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:
Assess risk and notification
Is immediate action required?
Is further information required?
Professional misconduct or registration improperly obtained?
Unsatisfactory performance, unprofessional conduct and/or impairment?
Board considers referral to Panel