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Dr Anne-Louise Carlton

Senior Policy Advisor

Dr Carlton has worked in various direct service, policy and regulatory reform roles, in Australian state health and human services departments. Her qualifications include undergraduate degrees in Arts (majoring in law and psychology), Social Work and Clinical Sciences, an MBA and a Doctor of Public Health.

From 1995-2018, Dr Carlton managed the health workforce regulation function for the Victorian Department of Health. During that time, she led a range of Victorian and national regulatory reform projects in both health and disability services, including the introduction of registration for the Chinese Medicine profession. From 2004-12, she was instrumental in the design and implementation of the Council of Australian Government (CoAG) reforms to establish a national registration and accreditation scheme for the health professions (NRAS). She helped develop the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the National Law) and establish the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) and the 15 National Boards. She also managed the intergovernmental policy development process for the first round of amendments to the National Law that included bringing the profession of paramedicine into the NRAS. Her final regulatory reform projects before leaving government included:

  • designing and supporting enactment of the Disability Service Safeguards Act 2018 (Vic) to establish a registration and negative licensing scheme for Victorian disability support workers, and
  • managing the national policy process to design and implement the National Code of Conduct for health care workers – a negative licensing scheme implemented to date in four Australian States that covers any person who provides a health service and is not registered under the National Law.

Prior to and since leaving the Victorian public service in 2019, Dr Carlton has worked on a range of international health workforce regulation projects, through agencies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), assisting governments to better regulate the health professions. She has undertaken missions and provided technical assistance on health workforce regulation to the Ministries of Health in Vietnam, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Cambodia, Somaliland, Malaysia and Qatar.

She holds visiting fellowships with RMIT University, Western Sydney University and Southern Cross University. She has been engaged by Ahpra on a number of policy projects for the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia and is currently completing a project for the Australian Naturopathic Council on the risks, benefits and regulatory requirements for the profession of naturopathy. She is also assisting the Allied Health Assistants’ National Association to establish membership and practise standards including a framework for certification of qualified allied health assistants.

As a recognised expert in health workforce regulation, during 2021-22, as part of a consortium of researchers from Hong Kong, Canada and Australia led by Professor Vivian Lin from University of Hong Kong, Dr Carlton was contracted by WHO Geneva’s Health Workforce Department to undertake a systematic review of the global literature to inform the development the first WHO Global Guidance on health practitioner regulation.