The key aim of the performance pathway is successful remediation of a practitioner’s performance. The performance pathway relies on co-operation from practitioners. A key benefit of the pathway for the practitioner is the confidential nature of the process, with the aim of lifting a practitioner’s practice to match the relevant national competency standards.
A practitioner’s professional performance is considered unsatisfactory if there is a significant departure from the standard reasonably expected of a practitioner of an equivalent level of training or experience. this may include:
· inadequate or inappropriate history/examination, review/referral, treatment, procedure/testing, misdiagnosis
· improper records or inaccurate medical certificate, coercion regarding consent.
The Council may decide to have the professional performance of a registered health practitioner assessed under Part 8 Division 5 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) (the Law) if a matter comes to its attention that indicates the professional performance of a registered health practitioner, or any aspect of the practitioner’s professional performance, is or may be unsatisfactory.
Professional performance of a registered health practitioner refers to the knowledge, skill or judgment possessed and applied by the practitioner in the practice of their profession.
Council Inquiry - Performance
Section 145B(1)(e) of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the Law) provides that a Council may deal with a complaint by conducting an inquiry at a meeting of the Council. If the Council makes a finding of unsatisfactory professional conduct, it may do any one or more of the following in relation to the practitioner the subject of the inquiry:
(a) caution or reprimand the practitioner
(b) make an order for the withholding or refunding of part or all of the payment with respect to the fees to be charged or paid for the services that are the subject of the complaint
(c) direct the specified conditions relating to the practitioner's practice of the health profession be imposed on the practitioner's registration
(d) order that the practitioner seek and undergo medical or psychiatric treatment or counselling (including, but not limited to, psychological counselling)
(e) order that the practitioner complete an educational course specified by the Council
(f) order that the practitioner report on his or her practice at the times, in the way and to the persons specified by the Council
(g) order that the practitioner seek and take advice, in relation to the management of his or her practice, from persons specified by the Council.
Counselling - Performance
In accordance with s 145B(1)(g) of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) (the Law) the Council may direct a practitioner to attend for counselling at a meeting of the Council in relation to their performance.
Counselling is generally conducted by members of the Council, the main purpose of which is to inform and remind practitioners about their professional responsibilities, to assist them in finding ways to enhance and improve their practice and to provide insight into the ethical standards underpinning their professional practice.
Counselling of this nature occurs when the Council identifies issues that may constitute a departure from acceptable standards of practice or where the Council needs to assure itself that a practitioner is aware of the acceptable standards of practice and conduct.
Counselling is not designed as a disciplinary measure, but rather, as an educative process. The counselling interview is confidential, informal and largely advisory in nature.
If the Council is satisfied with the outcome of the interview, that will be the end of the matter. However, if during the course of the interview, further issues come to light that give rise to concern, or if the Council is not satisfied with the outcome of the discussion, the Council may raise a new complaint that will be handled through an alternative pathway.