Legal action by or against the National Boards or Ahpra is conducted by Ahpra’s National Legal Practice.
The Legal Practice comprises:
National Boards refer allegations of professional misconduct to tribunals in each state and territory. Only a tribunal can cancel a practitioner’s registration, disqualify a person from applying for registration for a time, prohibit a person from using a specified title or prohibit them from providing a specified health service.
The data provided in this section include both the number of individual notifications and the number of affected practitioners or tribunal matters. These are often not the same because one tribunal matter can include multiple notifications. Most commonly, this occurs where there are multiple complaints about the same or similar misconduct of a particular practitioner. A practitioner may also have more than one tribunal referral open at a time.
There were 369 practitioners with open referral matters in tribunals at 30 June, compared with 286 practitioners last year. National Boards referred more practitioners to a tribunal, with 231 practitioners referred this year compared to 214 last year.
During the year, matters regarding 136 practitioners (relating to 223 notifications) were finalised at a tribunal.
Of those that did not proceed, 7 matters (about 23 notifications) were withdrawn or did not proceed to a tribunal.
National Boards continue to appropriately identify the thresholds for referring a matter to a tribunal to protect the public.
Matters included findings of professional misconduct involving:
Significant periods of disqualification were imposed in some matters, including in matters involving:
We include links to published adverse tribunal (disciplinary) decisions and court outcomes for a practitioner in the Register of practitioners, unless the name of the practitioner has been suppressed by the court or tribunal.
When a court or tribunal cancels a practitioner’s registration or disqualifies them from applying for registration, using a specified title, or providing a specified health service, this is recorded in the Register of cancelled practitioners.
When a tribunal reprimands, suspends or places conditions on the registration of a practitioner, this is recorded in the Register of practitioners.
We published 61 summaries about publicly available court or tribunal decisions. Some decisions are not published for privacy reasons or due to suppression orders applied by the court or tribunal. Other decisions may not be published until the next reporting year, once a tribunal’s full decision and orders have been publicly released.
Ten matters (about 13 notifications) were decided by panels, all of which resulted in regulatory action. Panels are established by the Boards and include members from the community and relevant health profession. Health panels must include a medical practitioner.
There were 121 appeals lodged about decisions made by National Boards.
Nature of decision appealed:
Outcome of appeals finalised:
One way we ensure access to safe, professional healthcare is to investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute people alleged to have committed criminal offences under the National Law.
These offences include:
Only registered practitioners can use protected titles for their profession. It is also an offence to falsely claim to be qualified to practise in a health profession or hold yourself, or someone else, out as a registered health practitioner. Penalties of up to three years’ imprisonment and/or a $60,000 fine can be imposed on individuals who commit these offences, and fines of up to $120,000 for companies.
During the year:
Offence complaints received:
Offence complaints open, 30 June
In May, Ahpra completed its 100th prosecution since the National Scheme began. This marked a significant milestone in the protection of the public.
Ahpra successfully prosecuted a number of people found to have committed criminal offences, including:
Significant prosecutions demonstrate the importance of criminal offence provisions for the protection of the public.
Outcomes show that Ahpra continues to identify appropriate thresholds for referring offence complaints for prosecution: