Private Practice

Getting Started

Almost got your ticket? Planning on doing some private work? Got no idea where to start?

We’ve got your back. Follow our simple guide to get everything in order to get into private practice.

Your college will give you a temporary certification so that you can get the ball rolling.

For anaesthetists, you can apply four weeks prior to your actual training completion date, provided you have completed all your training requirements. You can find the application form here.

For intensivists, contact the college to go through all the requirements.

You’ll need a certified copy of your certificate to send to AHPRA.

You can’t do this until you’ve got step 1 sorted. Before you can provide specialist services, you’ll need AHPRA to give you the seal of approval. You’ll need to fill our form ASPC-30 which you can find here:

The process varies in length of time but expect it to take about 4 weeks.

Any existing provider numbers you have (such as in your training hospital) can be used to provide specialist services. Technically, you are required to have a unique provider number for each physical location you practice in. However, unofficially, Medicare are satisfied with a single provider number for anaesthetic private practice. You can use your billing agent’s or group’s address as the place of practice.

Once you have step 2 sorted, the easiest way to get a private practice provider number is through PRODA. Applying online means you get your provider number immediately. You should also update your bank account details as this is where you set your payment details for Medicare bulk bill and DVA payments.

You can find PRODA here:

You can also apply by filling out a physical form, however this generally takes forever!!

Getting registered with health funds before you start private work will save you a lot of hassle down the track. Register for every fund regardless of your circumstances. Solo Practice Management will take the hassle out of registering and complete it on your behalf…. but just in case you love doing paperwork, you can find the forms for each fund below. Note that some funds require you to provide evidence of your bank account, like a statement.

HOT TIP! Get yourself a separate bank account for your private practice income. Any fee free saver will do. Do not put hospital wages or salary in there (unless you are a contractor, not an employee). This will make doing your BAS each quarter a piece of cake. 

You can find registration forms via the following links: NIB / BUPA / Medibank Private / AHSA / ARHG 

We recommend you do not register as an Australian Defence Force provider, as you will be paid at AMA rates.

You can do this step at any time. Because you’ll be providing services that people will pay you for (as opposed to being an employee), you instantly become a business. And with that, sadly, comes accounting obligations. You’ll need an ABN and you can get one instantly here:

Apply for an ABN

You’ll need to choose the Individual (Sole Trader) option and have your Tax File Number handy.

Talk to your insurer about adding private practice cover to your policy. If you get asked, choose the lowest threshold for Billings initially – you can always increase this later. Most insurers provide discounts for when you’re starting out practice. You’ll need a certificate of insurance for the next step.

Each hospital has to accredit you for their facility. Most of this is now done online and you can usually apply for multiple facilities that are owned by the same company in the same application. Contact the hospital and ask for their accreditation officer for how to apply.

You will need all of the following documents and information in order to complete the application. Have them scanned in pdf format and save them in the same folder to simplify the process:

  • Initial medical degree
  • Specialist college fellowship certificate
  • AHPRA registration certificate showing specialist registration
  • CPD compliance certificate
  • CV
  • Insurance certificate
  • The names and contact details of three referees
  • The name and contact details of an alternate specialist accredited at the facility in case you are uncontactable
  • Provider number
  • Prescriber number
  • You may be asked for evidence of fellowship training in some sub specialties such as paediatric, obstetric or cardiac anaesthesia if you are applying for them

If you are asked at the last minute to provide your services at a facility where you are not accredited, you can speak to the theatre NUM or in-charge nurse for emergency accreditation. You will be asked to provide many of the documents above, so keep them together and handy. You will then need to apply for formal accreditation at a later date.

While this is not essential to start private practice, it’s a good idea to get this sorted prior. Some billing agents, such as Solo Practice Management, will take care of all the health fund registration for you as well.

You also need to understand the system itself. We’ve got you covered for that too, click here to head to our billing guide.