Only a health practitioner who has been the subject of a decision of a National Board can appeal that decision. There are, however, limitations on the type of decisions that can be appealed.
No other person can appeal a decision made by a National Board. This includes the person who raises a concern or a complaint, a patient or an employer or any other person.
What decisions can be appealed?
A health practitioner can only appeal one of the following decisions (known as an appellable decision) made as a result of the complaints process.
A health practitioner can appeal a decision by a National Board to:
- impose or change a condition on a practitioner’s registration
- refuse to change or remove a condition imposed on the practitioner’s registration
- refuse to change or revoke an undertaking given by the practitioner to the National Board, or
- suspend the practitioner’s registration.
A health practitioner can appeal a decision by a panel to:
- impose a condition on the person’s registration
- suspend the person’s registration (health panel only), or
- reprimand the person (performance and professional standards panel only).
Where do I lodge an appeal?
The appeal body is the ‘appropriate responsible tribunal’. A list of all the tribunals for every state and territory is available on this website.
Parties to the appeal
When a practitioner or student appeals against a decision of the National Board or panel to the responsible tribunal, the practitioner or student is called the appellant and the National Board is called the respondent.
Tribunal proceedings and decisions
Tribunal proceedings are generally open to the public and decisions are published on the tribunal’s website and elsewhere. AHPRA can also choose to publish a tribunal’s decision. Some tribunal proceedings are of interest to the community and the media. In some instances, the practitioner’s identity or a patient’s identity may remain confidential.
After hearing a matter, the responsible tribunal may:
- confirm the appellable decision (that is, state that the initial decision of the National Board or panel was correct)
- amend the appellable decision, or
- substitute another decision for the appellable decision. In doing this, the tribunal has the same powers as the National Board or panel which made the original decision.
Costs of the appeal
The responsible tribunal may make any order about costs it considers appropriate. This includes ordering:
- the practitioner to pay the National Board’s costs
- the practitioner to pay the National Board’s as well as their own costs, or
- the National Board to pay the practitioner’s costs as well as its own costs