What is AHPRA?
AHPRA stands for the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Here’s what you need to know...
The enactment of the Health Practitioner National Law Act 2009 resulted in the replacement of the pre-existing 85 State and Territory Boards with 14 National Boards, of which one is Dental.
AHPRA serves to support the Boards in their primary function of protecting the general public, and also manages practitioner registration.
What are my responsibilities under the new Act?
Practitioners must comply with the following registration standards which can be viewed and downloaded either through AHPRA or from The Dental Board of Australia
Click here for the Registration Standards document.
We advise that you thoroughly read and review these standards:
- Dental Continuing Professional Development Registration Standard
- Dental Criminal History Registration Standard
- Dental Endorsement Conscious Sedation Registration Standard
- Dental English Language Skills Registration Standard
- Dental List of Specialities Registration Standard
- Dental Professional Indemnity Insurance Registration Standard
- Dental Recency of Practice Registration Standard
- Dental Scope of Practice Registration Standard
- Dental Specialist Registration Standard
- Dental General Registration for Overseas-Qualified Dental Practitioners Registration Standard
- Dental Limited Registration for Postgraduate Training or Supervised Practice Registration Standard
- Dental Limited Registration for Teaching or Research Registration Standard
Furthermore, there is a series of Codes of Conduct and Guidelines which we also strongly recommend you read and review regularly.
The Accreditation section also requires thorough and regular review and this is also where you will find the list of Dental Board-approved ‘add-on’ courses.
Dental practitioners must only perform those dental procedures:
- For which they have been formally educated and trained in programmes of study approved by the Board; and
- In which they are competent – see Scope of Practice Registration Standard at www.dentalboard.gov.au/Registration-Standards.aspx.
What should I do if I receive a notification?
You will be invited by the Board to respond. While optional, we advise this be prepared and submitted by the due date with appropriate supporting documentation:
- Contact DPL
Direct members - Telephone 1800 444 542 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our dento-legal advisers will assist you in preparing your response.
NSW members - Your notification will come through The Dental Council of New South Wales.
Scheme members - Australian Dental Association Branch members in Western Australia should contact the Dental Cases Panel on (08) 9211 5600 or email email@example.com
- Prior to drafting your response, contact your notifications officer (the telephone number can be found within the body of text of the letter of notification) to ensure that all supporting documentation has been released.
- Generally, a practitioner response to a letter of notification is required within 14 days as the Board has a statutory requirement to conduct a preliminary assessment within 60 days of receiving the notification of complaint from the patient. There is no statutory allowance for the granting of extensions.
- Your dento-legal adviser will assist by reviewing your records, radiographs and proposed draft response in conjunction with the primary complaint to ensure your response is as thorough as possible.
- Submit by the due date with a copy of your submission sent to DPL for your file.
What happens after my response has been submitted?
There are five stages to the complaint process (see The Dental Board's Registration Standards):
- Receipt of notification
- Preliminary assessment. This determines if the matter should be handled by AHPRA or another complaints entity. Possible preliminary outcomes include:
- Takes immediate action on the practitioner’s or student’s registration
- Request a health assessment of the practitioner or student or a performance assessment of the practitioner
- Refer the matter to a health or performance panel hearing
- Refer the matter to a tribunal hearing
- Issue a caution
- Accept undertakings
- Impose conditions
- Take no further action
- Panel hearing
- Tribunal hearing
These stages can all be carried out to further determine the appropriate course of action.