16 Nov 2016
AHPRA has successfully prosecuted an unregistered practitioner for the misuse of the protected title ‘occupational therapist’.
A NSW man has pled guilty to the offence of misusing the protected title and was given an 18-month good behaviour bond under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW).
In sentencing, the Magistrate stated that she took into account that the man had now been offered registration as an occupational therapist by the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia, with conditions requiring supervision, and had accepted those conditions and, that at all times, he was qualified as an occupational therapist, but not registered.
Also it was he who had advised AHPRA about his period of non-registration and he had shown great contrition and good character references had been provided. The Magistrate noted that she may not have considered a section 10 order appropriate had the offence come to AHPRA’s attention via a different course.
Title protection is an important way the National Law helps to protect the public. Only registered health practitioners who are suitably trained and qualified are able to use protected titles. An annual registration process also ensures that practitioners meet current national standards.
All registered health practitioners appear on the online Registers of Practitioners, which is a searchable list that is accessible on the AHPRA website. If a person does not appear on the register, they are not registered to practise in a regulated health profession in Australia.