The Department proposes that any medical practitioner who was granted APP status prior to these changes will retain it for the duration of their current annual approval period. They will not need to demonstrate any further qualification in order to retain that APP status for their current approval period, regardless of which type of laboratory they operate in. From the time of their next annual application for APP status, all APPs will need to include their proposed scope of testing as part of the application and statement of undertaking. A transition period will need to be agreed for those APPs who do not hold a clearly defined and relevant qualification as outlined above. The Department of Health and Ageing will work with all relevant stakeholders to outline the qualifications and experience required for those groups where there is a lack of clarity, and the timing of the expiry of the transition period will be determined once the appropriate procedures are in place. The Department wishes to commence work on this activity in the near future in order to effectively implement the intent of the revised arrangements as quickly as possible.

For those individuals who already hold an APP approval but do not hold recognised specialist pathologist qualifications, a transition period will also be necessary. This would allow time for appropriate transparent procedures and guidelines to be put in place to enable those practitioners to be assessed to determine whether they have adequate skills and experience in laboratory practice for the scope of testing to which they wish to continue to gain access. The development of these procedures would occur in a similar way to that outlined for the assessment of APP qualifications and experience in categories M and S. It is anticipated that the majority of individuals in this situation would be specialists in other related fields of medicine but with a particular interest in laboratory medicine and, in those cases, it should be possible to establish an appropriate outline of competence for the scope of testing that is applied for. It will be important for these individuals to ensure that the Department is aware of their circumstances so that they can be taken into account.