Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
 

The notifications process

Who does what?

Notifications are dealt with by National Boards. Different National Boards have established different structures for dealing with notifications, or have delegated some of their decision-making to their committees and AHPRA officers in state and territory offices. The Appendix in the guide for practitioners shows the structure of National Board committees, including those that manage notifications.

AHPRA sends notices and other correspondence on behalf of the Boards and their committees to practitioners, notifiers or others involved in a notification. AHPRA and the National Boards also publish individual information sheets about each step in the notifications process, and send these to practitioners and notifiers at the relevant stage. These information sheets for practitioners are published on the website. Information sheets for notifiers are being developed.

Different arrangements in NSW and Queensland

Different arrangements are in place in NSW and Queensland, which means we can’t receive complaints about health practitioners in these states. However some Queensland cases may be referred to the National Boards.

What guides our decision making about notifications

Our regulatory principles underpin the work of the Boards and AHPRA in regulating Australia’s health practitioners, in the public interest. They shape our thinking about regulatory decision-making and have been designed to encourage a responsive, risk-based approach to regulation across all professions.

Stages of the process

There are a number of possible stages in the notifications process and they do not need to be completed in a linear sequence. Importantly, not every notification goes through all the possible stages. For example, many notifications are closed after assessment.

In complex cases, a notification can be involved in more than one stage at the same time and can take a number of possible pathways. One of the features of the National Law is its flexibility, so the notifications process can be tailored to the issues involved.

AHPRA and the National Boards treat all notifications seriously. They are managed according to legal requirements, including confidentiality, privacy and natural justice principles.

There is a nationally consistent process for managing notifications, which can include the following stages:

Notifications process

Start
Receive notification
Assess risk and notification
Is immediate action required?
No
Board consults with local Health Complaints Entity
Board considers taking action
No
Board decides to take no further action
End

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

 

 

Yes
Practitioner/ student invited to make a submission

 

 

 

 

National Board may restrict registration as interim step. It can suspend registration, impose conditions, accept undertaking or not take action

 

 

 

 

 

Is further information required?
No
Board proposes action and practitioner/student invited to make a submission
A Board may decide to caution, accept an undertaking, impose conditions, refer to another entity, or take no further action
End
Yes
Board decides to investigate; and/or require a independent health assessment and/or independent performance assessment

 

 

Board considers report from investigator or assessment

 

 

Professional misconduct or registration improperly obtained?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes
Board refers matter to Tribunal
A Tribunal may decide to take no further action, caution, reprimand, impose conditions, fine, suspend or cancel registration
End
Unsatisfactory performance, unprofessional conduct and/or impairment?
No
Board decides to refer to another entity or take no further action
End

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

 

 

Board considers referral to Panel
No
Board proposes action and practitioner/student invited to make a submission
A Board may decide to caution, accept an undertaking, impose conditions, refer to another entity, or take no further action
End
Yes
Board refers the matter to a Panel
A Panel may decide to take no further action, refer the matter to HCE or Tribunal, impose conditions; or caution or reprimand (PPSP only); or suspend registration (Health Panel only)
End
 
 
 
Page reviewed 16/11/2015