Relevant legislation

  • Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (Cth)
  • Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (ACT) Act 2010
  • Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) No 86a

If your organisation employs registered health practitioners, you have obligations surrounding registration at the pre-employment stage and during the course of the registered health provider’s employment.

What is a registered health practitioner?

A registered health practitioner is a person who is registered to practice under the above legislation in a health profession.

The following professions are required to have a registration to practice:

  • Medical practitioners
  • Osteopaths
  • Psychologists
  • Dental practitioners
  • Optometrists
  • Pharmacists
  • Nurses
  • Midwives
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Radiation practitioners
  • Indigenous health providers
  • Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists
  • Paramedics

What are an employer’s obligations before employing a registered health practitioner?

Before making an offer of employment to a health practitioner, an employer must check whether the practitioner is registered.

How do I check if a health practitioner is registered?

You can search their name or registration number under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency’s (‘AHPRA’) Register of Practitioner, accessed here.

If a health practitioner is not on this list, they are not registered.

Alternatively, to check the registration status of up to 50,000 practitioners at once, employers can sign up here.

What are an employer’s obligations while employing a registered health practitioner?

An employer must continue to check that the registrations of their practitioners remain up to date, and if any restrictions have been placed on their registrations, that they are practicing within the scope of these restrictions.

Normally, a registered health practitioner must renew their registration annually, so an employer should ensure that they are conducting annual checks of their practitioners’ registration status.

Additionally, the legislation places mandatory notification obligations upon employers, must be complied with.

What are mandatory notification obligations?

Employers of registered health practitioners, are required to report certain conduct of their health provider employees to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

If an employer have formed a reasonable belief that their employee has:

  • Practiced while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs;
  • Engaged in sexual misconduct while practicing;
  • Put the public at risk of substantial harm because of a health issue or impairment; or
  • Departed from acceptable professional standards to such an extent that the public is placed at risk;

Then this conduct must be reported AHPRA. The online form to make a complaint can be found here.

If an employer  fails to make a notification, AHPRA may refer to matter to the Minister in their jurisdiction and may also refer the matter to the employer’s licensing authority.

Contact us for more information.