What does it mean to make a voluntary complaint?

Any individual or organisation can make a complaint or raise a concern voluntarily about a registered health practitioner or student if they have a concern about their health, conduct or performance.

The grounds for a voluntary complaint or concern are set out in section 144 of the National Law.

Most complaints or concerns are made to AHPRA voluntarily. These complaints are most often made by:

  • the patient, their relative, carer or anyone acting on the patient’s behalf with the patient’s consent
  • other health practitioners or employers, or
  • representatives of statutory bodies.

A complaint that is made voluntarily is different to a mandatory complaint. Under the National Law, some individuals (such as employers or other registered health practitioners) have a legal obligation to raise concerns or make a complaint about a registered health practitioner in certain circumstances. This is called mandatory reporting and a complaint as a result is called a mandatory notification (complaint).

Page reviewed 5/10/2017