Consumer Information

What is a Clinical Perfusionist?

Clinical Perfusionists may operate equipment and manage patients during any medical situation where it is necessary to support or temporarily substitute for the patient’s heart and lung function.  This occurs in an operating theatre, Intensive Care Unit and elsewhere in the hospital setting.

Examples of a Clinical Perfusionists role include:

  • Operating the heart-lung bypass machine during heart surgery. This machine replaces the function of the heart and lungs to maintain safe and stable patient circulation while a patient is having a surgical repair.
  • Managing patients who are placed on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation).   

Operating other circulatory system support devices, including:

  • Intra-aortic balloon pumps
  • Artificial hearts
  • Blood conservation devices
  • Blood testing.

Scope of Practice

A Clinical Perfusionist’s Scope of Practice means the area in which the Clinical Perfusionist has the knowledge, skills and experience to practice lawfully, safely and effectively, in a way that meets professional standards and does not pose any danger to the public or to the Clinical Perfusionist. Refer to the ANZCP Scope of Practice Policy for a broad description of the Scope of Practice for Clinical Perfusion. However, a Clinical Perfusionist’s Scope of Practice will evolve throughout their career, in line with changes to roles, the development of skills and best, evidence-based practice in the field of clinical perfusion.

See What is a Perfusionist? and the Scope of Practice Policy for further information.

What is a Certified Clinical Perfusionist?

“Certification” is the process of recognising that a Clinical Perfusionist has met the qualification, experience and other standards set by the ANZCP for safe, competent and ethical practice as a Clinical Perfusionist in Australia or New Zealand. 

Clinical Perfusionists and the ANZCP are committed to the safety of the community that they provide services to, and the standing of the profession. Accordingly, in addition to being required to demonstrate academic qualifications and clinical experience necessary to achieve Certification in the first instance (i.e. that they meet the ANZCP’s Competency Standards), the ANZCP has also taken steps to ensure that Certified Clinical Perfusionists provide safe, high quality perfusion services that the employers and the public can trust. These include requiring Certified Clinical Perfusionists at initial Certification and re-Certification to declare any matter which may be relevant to their fitness to practice (e.g. criminal history, and health conditions or impairments which may impact their ability to practice safely) as required by the Mandatory Declarations Policy.

Certified Clinical Perfusionists also agree, when applying for initial Certification or re-Certification to comply with ANZCP standards for conduct and practice such as:

What is Fitness to Practice?

Fitness to practice is when a Clinical Perfusionist has the skills, knowledge and personal characteristics required to practice safely, competently and ethically as a Clinical Perfusionist. A Clinical Perfusionist is ‘fit to practice’ if they (definition from Code of Ethical Standards and Professional Conduct):

  1. meet the Competency Standards; and
  2. comply with the professional standards set out in the Code of Ethical Standards and Professional Conduct; and
  3. after making all necessary declarations in accordance with the Mandatory Declarations Policy including:
  • health and impairment
  • criminal history; 
  • and complaints and disciplinary history,

the ANZCP has considered the information contained in the application and declarations, and decided there are no material grounds to believe the applicant is not a fit and proper person to practice safely, competently and ethically as a Certified Clinical Perfusionist. 

What are the types of ANZCP Certification?

Certification as a Certified Clinical Practitioner includes:

  • Certification through the Australian and New Zealand pathway described in the Certification Policy; and
  • Certification as an Overseas Trained Perfusionist (OTP), eligibility for which is described in the Overseas Trained Perfusionist Policy, with Certification occurring in accordance with the Certification Policy.

Both of these types of Certification types are unconditional – the Clinical Perfusionist has met the standards set by the ANZCP for Certification – and regardless of which pathway the Certified Clinical Perfusionist took to become Certified, they have been assessed as meeting the ANZCP’s practice and other requirements for Certification.

There is a third type of Certification, being ‘Provisionally Certified’. This is where a Clinical Perfusionist has not met all of the requirements of Certification, or has ceased to meet them at some point while Certified. For example, if a Certified Clinical Perfusionist failed to meet continuing professional development or recency of practice requirements they can be granted provisional certification for a period of up to 12 months.

How do I know a Clinical Perfusionist is Certified by the ANZCP?

The names of Certified Clinical Perfusionists are recorded in the Register of Perfusionists available on the ANZCP website. Clinical Perfusionists named listed with:

  • CCP have been certified by the ANZCP under this Certification Policy, or otherwise under the ANZCP Rules prior to the establishment of that Policy; and
  • OTP have been certified by the ANZCP under this Policy based on their eligibility under the Overseas Trained Perfusionist Policy.

Provisionally Certified Clinical Perfusionists are not entitled to indicate that they are Certified Clinical Perfusionists or to use ANZCP postnominals associated with Certification but are included in the Register of Perfusionists, marked with a (P) to indicate that they are not fully Certified but are on the pathway to Certification.

Trainee Clinical Perfusionists (Clinical Perfusionists who are in training to become Certified Clinical Perfusionists) are not entitled to: be listed in the Register; indicate that they are Certified by the ANZCP; or use the post-nominals which are reserved for Certified Clinical Perfusionists.

Concerns about a Clinical Perfusionist

If you have concerns about the conduct or practice of a Clinical Perfusionist, you are encouraged to contact the ANZCP to discuss the matter, at

The ANZCP handles complaints about Certified Clinical Perfusionists, Provisional Clinical Perfusionists and Trainee Clinical Perfusionists, and Clinical Perfusionists who were Certified, Provisionally Certified or a Trainee Clinical Perfusionist at the time at which the issue or incident occurred which gave rise to the concern. The types of conduct that you can complain to the ANZCP about are concerns that the Clinical Perfusionist failed to comply with the ANZCP’s:

  • Code of Ethical Practice and Professional Conduct  (including that you are concerned that a Clinical Perfusionist has operated outside of their Scope of Practice or is not Fit to Practice);
  • or has refused or neglected to comply with a disciplinary decision made under the Complaints Procedure or the ANZCP Rules.

Complaints about Clinical Perfusionists who do not fall into one of the above categories, and types of conduct not covered immediately above, are not handled by the Complaints Procedure. However, in some jurisdictions there are external complaints bodies to which complaints about those types of Clinical Perfusionists can be referred. The ANZCP can support you to identify an appropriate complaints body, if one is available to you.

Further information about making a complaint is available at Register a Complaint or email