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Performance Review Panel

Performance Review Panels are convened by the Council under the National Law (NSW) to review  the professional performance of a nurse or midwife.  If a panel finds the professional performance of a nurse or midwife to be unsatisfactory a panel may:

  • make recommendations to the Council including the imposition of conditions relating to the practise of nursing or midwifery;
  • order the completion of an education course;
  • order the nurse or midwife to report on his or her practise;
  • order the nurse or midwife to seek and take advice in relation to the management of his or her practice.

The panel must recommend to the Council that a complaint be made against a nurse or midwife if the matter raises a significant public health or safety issue requiring investigation by the Health Care Complaints Commission or if it raises a prima facie case of unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct.

The Council appoints three persons to sit as a Performance Review Panel:

  • if the matter concerns a nurse, two of the three persons must be a nurse (including one from the same division, if applicable)
  • if the matter concerns a midwife, two of the three persons must be a midwife
  • one is a lay person.

One member of a panel is appointed as a chairperson.

Matters are generally referred to a Performance Review Panel, following a performance assessment, when the performance assessor reports the performance of a practitioner to be below the standard reasonably expected of a practitioner of an equivalent level of training or experience. The principal question before the Panel is whether or not the professional performance of the health practitioner is unsatisfactory at the time of review.

The Panel must terminate the performance review, if during or prior to a performance review the Panel forms an opinion that the performance review raises an issue that poses a significant risk to the public health or safety and requires investigation by the Health Care Complaints Commission. Upon termination of a performance review, the Panel is to refer the matter back to the Council with a recommendation about how the matter should be managed.

The procedure at a performance review is decided by the panel. A performance review must be conducted by the panel with as little formality and technicality and with as much expedition as a proper consideration of the matter permits. A performance review is conducted in the absence of the public. A panel is not bound by the rules of evidence but may inform itself in any way it considers appropriate. The chairperson of a panel has the power to summons a person to appear at a performance review and to produce documents.