Appealing decisions about conduct of health professionals

A health practitioner or student can appeal to NCAT against a decision about conduct.

Steps in appealing a decision about conduct

Steps in appealing a decision made about the conduct of a health practitioner or student.

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The following are examples of some of the decisions made by a Committee, Health Professional Council or Performance Review Panel which a person may appeal to NCAT to have reviewed (Div 6 of Pt 8):

  • a decision to reprimand a person
  • an order that a person seek and undergo medical or psychiatric treatment or counselling
  • an order that a person complete a specified educational course
  • an order that a practitioner report and take advice on their practice
  • a decision to impose conditions on a person’s registration
  • a decision to alter conditions imposed or refuse to alter or remove conditions imposed on a person’s registration
  • a decision to suspend a person’s registration or refuse to end a suspension.

Consider whether you want a lawyer to represent you in the appeal. See professional discipline of health professionals for information on representation.

 

Please seek legal advice if you wish to file an external appeal with respect to a point of law regarding actions taken by a Committee, Council or Panel.

After receiving the decision, a practitioner or student has 28 days to file an External Appeal Form with NCAT (s 161).

 

If you want to lodge an application but the deadline has passed, you will need to ask NCAT for an extension of time. You will need to provide reasons why you were unable to file the appeal within time. It is up to the discretion of NCAT whether or not to grant an extension of time.

 

The respondent in the appeal is the Committee, Council or Panel who made the decision being appealed against. NCAT will serve the appeal on the respondent.

 

Unless NCAT orders otherwise, the filing of the External Appeal Form will not stay the effect of the decision being appealed (s 161B).

The parties will receive a Notice from NCAT informing them of the date, time and location to attend a directions hearing. The appeal itself will not be heard at the directions hearing.

 

See professional discipline of health professionals for more information about what occurs at a directions hearing.

A hearing will take place unless it is dispensed with by NCAT, for example where both parties consent to the matter being determined only on the material and submissions filed by the parties. Both parties in the appeal will be given the opportunity to present the evidence of their case.

 

The appeal is to be dealt with by way of a rehearing which means that NCAT will decide the outcome based on the evidence before it.

 

See professional discipline of health professionals for general information about who makes up the Tribunal panel.

The following are some examples of the orders NCAT may make:

  • dismiss the appeal
  • confirm the original (appellable) decision
  • set aside the original decision
  • vary the original decision as it thinks appropriate
  • make a new decision or any finding or exercise of power NCAT could have made as the original decision-maker.

NCAT may order a party to pay costs to another person (cl 13 of Sch 5D). See professional discipline of health professionals for more information.

 

NCAT’s decision will be published on the NSW Caselaw website.

See professional discipline of health professionals for information on the ability for parties to appeal against a decision made by NCAT for the purposes of the National Law.

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