Applying for a Professional Standards Scheme is an intensive process. And should your application be approved, your association and its members will have ongoing statutory obligations to meet under professional standards legislation.
For most associations, being recognised with a Professional Standards Scheme requires a significant step up in their professional standards systems and self-regulatory capacity.
The following questions can help you decide if your association is eligible and ready to apply for a Professional Standards Scheme. We also recommend you download and read the application guidelines, so you can understand exactly what will be required if you decide to proceed.
If you need more assistance, one of our Professional Standards Scheme Managers would be happy to discuss these guidelines with you and help you through the application process. Contact us to find out more.
To be eligible for a Professional Standards Scheme, your association must fall within the definition of an “occupational association” as set out in the professional standards legislation.
This means you must:
Individual companies and professionals cannot apply for a Professional Standards Scheme. However, they can take part in one if they belong to an association that has a scheme.
If you’re still not sure if you’re eligible, contact us.
The professional standards legislation that exists throughout Australia authorises the operation of Professional Standards Schemes, and specifies how they can be approved, monitored and enforced.
You should familiarise yourself with the acts and regulations that apply in your state or territory, as they outline the legal rights and responsibilities of associations with a Professional Standards Scheme.
Professional Standards Schemes come with statutory rights and responsibilities that will affect how you and your members do business. We recommend you seek independent legal advice before you apply to determine what these effects will be, so you can decide if a scheme is right for you.
Associations and their members must have certain processes, programs and practices in place before their Professional Standards Schemes can be approved. We typically identify these in the framework of the 5 Es – that is:
You can find information about these systems in our application guidelines. Other guides in our resource centre may also help you. And if you need more help, speak to one of our Professional Standards Scheme Managers.
Under professional standards legislation, there are two types of fees for Professional Standards Schemes: application fees and annual fees.
An application fee of $5,000 is due when you submit your application documents. Further application fees may also be applicable if your Professional Standards Scheme is to apply across multiple states. Annual fees are charged at $50 per participating member. Learn more about scheme fees.
Many associations cover all or part of these costs by incorporating them into their annual membership fees. We recommend you consider how your association will cover these fees before you apply for your scheme.
Do you have the time and resources you need?
It takes most associations at least 12 months to complete the application process. This is due to:
We’re here to help guide associations like yours through the application process. Contact us to speak to a Professional Standards Scheme Manager who can help you complete your application.