Part 8, Division 2 of Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) ‘the National Law’ outlines the requirement for
- registered health practitioners
- employers of health practitioners
- education providers
to make a mandatory notification to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency if they have formed a reasonable belief that a registered health practitioner has behaved in a way that constitutes notifiable conduct.
Notifiable conduct by registered health practitioners is defined as:
- practising while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs
- sexual misconduct in the practice of the profession
- placing the public at risk of substantial harm because of an impairment (health issue), or
- placing the public at risk because of a significant departure from accepted professional standards.
The threshold for a person or organisation to make a mandatory notification is high. This means there must be ‘reasonable belief’ that a practitioner has behaved in a way that constitutes notifiable conduct and that their belief is based on reasonable grounds (known facts rather than anecdotal evidence).
If you are a registered health practitioner, employer or education provider and you are not sure whether you should raise a concern, you can contact the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) for detailed information about mandatory notifications.
Where the notification relates to a practitioner in NSW, AHPRA will forward it to the relevant NSW Council.
In NSW, according to the ‘National Law’ mandatory notifications are deemed to be a complaint. That means that the Council will forward the notification to the Health Care Complaints Commission to deal with it as a complaint. Please note that making a complaint to the Commission directly does not discharge the obligation to report notifiable conduct to AHPRA under the National Law.
Still need more information
If you would like to speak to someone at the Commission for more information before you lodge a written complaint you can contact the Inquiry Line during business hours, Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm on 1800 043 159 or submit an online inquiry.
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All complaints must be made in writing and we aim to assess complaints within 60 days. Your complaint will be allocated to an assessment officer and we will write to you to explain the outcome of your complaint.
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