Part 12 Professional Standards Committees
Division 1 Constitution of Committees
167 Professional Standards Committees
(1) There are to be Professional Standards Committees for the purposes
of this Act. A Committee is to be constituted in accordance with this Act to
deal with a matter referred to it under this Act.
(2) A Committee has and may exercise the jurisdiction and functions
conferred or imposed on it by or under this Act.
168 Board to constitute Committee when required
(1) The Board is to constitute a Committee when a complaint is
referred to a Committee or an application for registration that is required to
be dealt with by a Committee is made.
(2) The Board constitutes a Committee by appointing 4 persons to sit
as the Committee for the purpose of conducting an inquiry into the complaint
or considering and determining the application.
169 Membership of Committee
(1) A Committee is to consist of:
(a) 2 registered medical practitioners having such qualifications as
may be prescribed, and
(b) one person who is legally qualified and not a registered medical
practitioner and who is to be appointed by the Board as chairperson of the
(c) one lay person (that is, a person who is not a registered medical
practitioner) appointed from among a panel of lay persons for the time being
nominated by the Minister.
(3) A person who is a member of the Board may not be appointed to sit
on a Committee.
(4) A member of a Committee, while sitting on the Committee, is
entitled to be paid by the Board at a rate determined by the
(5) The rate is to be determined by the Board having regard to the
rate paid to witnesses who give expert evidence in the Supreme
Division 2 Proceedings of Committees
170 Multiple inquiries
One or more Committees may conduct more than one inquiry at the
171 How a Committee decides
A decision supported by at least 3 members of a Committee on any
question arising during an inquiry is the decision of the
172 Time when orders take effect
An order of the Committee under this Act takes effect on the day
on which the order is made or on such later day as is specified in the
173 Committee to inform Registrar of its actions under
A Committee is to inform the Registrar of the exercise of any
power by the Committee under Division 4 (Disciplinary powers of Committees and
Tribunal) of Part 4.
174 Chairperson may exercise certain powers of
(1) The chairperson of a Committee may exercise the following powers
of the Committee:
(a) power to terminate an inquiry,
(b) power to hand down a decision of the Committee on an
(2) A power of the Committee exercised by the chairperson of the
Committee under this Act is taken to have been exercised by the
Division 3 Inquiries before Committees
175 Committee to hold inquiry into complaint
(1) A Committee is to hold an inquiry into any complaint referred to
it. No inquiry need be conducted into a complaint if the registered medical
practitioner who is the subject of the complaint admits the subject-matter of
the complaint in writing to the Committee.
(2) On appointment, the chairperson of a Committee must fix a time and
place for the holding of an inquiry by the Committee into the complaint and
must give not less than 14 days’ notice of the inquiry to:
(a) the practitioner concerned, and
(b) the complainant, if any, and
(c) the Director-General and the Board, and
(d) the Commission.
176 Procedure for inquiry
(1) A Committee is to conduct proceedings on an inquiry as it thinks
fit. Proceedings of a Committee are to be open to the public except when the
Committee otherwise directs.
(2) A Committee is not to direct that proceedings are to be closed to
the public unless satisfied that it is desirable to do so in the public
interest for reasons connected with the subject-matter of the inquiry or the
nature of the evidence to be given.
(3) A Committee may be assisted by a legally qualified officer of the
Board appointed by the Registrar for that purpose on the request of the
(4) Schedule 2 has effect with respect to the conduct of any inquiry
by a Committee.
177 Representation at inquiry
(1) At an inquiry conducted by a Committee, the practitioner concerned
and any complainant are entitled to attend and to be represented by an
Australian legal practitioner or another adviser.
(2) To remove any doubt, the Committee is not prevented from
addressing questions directly to the practitioner if the practitioner is
represented by an Australian legal practitioner or another
(3) A Committee may grant leave for any other person to appear at an
inquiry if the Committee is satisfied that it is appropriate for that person
(4) This section does not prevent a Committee from proceeding in the
absence of the practitioner concerned or the complainant, as long as they have
been given notice of the inquiry.
178 Adjournments and interlocutory orders
(1) A Committee may adjourn proceedings for any reason it thinks
(2) A Committee may, during any proceedings, exercise any power or
combination of powers conferred on a Committee by section 61 (General powers
to caution, reprimand, counsel etc.), except the power to caution or
179 Committee must refer certain matters to the
(1) A Committee must immediately terminate an inquiry if before or
during the inquiry the Committee:
(a) forms the opinion that the complaint, if substantiated, may
provide grounds for the suspension or deregistration of a registered medical
(b) becomes aware that the Board or the Commission has referred the
complaint or another complaint about the practitioner concerned to the
(2) Subsection (1) (a) does not apply to a complaint that the Board
decided not to refer to the Tribunal because the allegations on which it and
any other pending complaint against the practitioner was founded related
solely or principally to the practitioner’s physical or mental capacity
to practise medicine.
(3) When the Committee terminates an inquiry, it must refer the
complaint to the Tribunal unless it has already been referred to the
(4) The Tribunal to which the complaint is referred may be the
Tribunal as already constituted to deal with another complaint or the Tribunal
as constituted to deal with the referred complaint.
(5) A Committee is to inform the Board when it takes any action under
180 Committee to provide details of its decision
(1) A Committee must provide a written statement of a decision on an
inquiry to the complainant, to the practitioner concerned and to the Board,
and must do so within one month after the decision is
(2) The statement of a decision must:
(a) set out any findings on material questions of fact,
(b) refer to any evidence or other material on which the findings were
(c) give the reasons for the decision.
(3) A Committee may also provide the statement of a decision to such
other persons as the Committee thinks fit.
(4) The Board:
(a) must make publicly available a statement of a decision provided to
it under this section if the decision is in respect of a complaint that has
been proved or admitted in whole or in part, and
(b) may disseminate any other statement of a decision as the Board
unless the Committee that provided the statement has ordered
181 Statement need not contain confidential
(1) A Committee is not required to include confidential information in
the statement of a decision. If a statement would be false or misleading if it
did not include the confidential information, the Committee is not required to
provide the statement.
(2) When confidential information is not included in the statement of
a decision provided to a person or the statement is not provided to a person
because of subsection (1), the Committee must give a confidential information
notice to the person.
(3) A confidential
information notice is a notice that indicates that confidential
information is not included or that the statement will not be provided (as
appropriate) and gives the reasons for this. The notice must be in writing and
must be given within one month after the decision is
(4) This section does not affect the power of a court to make an order
for the discovery of documents or to require the giving of evidence or the
production of documents to a court, subject to the provisions of this Act
relating to protected reports.