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Monitoring compliance with restrictions
Restrictions can be imposed on the registration of a practitioner or student that limit their practice of the profession or require them to do certain things. These restrictions can take the form of conditions or undertakings, and can be imposed by a National Board, panel or tribunal. They are designed to keep the public safe while the practitioner remains in practice.
When restrictions are in place on a health practitioner’s or student’s registration, AHPRA monitors the person to make sure they are complying with the restrictions. This process is referred to as ‘monitoring and compliance’.
More information about AHPRA's approach to monitoring and compliance, including drug screening, is published on the Monitoring and compliance page.
This includes providing any reports to the National Board or AHPRA that are required.
For example, conditions relating to a health practitioner’s professional performance may require them to practise under supervision for a period of time and to complete education to improve their skills. In these cases, the practitioner is responsible for:
- completing the required education
- practising within the scope of their registration and the conditions (that is, consistent with the supervision required), and
- ensuring that their supervisor provides any required reports to the National Board/AHPRA within the specified timeframe.
AHPRA receives results, reports and other information about the restrictions in place and assesses them to determine whether or not the practitioner or student is complying with the restrictions. The National Board then considers this assessment. If the assessment shows that the practitioner or student being monitored has not been compliant with the restrictions, the National Board may consider taking further action under Part 8 of the National Law.1 This includes disciplinary action.
The monitoring and compliance process does not always start at the end of the notifications process. Sometimes conditions and undertakings come into effect as a result of a National Board taking immediate action to protect public safety while an investigation or a health or performance assessment is carried out.
Conditions can also be applied to the registration of a health practitioner when they initially apply for registration or endorsement of registration, or apply to renew their registration.
The length of time that restrictions are in place on a health practitioner’s or student’s registration varies with each individual. Some restrictions may only be in place for a short period of time, while others may remain in force for many months or years.
The National Law allows a practitioner or student with conditions or undertakings to apply to their National Board to have these changed or removed. Most National Boards have published a form on their website for this purpose (see ‘Forms’, accessible under the ‘Registration’ tab on each National Board website). A practitioner or student can also write to their National Board, through AHPRA, to apply to have their conditions or undertakings changed or removed.
The National Law also allows the National Board to:
- change a condition in place on the registration of a practitioner or student when it reasonably believes this is necessary, and
- remove a condition or revoke an undertaking in place on the registration of a practitioner or student when it reasonably believes the condition or undertaking is no longer necessary.
When imposing conditions on a practitioner’s or students’ registration, the National Board, panel or tribunal must decide on a review period for the conditions. A National Board may also determine a review period when it accepts an undertaking from a practitioner or student.
The review period establishes a time during which:
- the practitioner or student cannot apply to have their conditions changed or removed, or an undertaking changed or revoked, unless they reasonably believe there has been a material change in their circumstances, and
- the National Board cannot change or remove a condition, or revoke an undertaking, in place on a practitioner or student unless it reasonably believes there has been a material change in the person’s circumstances.
The National Board does not review a practitioner’s or student’s compliance with their restrictions after a review period has ended, unless it believes it is necessary to do so, or the health practitioner or student concerned has applied to change or remove the restrictions in place on their registration.
This document will be reviewed in May 2014.
1 The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).