In Victoria, all assisted reproductive treatment (ART) providers are regulated by the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 (Vic) (the ART Act), which has various requirements designed to protect the health and welfare of people undergoing or born as a result of ART.
Clinics providing ART in Victoria are required to be registered with VARTA, and must hold accreditation from the Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee (RTAC) of the Fertility Society of Australia (FSA). In addition to complying with requirements of the ART Act, ART clinics are required to adhere to industry guidelines.
Conditions for registration
VARTA imposes conditions of registration on all registered ART providers in the public interest to protect the health and welfare of all those impacted by ART treatment and promote compliance with the Act. These include general conditions applied to all providers who operate in Victoria and in some cases conditions which are specific to individual providers. These conditions are reviewed annually and updated where appropriate.
If VARTA believes at any time that the ART provider has contravened a condition for registration, or it is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for suspension, it may suspend the provider’s registration, either in whole or in part.
VARTA monitors the activities of ART providers, tracks developments in the sector, and analyses incidents which indicate the desirability of improvements in ART provider processes. The general conditions imposed on all ART providers in Victoria include requirements that providers: have appropriate governance, processes and systems in place to ensure compliance with applicable laws, and RTAC accreditation; provide specified information and attestations to VARTA to assist in industry monitoring; and notify VARTA of any incidents which occur.
Registered ART providers are required to report to VARTA on a regular basis to ensure the requirements of the conditions are being met. The general conditions of registration can be accessed here.
In addition to general conditions, VARTA may impose specific conditions on the registration of some registered ART providers where VARTA considers that they are necessary in the public interest in order to minimise specific risks, improve systems for legislative compliance and/or prioritise patient welfare.
This may be as a result of the occurrence of specific incidents, a risk assessment of current practices or new initiatives, or developments in the sector which make adjustments necessary in the public interest.
In these instances VARTA, following consultation with the ART providers, identifies required measures and imposes specific conditions, requiring the rectification or improvement of policies, systems and processes, the upgrading of systems for legislative compliance and the prioritisation of patient welfare as appropriate. Specific oversight conditions enhance monitoring of compliance and regularly reporting on progress and impact.
Currently no Victorian ART provider has specific conditions imposed on their registration.