Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) No 86a
Current version for 1 January 2014 to date (accessed 23 November 2014 at 10:41)
Part 1

Part 1 Preliminary

1   Short title

This Law may be cited as the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW).

2   Commencement

This Law commences in a participating jurisdiction as provided by the Act of that jurisdiction that applies this Law as a law of that jurisdiction.

3   Objectives and guiding principles

(1)  The object of this Law is to establish a national registration and accreditation scheme for—
(a)  the regulation of health practitioners; and
(b)  the registration of students undertaking—
(i)  programs of study that provide a qualification for registration in a health profession; or
(ii)  clinical training in a health profession.
(2)  The objectives of the national registration and accreditation scheme are—
(a)  to provide for the protection of the public by ensuring that only health practitioners who are suitably trained and qualified to practise in a competent and ethical manner are registered; and
(b)  to facilitate workforce mobility across Australia by reducing the administrative burden for health practitioners wishing to move between participating jurisdictions or to practise in more than one participating jurisdiction; and
(c)  to facilitate the provision of high quality education and training of health practitioners; and
(d)  to facilitate the rigorous and responsive assessment of overseas-trained health practitioners; and
(e)  to facilitate access to services provided by health practitioners in accordance with the public interest; and
(f)  to enable the continuous development of a flexible, responsive and sustainable Australian health workforce and to enable innovation in the education of, and service delivery by, health practitioners.
(3)  The guiding principles of the national registration and accreditation scheme are as follows—
(a)  the scheme is to operate in a transparent, accountable, efficient, effective and fair way;
(b)  fees required to be paid under the scheme are to be reasonable having regard to the efficient and effective operation of the scheme;
(c)  restrictions on the practice of a health profession are to be imposed under the scheme only if it is necessary to ensure health services are provided safely and are of an appropriate quality.

3A   Objective and guiding principle [NSW]

In the exercise of functions under a NSW provision, the protection of the health and safety of the public must be the paramount consideration.
Note. This section is an additional New South Wales provision.

4   How functions to be exercised

An entity that has functions under this Law is to exercise its functions having regard to the objectives and guiding principles of the national registration and accreditation scheme set out in section 3.

5   Definitions

In this Law—

accreditation authority means—

(a)  an external accreditation entity; or
(b)  an accreditation committee.

accreditation committee means a committee established by a National Board to exercise an accreditation function for the health profession for which the Board is established.

accreditation standard, for a health profession, means a standard used to assess whether a program of study, and the education provider that provides the program of study, provide persons who complete the program with the knowledge, skills and professional attributes necessary to practise the profession in Australia.

accredited program of study means a program of study accredited under section 48 by an accreditation authority.

adjudication body means—

(a)  a panel; or
(b)  a responsible tribunal; or
(c)  a Court; or
(d)  an entity of a co-regulatory jurisdiction that is declared in the Act applying this Law to be an adjudication body for the purposes of this Law.
Note. See section 6A of the Health Practitioner Regulation (Adoption of National Law) Act 2009 which declares that Professional Standards Committees, Councils and Performance Review Panels are all adjudication bodies for the purposes of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.

Advisory Council means the Australian Health Workforce Advisory Council established by section 18.

Agency Fund means the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Fund established by section 208.

Agency Management Committee means the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Management Committee established by section 29.

appropriate professional indemnity insurance arrangements, in relation to a registered health practitioner, means professional indemnity insurance arrangements that comply with an approved registration standard for the health profession in which the practitioner is registered.

approved accreditation standard means an accreditation standard—

(a)  approved by a National Board under section 47(3); and
(b)  published on the Board’s website under section 47(6).

approved area of practice, for a health profession, means an area of practice approved under section 15 for the profession.

approved program of study, for a health profession or for endorsement of registration in a health profession, means an accredited program of study—

(a)  approved under section 49(1) by the National Board established for the health profession; and
(b)  included in the list published by the National Agency under section 49(5).

approved qualification

(a)  for a health profession, means a qualification obtained by completing an approved program of study for the profession; and
(b)  for endorsement of registration in a health profession, means a qualification obtained by completing an approved program of study relevant to the endorsement.

approved registration standard means a registration standard—

(a)  approved by the Ministerial Council under section 12; and
(b)  published on the website of the National Board that developed the standard.

Australian legal practitioner means a person who—

(a)  is admitted to the legal profession under the law of a State or Territory; and
(b)  holds a current practising certificate under a law of a State or Territory authorising the person to practise the legal profession.

COAG Agreement means the agreement for a national registration and accreditation scheme for health professions, made on 26 March 2008 between the Commonwealth, the States, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

Note. A copy of the COAG Agreement is available on the Council of Australian Governments’ website.

co-regulatory authority, for a co-regulatory jurisdiction, means an entity that is declared by the Act applying this Law in the co-regulatory jurisdiction to be a co-regulatory authority for the purposes of this Law.

Note. See section 6B of the Health Practitioner Regulation (Adoption of National Law) Act 2009 which declares that each Council is a co-regulatory authority for the purposes of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.

co-regulatory jurisdiction means a participating jurisdiction in which the Act applying this Law declares that the jurisdiction is not participating in the health, performance and conduct process provided by Divisions 3 to 12 of Part 8.

Note. See section 6 of the Health Practitioner Regulation (Adoption of National Law) Act 2009 which declares that this jurisdiction is not participating in the health, performance and conduct process provided by Divisions 3 to 12 of Part 8 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law. As a consequence, New South Wales is a co-regulatory jurisdiction.

corresponding prior Act means a law of a participating jurisdiction that—

(a)  was in force before the day on which the jurisdiction became a participating jurisdiction; and
(b)  established an entity having functions that included—
(i)  the registration of persons as health practitioners; or
(ii)  health, conduct or performance action.

criminal history, of a person, means the following—

(a)  every conviction of the person for an offence, in a participating jurisdiction or elsewhere, and whether before or after the commencement of this Law;
(b)  every plea of guilty or finding of guilt by a court of the person for an offence, in a participating jurisdiction or elsewhere, and whether before or after the commencement of this Law and whether or not a conviction is recorded for the offence;
(c)  every charge made against the person for an offence, in a participating jurisdiction or elsewhere, and whether before or after the commencement of this Law.

criminal history law means a law of a participating jurisdiction that provides that spent or other convictions do not form part of a person’s criminal history and prevents or does not require the disclosure of those convictions.

CrimTrac means the CrimTrac agency established under section 65 of the Public Service Act 1999 of the Commonwealth.

division, of a health profession, means a part of a health profession for which a Division is included in the National Register kept for the profession.

education provider means—

(a)  a university; or
(b)  a tertiary education institution, or another institution or organisation, that provides vocational training; or
(c)  a specialist medical college or other health profession college.

entity includes a person and an unincorporated body.

exercise a function includes perform a duty.

external accreditation entity means an entity, other than a committee established by a National Board, that exercises an accreditation function.

health assessment means an assessment of a person to determine whether the person has an impairment and includes a medical, physical, psychiatric or psychological examination or test of the person.

health complaints entity means an entity—

(a)  that is established by or under an Act of a participating jurisdiction; and
(b)  whose functions include conciliating, investigating and resolving complaints made against health service providers and investigating failures in the health system.

health, conduct or performance action means action that—

(a)  a National Board or an adjudication body may take in relation to a registered health practitioner or student at the end of a proceeding under Part 8; or
(b)  a co-regulatory authority or an adjudication body may take in relation to a registered health practitioner or student at the end of a proceeding that, under the law of a co-regulatory jurisdiction, substantially corresponds to a proceeding under Part 8.

health panel

Note. This definition is not applicable to New South Wales.

health practitioner means an individual who practises a health profession.

health profession means the following professions, and includes a recognised specialty in any of the following professions—

(a)  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practice;
(b)  Chinese medicine;
(c)  chiropractic;
(d)  dental (including the profession of a dentist, dental therapist, dental hygienist, dental prosthetist and oral health therapist);
(e)  medical;
(f)  medical radiation practice;
(g)  nursing and midwifery;
(h)  occupational therapy;
(i)  optometry;
(j)  osteopathy;
(k)  pharmacy;
(l)  physiotherapy;
(m)  podiatry;
(n)  psychology.
Note. See Division 15 of Part 12 which provides for a staged commencement of the application of this Law to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practice, Chinese medicine, medical radiation practice and occupational therapy professions.

health profession agreement has the meaning given by section 26.

health program means a program providing education, prevention, early intervention, treatment or rehabilitation services relating to physical or mental impairments, disabilities, conditions or disorders, including substance abuse or dependence.

health service includes the following services, whether provided as public or private services—

(a)  services provided by registered health practitioners;
(b)  hospital services;
(c)  mental health services;
(d)  pharmaceutical services;
(e)  ambulance services;
(f)  community health services;
(g)  health education services;
(h)  welfare services necessary to implement any services referred to in paragraphs (a) to (g);
(i)  services provided by dietitians, masseurs, naturopaths, social workers, speech pathologists, audiologists or audiometrists;
(j)  pathology services.

health service provider means a person who provides a health service.

impairment, in relation to a person, means the person has a physical or mental impairment, disability, condition or disorder (including substance abuse or dependence) that detrimentally affects or is likely to detrimentally affect—

(a)  for a registered health practitioner or an applicant for registration in a health profession, the person’s capacity to practise the profession; or
(b)  for a student, the student’s capacity to undertake clinical training—
(i)  as part of the approved program of study in which the student is enrolled; or
(ii)  arranged by an education provider.

local registration authority means an entity having functions under a law of a State or Territory that include the registration of persons as health practitioners.

mandatory notification means a notification an entity is required to make to the National Agency under Division 2 of Part 8.

medical practitioner means a person who is registered under this Law in the medical profession.

Ministerial Council means the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council comprising Ministers of the governments of the participating jurisdictions and the Commonwealth with portfolio responsibility for health.

National Agency means the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency established by section 23.

National Board means a National Health Practitioner Board established by section 31.

National Register means the Register kept by a National Board under section 222.

national registration and accreditation scheme means the scheme—

(a)  referred to in the COAG Agreement; and
(b)  established by this Law.

notification means—

(a)  a mandatory notification; or
(b)  a voluntary notification.

notifier means a person who makes a notification.

NSW provision means—

(a)  a provision that forms part of this Law because of a modification made by the Health Practitioner Regulation (Adoption of National Law) Act 2009; or
(b)  a NSW regulation.
Note. This definition is an additional New South Wales provision.

NSW regulation means a regulation made under section 247A.

Note. This definition is an additional New South Wales provision.

panel

Note. This definition is not applicable to New South Wales.

participating jurisdiction means a State or Territory—

(a)  that is a party to the COAG Agreement; and
(b)  in which—
(i)  this Law applies as a law of the State or Territory; or
(ii)  a law that substantially corresponds to the provisions of this Law has been enacted.

performance and professional standards panel

Note. This definition is not applicable to New South Wales.

performance assessment

Note. This definition is not applicable to New South Wales.

police commissioner means the commissioner of the police force or police service of a participating jurisdiction or the Commonwealth.

principal place of practice, for a registered health practitioner, means the address declared by the practitioner to be the address—

(a)  at which the practitioner is predominantly practising the profession; or
(b)  if the practitioner is not practising the profession or is not practising the profession predominantly at one address, that is the practitioner’s principal place of residence.

professional misconduct

Note. This definition is not applicable to New South Wales.

program of study means a program of study provided by an education provider.

psychologist means a person registered under this Law in the psychology profession.

public health facility includes—

(a)  a public hospital; and
(b)  a public health, teaching or research facility.

recognised specialty means a specialty in a health profession that has been approved by the Ministerial Council under section 13(2).

registered health practitioner means an individual who—

(a)  is registered under this Law to practise a health profession, other than as a student; or
(b)  holds non-practising registration under this Law in a health profession.

registration authority means—

(a)  a local registration authority; or
(b)  an entity of a jurisdiction outside Australia that has responsibility for registering health practitioners in that jurisdiction.

registration standard means a registration standard developed by a National Board under section 38.

registration status, in relation to an applicant for registration, includes—

(a)  any undertakings given by the applicant to a registration authority, whether before or after the commencement of this Law; and
(b)  any conditions previously imposed on the applicant’s registration by a registration authority, whether before or after the commencement of this Law; and
(c)  any decisions made by a registration authority, a tribunal, a court or another entity having functions relating to the regulation of health practitioners about the applicant’s practice of the profession, whether before or after the commencement of this Law; and
(d)  any investigation commenced by a registration authority or a health complaints entity into the applicant’s conduct, performance or possible impairment but not finalised at the time of the application.

relevant action

Note. This definition is not applicable to New South Wales.

relevant fee, for a service provided by a National Board, means the fee—

(a)  set under a health profession agreement between the Board and the National Agency for the service; and
(b)  published on the Board’s website under section 26(3).

responsible Minister means a Minister responsible for the administration of this Law in a participating jurisdiction.

responsible tribunal means a tribunal or court that—

(a)  is declared, by the Act applying this Law in a participating jurisdiction, to be the responsible tribunal for that jurisdiction for the purposes of this Law as applied in that jurisdiction, or
(b)  is declared, by a law that substantially corresponds to this Law enacted in a participating jurisdiction, to be the responsible tribunal for that jurisdiction for the purposes of the law of that jurisdiction.
Note. See section 6C of the Health Practitioner Regulation (Adoption of National Law) Act 2009 which declares that the Civil and Administrative Tribunal is the responsible Tribunal for the purposes of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.

review period, for a condition or undertaking, means the period during which the condition may not be changed or removed, or the undertaking may not be changed or revoked, under section 125, 126 or 127.

scheduled medicine means a substance included in a Schedule to the current Poisons Standard within the meaning of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 of the Commonwealth.

specialist health practitioner means a person registered under this Law in a recognised specialty.

Specialists Register means a register kept by a National Board under section 223.

specialist title, in relation to a recognised specialty, means a title that is approved by the Ministerial Council under section 13 as being a specialist title for that recognised specialty.

State or Territory Board has the meaning given by section 36.

student means a person whose name is entered in a student register as being currently registered under this Law.

student register, for a health profession, means a register kept under section 229 by the National Board established for the profession.

unprofessional conduct

Note. This definition is not applicable to New South Wales.

unsatisfactory professional performance

Note. This definition is not applicable to New South Wales.

voluntary notification means a complaint or other notification made under Part 8, other than a mandatory notification.

6   Interpretation generally

Schedule 7 applies in relation to this Law.

7   Single national entity

(1)  It is the intention of the Parliament of this jurisdiction that this Law as applied by an Act of this jurisdiction, together with this Law as applied by Acts of the other participating jurisdictions, has the effect that an entity established by this Law is one single national entity, with functions conferred by this Law as so applied.
(2)  An entity established by this Law has power to do acts in or in relation to this jurisdiction in the exercise of a function expressed to be conferred on it by this Law as applied by Acts of each participating jurisdiction.
(3)  An entity established by this Law may exercise its functions in relation to—
(a)  one participating jurisdiction; or
(b)  2 or more or all participating jurisdictions collectively.
(4)  In this section, a reference to this Law as applied by an Act of a jurisdiction includes a reference to a law that substantially corresponds to this Law enacted in a jurisdiction.

8   Extraterritorial operation of Law

It is the intention of the Parliament of this jurisdiction that the operation of this Law is to, as far as possible, include operation in relation to the following—
(a)  things situated in or outside the territorial limits of this jurisdiction;
(b)  acts, transactions and matters done, entered into or occurring in or outside the territorial limits of this jurisdiction;
(c)  things, acts, transactions and matters (wherever situated, done, entered into or occurring) that would, apart from this Law, be governed or otherwise affected by the law of another jurisdiction.

9   Trans-Tasman mutual recognition principle

This Law does not affect the operation of an Act of a participating jurisdiction providing for the application of the Trans-Tasman mutual recognition principle to occupations.

10   Law binds the State

(1)  This Law binds the State.
(2)  In this section—

State means the Crown in right of this jurisdiction, and includes—

(a)  the Government of this jurisdiction; and
(b)  a Minister of the Crown in right of this jurisdiction; and
(c)  a statutory corporation, or other entity, representing the Crown in right of this jurisdiction.

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