PLACING ACCREDITATION ON HOLD
If you do not need your accreditation for any reason (e.g., travel, job change, parental leave) you can put it on hold with ESSA.
This is called a leave of absence and means you do not need to meet any ESSA accreditation requirements for the period it is on hold, including CPD, recency of practice and insurance.
It’s best to tell us as soon as you know, ideally before your leave takes effect.
To contact us, please complete a Leave of Absence form and send to [email protected].
ESSA will send you a confirmation email once we receive the form.
How long can I take a Leave of Absence for?
You can take a Leave of Absence at any time, for as long as you want. When you’re ready to come back, also known as reinstating, ESSA will work with you to make sure your knowledge and skills are current for practice.
Your reinstatement pathway will differ depending on how long you have been on a leave of absence, and if you have practiced* during that time.
*Practice is defined as ‘any role, whether paid or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a practitioner in their profession. Practice includes the direct provision of services to clients and other activities using professional knowledge and skills in a direct clinical or non-clinical way. It also includes non-direct relationships with clients, such as working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy development roles; and any other roles that impact on safe and effective delivery of exercise and sports science services.
Do I need to confirm my return date when applying for a Leave of Absence?
No. You do not need to confirm your return date. It is even possible to take an indefinite leave of absence. All you need to do is contact ESSA when you wish to reinstate your accreditation.
Tip: The earlier you can establish a rough timeframe for your reinstatement, the better. Having some lead time can accommodate any administrative needs.
Can my Leave of Absence be backdated?
No, if you have already paid your accreditation and/or membership fees. You are encouraged to submit a Leave of Absence form in advance of your expected leave date.
Can I get refund of my Accreditation and/or Membership fees if I take a Leave of Absence?
No, however, you may be able to get a credit for future billing, if you are returning within 2 years.
I am going on a leave of absence next year. Do I need to gain CPD points this year?
Yes. You must complete CPD in each year that you are accredited. Failure to do so may impact your ability to hold accreditation in the future.
I am going on a leave of absence this year. Do I need to gain CPD points this year?
Yes. The number of months you are accredited for will determine the number of points you require. Please refer to the below table. You will have up until the 31st of December to fulfil your CPD requirements.
Is it necessary to continue to meet my accreditation requirements while on leave?
Placing your accreditation on a leave means you place your accreditation requirements on hold. While you are away from practice, it will not be necessary for you to complete requirements such as CPD and Recency of Practice.
If I stay accredited, but I am not practising, do I still need to meet my accreditation requirements?
Can I continue to use my Medicare Provider number, whilst on a leave of absence?
Your Medicare Provider Number is closed when you put your accreditation on a leave. As part of your return requirements, you will need to organise the reinstatement of your provider number.
Do I still have access to the online members portal whilst on a Leave of Absence?
Your member access will be restricted if you are placing your full membership and accreditation on hold. You will not have access to the online members portal and member benefits. However, you can still access your ESSA portal.
Tip: there is an option to keep your membership, while placing your accreditation on hold (full membership fees apply).
What should I do if receive my renewal notice for next year but I am planning on taking leave from my accreditation?
It is important that you submit a leave of absence form well in advance, especially if you are planning on taking time off the following year. Tips for completing the form include:
- Register for the quarterly instalment payment option, if you are unsure of when your leave will start, to avoid paying the full annual fee
- If you are aware of your leave of absence date, please submit your leave of absence form prior to arranging payment of your renewal, so that your renewal billing can be adjusted.
You can renew your accreditation when you want to come back from a period of leave. ESSA refers to this as reinstatement.
How to reinstate
- Return the reinstatement form to [email protected] and any additional requested information.
- You will receive a confirmation email upon receipt of your reinstatement form.
Tip: Reinstatements will only proceed once all required documentation has been received.
Want to come back? Your pathway back to accreditation will depend on a number of factors:
- How long you have been on leave
- What you have been doing during that time
- The area of practice you are returning to.
This downloadable PDF can assist you in determining which pathway back to accreditation is right for you. If you need support figuring out how long you have been away from practice or if the practice you’ve been doing while you’ve been away is within the ESSA scope, feel free to contact the ESSA team. We can assist you in determining the most suitable pathway for you. We recommend reviewing the Recency of Practice and Return to Practice policies for further information.
How long is the processing time?
Short answer, it depends. The times are dependent upon the chosen pathway and whether all requested documentation is provided. It’s important to contact the ESSA office at least one month prior to your required reinstatement date. This ensures you have sufficient time to complete the requirements.
Once your reinstatement is approved, and payment is made, your certificate will be available to download within 1-3 business days (dependent upon the form of payment).
Do I need to contact Medicare to reinstate my provider number?
Yes, you will need to contact Medicare if you wish to reinstate your Provider Number, once your reinstatement is finalised. ESSA recommends reinstating prior to your first day of work to allow time to arrange this.
Do I need to pay an administration fee?
An administration processing fee applies to the Recency of Practice, “3-5 Year” and “Over 5 Year” Return to Practice reinstatement applications. All fees are stipulated within the reinstatement form. An invoice will be generated upon receipt of your reinstatement form.
Note: Your reinstatement will not progress until this fee is paid.
Do I need to pay the full annual fee upon reinstatement?
Upon reinstating your accreditation and/or membership with ESSA, a proportion of the fees apply, also known as pro-rata. This is calculated based on the month you wish to reinstate. For example, if you are reinstating in August, you will only be billed for 5 months.
Please note, the reinstatement date is the date your payment is processed following approval of your application. Your accreditation and/or membership will not be valid until payment has been received.
Are there payment options available?
- Payment can be made online via card (VISA/Mastercard) or via bank transfer (EFT).
- You can also register for an instalment option, which is processed quarterly.
Do I need to provide evidence of photographic Identification?
Yes. When applying to ESSA, you must provide a certified copy of your photo identification. ‘Certified copy’ means a photocopy of the original document that is signed by an authorised person as a true copy of the original.
What can be counted as a practice to meet the recency of practice requirements?
Practice is defined as ‘any role, whether remunerated or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a practitioner in their profession. Practice includes the direct provision of services to clients and the use of professional knowledge and/or skill in a direct clinical or non-clinical way. This includes non-direct relationships with clients, such as working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy development roles; and any other roles that impact on safe, effective delivery of exercise and sports science services.’
If you are unsure as to whether the practice you’ve undertaken whilst you’ve been away is within the ESSA scope, please feel free to contact the ESSA team and we can confirm this for you.
If you are not able to provide sufficient evidence to meet the recency of practice requirements, a Return to Practice program will be required.
What evidence should I provide if reinstating via the Recency of Practice pathway?
ESSA will accept any form of reasonable, verified evidence that demonstrates the recency of practice requirements. This must address ALL the following points:
- Evidence of the number of hours AND
- Evidence of relevant practice activities AND
- Be independently verified. This can be by a person who can confirm the details provided (e.g., a letter from employer) or the type of evidence itself may provide the verification (e.g., payslips, contract)
Please refer to the Recency of Practice FAQs webpage for further clarification and examples.
Can I access ESSA professional development at the Member rate, to assist with my reinstatement requirements?
You can reinstate as a Full Member prior to reaccrediting. Pro-rata full membership billing can be provided upon request. Full members have access to discounted professional development, complimentary learning resources, recorded chats, EBSCO database, and the ESSA Mentoring list. Additional ESSA member benefits can be found here.
Do I need to complete my mentoring hours prior to reinstating?
You will be required to source a Mentor and submit a signed mentorship agreement with your reinstatement application. However, mentoring hours should be accrued post-reinstatement. A timeframe will be provided once your reinstatement is finalised. You will be required to complete a Record of Mentorship.
I have been away for 5 years or more, what pathway is right for me?
It is likely that you will be required to undertake the 5 years + return to practice pathway.
What is the return to practice 5 years + requirements?
Return to practice program activities for individuals who have not practised in five years or more, will be determined at the discretion of ESSA. ESSA will consider the following factors when determining the program activities:
- ESSA accreditation type/s and practice history
- length of time away from practice
- any practice prior to the period of non-accreditation
- any CPD completed during a period of non-accreditation
- intended area of practice upon return
- support resources accessible to the individual.
The program may include supervised practice, mentorship, additional Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and other activities determined by ESSA.
Evidence of 10 CPD points and a completed CPD plan will be required to be submitted with your reinstatement application. Your Return to Practice program requirements will be determined once your application is received.
I am returning to work in a part-time capacity. Am I eligible for a discount?
If you are intending to practice within the ESSA scope in a part-time capacity (less than 20 hours per week), you may be eligible for a discount. This is a member benefit and therefore is only applicable to the Full Membership/Accreditation joining option. You would need to provide ESSA with evidence of your part-time role, so we can determine your eligibility. Evidence can include a letter from your employer, a contract, a statutory declaration, etc. Evidence will need to be provided with your reinstatement application for consideration.
Are my accreditation requirements reduced if I return to work in a part-time capacity?
Your accreditation requirements, including CPD, will remain the same, irrespective of your employment status.
Updated July 2023