Review of conditions

Making an application for review of restrictions

Introduction

Under section 125(1) of the National Law, a registered health practitioner may apply to the relevant National Board to:

  • change or remove a condition imposed on the practitioner’s registration, or
  • change or revoke an undertaking given by the practitioner.

This information sheet provides guidance on when you may make an application for review, how to make an application and what information you are required to provide.

When can you make an application for review to the National Board?

You can apply to the National Board for a review of the conditions or undertakings on your registration (the restrictions) if:

  1. the review period has ended, or
  2. you reasonably believe there has been a material change in your circumstances.

The review date is the date of the end of the review period. You were advised of the review period for the restrictions in the letter or notice of decision informing you of the imposition or acceptance of the restrictions.

You cannot apply for a review during a review period unless you reasonably believe that there has been a material change in your circumstances.

A material change in circumstances must be an event in your personal or professional life that significantly impacts on whether or not the restrictions need to be amended or should be removed. A material change to circumstances must substantially affect your capacity to comply with the restrictions or render the restrictions no longer necessary. These may include:

  • significant events such as a change of employment
  • a change to your principal place of practice and practice setting
  • changes incorporated into your practice resulting from remedial action, such as further education or supervision, as required by the restrictions, or
  • significant personal events such as a serious injury or other health issues.

If you are no longer able to comply with the restrictions then the Board may need to consider alternative restrictions to manage the risk associated with the original notification.

When can an application not be considered by a National Board?

If restrictions were imposed by a council or tribunal in New South Wales, or a tribunal in Queensland, the National Board cannot consider an application for review unless the council or tribunal also decided that the National Board was the appropriate review body for the restrictions. If the council or tribunal has not also made this decision, then any request for review must be directed to the tribunal or council that imposed the restrictions.

If restrictions were imposed by the Office of the Health Ombudsman in Queensland, all requests for review must be directed to the Office of the Health Ombudsman.

In some circumstances where a practitioner has lodged an appeal with the responsible tribunal about the decision to impose restrictions, the National Board may not be able to concurrently consider an application for review. In these circumstances, the practitioner should contact their compliance case officer for further information.

Making an application for review

Once the National Board has been confirmed as the appropriate review body for the restrictions, the practitioner must make an application in writing on the approved application form ARCD-00 Application for review of conditions or undertaking available on the common forms page.

Applications should be submitted to the Ahpra compliance team as identified on the form.

Key details

At a minimum an application should detail:

  • which restrictions you are seeking to be removed or altered
  • the changes you are seeking
  • when the restrictions were imposed or accepted
  • the review date for the restrictions, and
  • the basis for your request, including material change to your circumstances, if any.

Restriction details

Where there are changes to multiple restrictions or where the changes are complex, it is often useful to mark changes to the schedule of the restrictions on your registration, and to also provide a version of what you are seeking the restrictions to be after the changes.

Review date and material change in circumstances

The date the restrictions were imposed and the review period for the restrictions is important information to help Ahpra assess whether the review period has ended. In some cases where there are multiple sets of restrictions imposed at different times or on different registrations, this information helps identify the schedule of restrictions that you are seeking to have removed or altered.

For any application made prior to the ending of a review period, the Board can only consider the request if it agrees that there has been a material change in your circumstances. Ahpra requires details and evidence of what you reasonably believe to be the material change prior to forwarding an application for Board consideration.

Basis for request

Information about the basis of your request is needed so that the National Board can assess whether the reasons for the imposition or acceptance of the restrictions has been adequately addressed such that the restrictions are no longer required. The reasons for the Board decision were provided to you in the letter informing you of the imposition or acceptance of the restrictions and should be used to guide you in what types of information or evidence that the National Board may require.

The table in Appendix A provides details of the type of evidence required to support an application for review.

Reports from third parties submitted as evidence for an application for review should address the risks that the restrictions were imposed to mitigate or issues to be managed. Reports provided to support your application should be dated within the preceding four weeks.

What other information may be considered?

The National Board will consider your application and the supporting information you provide and may also consider evidence or information collected in the course of monitoring your compliance, including but not limited to:

  • reports from third parties such as supervisors, mentors, educators and auditors
  • data from Services Australia such as services rendered and prescribing, and
  • pathology results such as drug and alcohol screening.

Whilst the National Board will consider reports received during routine monitoring of restrictions, relying on this information to form the basis of your application may not be sufficient. Ahpra will not seek additional reports on your behalf to support your application for review. Should current reports not be received with your application, the National Board may consider that there is insufficient evidence to support granting your application to remove or change your restrictions.

The National Board may also consider any history or current issues of non-compliance. Where there is insufficient evidence available to the Board to confirm your compliance with the restrictions, the Board may need to obtain more information from you or other parties before deciding your application.

What happens after an application is submitted?

If all the information required for the National Board to make an informed decision with regard to your application is included in your application, Ahpra will provide your completed application to the National Board, or its delegate to consider a decision to either grant or refuse your application.

Because of scheduling of Board meetings, it may take up to eight weeks before your completed application is considered by the National Board.

As soon as practicable after the Board has decided your application, Ahpra will provide you with written notice of the Board’s decision.

What decision can a National Board make on an application?

Any action taken by the National Board is guided by the regulatory principles.

The National Board can grant or refuse an application for review of restrictions.

A decision to refuse an application for review is an appealable decision. This means that if your application for review is refused by the Board you can appeal to the responsible tribunal.

Sometimes when a Board considers an application for review of restrictions, the Board may propose to change restrictions or to impose different restrictions and remove the existing restrictions. You will be given the opportunity to make a written or verbal submission to the Board. The Board must consider any submissions you make prior to making a final decision.

What happens if the application is incomplete?

If an application is not accompanied by all information reasonably required by the Board and evidence regarding a material change (where necessary), the application may be considered incomplete.

Your compliance case officer may contact you to request more information in relation to your application. The further information requested will assist the National Board in making an informed decision and may further support the granting of your application.

Where can you get further information or assistance?

The Ahpra monitoring and compliance team will be able to provide you with information tailored to your specific circumstances. Use the contact details provided to you with your initial monitoring plan to get in contact with the right team or case officer.

You may also wish to seek advice from your professional association, professional indemnity insurer or an independent legal adviser.

Appendix A: Supporting evidence required by restriction category

Restriction Category Evidence required
All restriction categories If restrictions are within the review period evidence of what you reasonably believe is a material change in your circumstances.
Drug and alcohol screening Reports from your treating practitioners addressing your current health status including any prescribed medications.

Pathology results from any additional screening undertaken via your treating practitioners including but not limited to:
  • urine drug screening
  • hair drug screening
  • liver function screening for alcohol use
  • YOU DO NOT NEED TO PROVIDE COPIES OF URINE OR HAIR DRUG SCREENING OR BREATH TESTING LOG BOOKS FOR DRUG AND ALCOHOL SCREENING UNDERTAKEN IN COMPLIANCE WITH YOUR RESTRICTIONS

    Attend treating practitioners Reports from each of your nominated treating practitioners addressing your current health status.
    Practice / Employment:
    - work type
    - patient type
    - work hours
    - practice type
    Report from your employer(s) specifically outlining their assessment of your performance or conduct in the workplace.

    When relevant, evidence you have addressed the performance or conduct concerns that gave rise to the restrictions.
    Supervision Report from your supervisor(s) specifically outlining their assessment of your performance or conduct in the workplace.

    When relevant, evidence that you have addressed the performance or conduct concerns that gave rise to the restrictions.

    When relevant, evidence that you have completed the minimum specified hours of supervision required.

    For psychology-imposed restrictions, a reflective report that addresses the requirements of the restrictions.
    Practice monitor Evidence you have addressed the conduct issue that gave rise to the restrictions.
    Education / Up-skilling/ CPD Certificates of completion of formal programs of education or a report from your nominated educator including the outcomes of any assessment components of the course.

    A reflective practice report, if required, that meets the requirements of the restrictions. See information sheet reflective reports.
    Mentoring Report from your nominated mentor including the outcomes of any mentoring sessions.

    A reflective practice report that meets the requirements of the restrictions. See information sheet reflective reports.
    Audit Evidence that you have addressed any issues identified in the course of the audits and how you have altered your practice as a result of the findings of the audits.
    Gender-based restrictions Evidence that you have addressed the conduct issue that gave rise to the restrictions.
     
     
    Page reviewed 6/07/2021