If you wish to become a Peer Reviewer for the Credential for Practice Program, you need to be a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse™.

If you are already a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse™ and wish to express an interest in being a Peer Reviewer, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For information on being a Peer Reviewer, please see the information sheet below.

pdf Becoming a Peer Reviewer

Peer Reviewers - a rewarding role
Over the last few years, the ACMHN has experienced a considerable increase in the number of applications for the award of Credentialed Mental Health Nurse™ (CMHN). While some of this initial growth was influenced by the opportunity for mental health nurses to be recognised as eligible mental health workers under Commonweath Government initiatives, the trend has continued.

The credentialing process involves a committed team of CMHNs who are Peer Reviewers. Peer review is fundamental to the quality of the Credential for Practice Program and the transparency of assessment of applications for credentialing. From time to time, the team is expanded with new members, but the increase in applications has placed quite a bit of pressure on those members of the ACMHN who have chosen to be volunteer Peer Reviewers.

The role of Peer Reviewers is to review each application against the criteria for credentialing. The peer review process verifies whether the application satisfies the criteria and identifies any issues that impact on the applicant meeting the standards. Prior to the review, applications are prcessed through the National Office to ensure all documentation required is complete. Applications that are complete according to the Guidelines for Applications are then forwarded to a Peer Reviewer.

Some professionals may experience some discomfort when exposed to peer review and it can also be a daunting task for professionals to review the work of their colleagues. It involves making judgements, making decisions to affirm or deny a positive outcome, and the ability to offer suggestions sensitively. It also involves collegial trust and respect between the Peer Reviewer and the applicant. Last year, Peer Reviewers were surveyed following the intense period of assessment following the deadline for applications for credentialing in relation to the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program. The survey was mainly used to ascertain opinions from the experience of the Peer Reviewers, which will be used in a review of the Credential for Practice Program. However, respondents were also keen to promote the rolw of Peer Reviewers; therefore a summarised selection of their views about their role follows.

Reasons for becoming a Peer Reviewer
Twenty two Peer Reviewers responded to the survey. Figure 1 (below) shows the reasons why the respondents to the survey decided to peer review for the Credential for Practice Program. All respondents (100%) agreed that it was an opportunity to promote credentialing and to contribute to the ACMHN. In addition, 17 (81%) stated that they enjoyed reviewing applications and would continue to be a Peer Reviewer.



Number of applications reviewed
Between April 2009 and April 2010, one of the busiest periods of the Credential for Practice Program, 14 (63.6%) respondents reviewed more than what is generally required of them in a year, with nine having reviewed in excess of 15 applications. This would have included both new applications and re-credentialing applications (see Figure 2 below).


On the whole, Peer Reviewers, if able, will provide a service greater than the minimum required. The survey indentified a strong commitment to this action with 16 (72.8%) respondents indicating that would more than double the number of reviews they undertake per year if necessary. The respondents also indicated that they would be more likely to undertake additional reviews when they knew there were a large number of applications to be assessed and if there was a priority to finalise an application.

The Credential for Practice Program is always looking for Credentialed Mental Health Nurses™ to join the team of Peer Reviewers. Please contact the ACMHN office if you would be interested in taking up this role.

In addition to the Peer Reviewers, a number of members who are academics with expertise in mental health nursing education undertook to participate in reviewing applications that were submitted under the provision for the assessment of equivalence of qualifications. During this time many demands were also placed on this group.

The Board and staff of the ACMHN extend a very grateful thank you to all the members who have volunteered and contributed precious time to the success of the Credential for Practice Program. Your commitment, input and response to demands are always highly valued.

June 2011