of the primary and community health data provided as part of the Australian Government’s Productivity Commission 2022 Report on government services (RoGS).

We found that:

  • the number and proportion of accredited general practices in Australia increased over a 10-year period from 2010–2019 (with data on practice numbers in 2020 and 2021 unavailable)
  • variability in the proportion of accredited general practices in each state and territory decreased over the same period
  • the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) general practitioners (GPs) increased during the same period, as did the number of FTE GPs per 100,000 people
  • there was convergence of market share between the agencies that provide independent general practice accreditation.
  1. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Standards for general practices. 5th edn. East Melbourne, Vic: RACGP 2017 [Accessed 1 February 2022].
  2. Braithwaite J, Greenfield D, Westbrook J, et al. Health service accreditation as a predictor of clinical and organisational performance: a blinded, random, stratified study. Qual Saf Health Care 2010;19(1):14−21. doi: 10.1136/qshc.2009.033928.
  3. Services Australia. Practice Incentives Program. Canberra: Services Australia, 2021. Available at: [Accessed 1 February 2022].
  4. Services Australia. What are the individual incentives. Canberra: Services Australia, 2021. Available at: [Accessed 1 February 2022].
  5. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. The National General Practice Accreditation Scheme. Sydney: ACSQHC, 2020 [Accessed 1 February 2022].
  6. Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision. Report on government services 2022. Canberra: Productivity Commission, 2022. Available at: [Accessed 1 February 2022].
  7. Department of Health. Method Paper: General practice full time equivalent (GPFTE) – Workforce. Canberra: Department of Health, 2014 [Accessed 1 February 2022].
  8. Bodenheimer T, Ghorob A, Willard-Grace R, Grumbach K. The 10 building blocks of high-performing primary care. Ann Fam Med 2014 12(2):166−71. doi: 10.1370/afm.1616.
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