On Friday 7 February, the National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) published an advance copy of the revised mandatory notification guidelines and supporting resources.
The Guidelines: Mandatory notifications about registered health practitioners and Guidelines: Mandatory notifications about registered students provide information about how to meet mandatory notification requirements.
The guidelines aim to help practitioners, employers and education providers understand who must make a mandatory notification about a registered health practitioner or registered student and when.
Summary of changes
The guidelines were revised following amendments to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law passed early in 2019 and expected to commence in early March 2020.
The amendments changed the reporting obligations for treating practitioners by establishing a new, higher risk threshold for treating practitioners to report impairment, intoxication or practice that significantly departs from accepted standards. This further limits the circumstances for treating practitioners to make mandatory notifications. These changes aim to give practitioners confidence to seek help for health conditions if they need it, while continuing to prevent the risk of harm to the public.
The requirement to make a mandatory notification about a practitioner is different for different notifier groups. For that reason, the guidelines about practitioners have been structured according to notifier type (that is treating practitioner, non-treating practitioner, employer) so that relevant information for that notifier group is easier to find.
As there are only limited circumstances when a mandatory notification can be made about a student, separate guidelines for notifications about students and practitioners have been developed.
Resources to support the mandatory notification guidelines
Our aim is to help everyone be better informed and for registered health practitioners and students to feel supported to look after their own physical and mental health and/or provide support to others.
Please help spread the word and share the information within your organisation and through your communications activities and channels.
You can find information and resources such as case studies and FAQs at www.ahpra.gov.au/Notifications/mandatorynotifications