Our legal information section is a guide to the legislative and regulatory environment in which decisions are made under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW).
It includes information about the laws that govern our operations and some of the other regulatory bodies such the Health Professional Councils Authority and the NSW health professional councils interact with.
The bench book provides guidance on legal and procedural matters to assist decision-making bodies, including Tribunals, Professional Standards Committees, Impaired Registrants Panels, Performance Review Panels and council members, to conduct inquiries. It includes commentary applicable to all inquiries and references to other resources, such as case law.
The Health Professional Councils Authority (HPCA) periodically publishes practice notes to help councils and other regulatory decision makers apply Part 8 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) in a legally sound manner.
While practice notes are primarily intended for internal use, we publish them in the interests of transparency. They are not legal advice and health practitioners should seek their own advice as required.
- Minimum regulatory force - February 2020
- The public interest - February 2020
- Mandatory notifications concerning students - October 2015
- Critical impairment conditions - September 2015
- Critical compliance orders and conditions - September 2015
- Protected Reports - July 2015
- Bias and apprehended bias - March 2015
- Section 41O - July 2014
- Section 175 Appeals - July 2014
- Use of Section 41P - June 2014
- Conditions and Orders - March 2014
Case Notes highlight and discuss important messages and guidance taken from significant Tribunal decisions, which can apply to all health professional councils. The focus is educative.
Case Notes are authored by the Health Professional Councils Authority (HPCA) Legal and published for the information of HPCA stakeholders. They are not intended to replace legal advice.
Addresses the power of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal to order the stay of a Council decision pending the finalisation of an appeal.
Examines the extent of procedural fairness to be given to a practitioner before s.150 proceedings are held
Highlights the importance of maintaining professional boundaries for all registered health professionals and that a failure to do so is an abuse of power on the part of the practitioner
Analyses novel arguments about nature of an appeal against s.150 action and the nature of a performance assessment in that context
Reinforces mandatory reporting is a professional obligation on all registered health practitioners and the potential impact of failing to make a mandatory report on the public and the practitioner concerned
Looks at the relevant standard and rationale for the reasons provided by health professional decision making bodies
Examines the relevance of Council email deliberations in an appeal against s.150 action in the context of a summons and acknowledges that Council can conduct business via email
Emphasises the importance of precision in drafting conditions or restrictions on a practitioner’s or student’s registration and the impact on their enforceability
|Analyses the impact of the practitioner’s repeated failures to comply with health conditions on: public health and safety; professional competence and conduct, and on the public resources expended by the regulator in monitoring compliance with health conditions where the impairment is longstanding and ongoing.
Examines Council processes in managing a complaint including, information gathering and s.150and s.150A decision making in the context of an apprehended bias claim against Council decision makers.
Emphasises the obligation on medical practitioners to exercise independent professional judgment in providing health services to the public and the importance of being candid with regulatory authorities.
We were created and given our legal powers by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW). From time to time, the NSW Parliament makes changes to this law. Some of the important changes made since 2014 are listed in this section of the website, along with other relevant legislation.
Telling complainants about outcomes
Since 1 November 2015 we must tell the person who made a complaint (the complainant) about the outcome of the complaint. This is required under Section 145BA of the National Law (NSW), when a Council has:
- referred a practitioner to a Professional Standards Committee hearing (Nursing and midwifery council and Medical council)
- referred a practitioner to a Council Inquiry (all councils except Nursing and midwifery council and Medical council)
- required a practitioner to have an independent health or performance assessment
- referred a practitioner directly to an Impaired Registrants Panel, without a preliminary assessment
- referred a practitioner for counselling
- referred the matter to another body, or
- decided to take no further action.
If a practitioner's registration:
- is suspended
- is cancelled or
- has conditions imposed on it
it will be recorded on the National Register of practitioners. Check the National Register.
Notifying employers about changes to a practitioner’s registration
Under section 176BA of the National Law we must tell the practitioner's employers and any licensed private health facilities that have accredited the practitioner to provide services, whenever:
- conditions are imposed on the practitioner’s registration,
- conditions on the practitioner’s registration are amended, or
- conditions on the practitioner’s registration are removed.
Restrictions to practitioners’ registration, including conditions, suspensions and cancellations, are published on the online register of practitioners.
Relevant NSW legislation
Act or regulation
Composition of the NSW Health Professional Councils, infection control standards, record keeping requirements for medical practitioners.
Replaced the Freedom of Information (FOI) laws.
Dealing with complaints about health professionals.
The regulation, control and prohibition of the supply and use of poisons, restricted substances, drugs of addiction, certain dangerous drugs and certain therapeutic goods.
Protects, with certain exceptions, the privacy of an individual’s health information that is held in the public and private sectors.
The maintenance of proper standards of health for the public.
The care, treatment and control of mentally ill and mentally disordered individuals and other matters relating to mental health.
The protection of personal information, and the protection of the privacy of individuals generally.
You can access NSW legislation through the NSW Parliamentary Counsel’s legislation website.
Guide to serving legal documents
Follow this guide if you plan to serve a subpoena (or similar order to produce information) on us.
How to address the document
The document should be addressed to the Executive Officer of the relevant Council at this address.
How much it will cost
Cost will vary according to your application. Fees are listed in the schedule below.
Extra charges – may be incurred where there is a lot of work associated with finding files and identifying the documents that need to be produced.
We can give estimates on a case-by-case basis. An estimate is not a quotation, and may vary from the final cost.