Publishing links to tribunal and court decisions

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Publishing links to tribunal and court decisions on the national register of practitioners

The online national register of practitioners has accurate, up to date information about the registration status of
all registered health practitioners in Australia. Making this information public is an important way the National
Registration and Accreditation Scheme helps keep the public safe.

In 2018 the National Boards decided to publish links to adverse Tribunal (disciplinary) decisions and court outcomes on a practitioner’s record on the national register. This decision was in line with a recommendation made by Professor Paterson in the Independent review of the use of chaperones to protect patients in Australia.

Links are included for all adverse disciplinary decisions and court outcomes relating to a registered practitioner, where the decision is already public, and the name of the practitioner has not been suppressed.

Publishing links will help make already publicly available information easier to find for patients and the community and is also in line with international standards.

Following a disciplinary or court outcome, AHPRA sends a letter to the practitioner advising that a link to the publicly available decision will be included on the practitioner’s profile on the national register. A link will be published shortly after.

Links will be included for all disciplinary and court decisions, unless:

  • the decision has not been published by the relevant tribunal or court
  • the decision is public but the practitioner is not identified in it because of a tribunal or court order
  • there is no adverse finding about the practitioner
  • the practitioner is not on the national register
  • impairment is the only issue, or
  • the decision is an appeal. A link to the appeal decision may be included if it helps explain the original decision. A link will not be included if a decision or outcome is overturned.

Links will be included on the register for all published decisions handed down from the start of the National Scheme (18 October 2010 for Western Australia and 1 July 2010 for all other states and territories). This includes decisions relating to conduct that occurred before the start of the National Scheme and dealt with under previous legislation.

Links to tribunal or court decisions arising out of cases run by co-regulatory authorities in Queensland and New South Wales will be included but links to New South Wales Professional Standards Committee decisions will not be published.

The link to a decision will remain on the register, even if the sanction imposed by that decision is no longer on the register. This ensures transparency for patients, potential patients and the public.

If a court or tribunal overturns a decision, the published link to the decision will be removed. Decisions under appeal will not be removed or altered unless there is a change to the original decision.

In all other circumstances, the link will remain on the register.

Read more about the decision, or for information related to including links on the register, contact AHPRA Legal Services Practice Manager, Christine Hansen.

 
 
 
Page reviewed 6/11/2019