Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

What can notifications be about?

Most notifications are made voluntarily by individuals with concerns about a registered health practitioner’s:

  • health (impairment) – the person has, or may have, a physical or mental impairment, disability, condition or disorder (including substance abuse or dependence) that detrimentally affects or is likely to detrimentally affect their practice of the profession (for practitioners) or their ability to undertake clinical training (students)
  • conduct – the professional conduct of a registered health practitioner is, or may be, of a lesser standard than might reasonably be expected by the public or professional peers, or
  • performance – the knowledge, skill or judgment possessed, or care exercised, by the practitioner in the practice of their health profession is, or may be, below the standard reasonably expected of a health practitioner of an equivalent level of training or experience.

A list of the common types of notifications is published here.

Details about the kinds of notifications that the National Boards receive, the number of notifications and their outcomes are published each year in the annual report of AHPRA and the National Boards.

Any actions taken by a National Board aim first to protect the public, not to punish practitioners.

Grounds for a notification

We can only do something about your concerns if they meet the legal grounds to be called a notification. This means your concerns must be about a registered health practitioner who:

  • did not provide safe care because their standard of professional conduct was too low
  • does not have reasonable knowledge, skill or judgement or exercise enough care
  • is not a suitable person to hold registration
  • is or may be ill and pose a risk to the public
  • has or may have broken the National Law
  • has, or may have, breached a condition on their registration or an undertaking, and/or
  • obtained their registration improperly.

The exact legal grounds for a notification are detailed in the National Law (section 144).

If at first you do not provide us with enough information for your concerns to be considered a notification, we will contact you to find out more. We can help you to work out if your concerns meet the legal grounds for a notification. If within 30 days we cannot establish that your concerns are grounds for a notification, we will write to you and tell you we can’t take any further action. If your concerns do meet the grounds for a notification it is assessed by a National Board. More information about what happens when you make a notification is published in the notifications process section of this website.

Page reviewed 2/09/2013