We invite your feedback

Response due date is 30 January 2020.

You can find out more about the Council's consultation below before reading the "Proposed Policy on Publication and Naming of osteopaths subject to and order or direction"  and then please give us your feedback by doing the survey here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MXYQBMQ

Issuing a naming policy

Changes to the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 that came into effect in April 2019 means that the Council is required to develop, consult on and publish a naming policy for osteopaths following an order or direction under the Act by mid-April 2020. The Council has developed the attached draft policy and seeks your opinion on the proposed policy by 30 January 2020. The relevant sections of the Act are attached to the proposed policy as appendix 2.

Consultation

Under the Act the Council is required to consult and take into account any comments received from:

  • osteopaths registered with the Council
  • the Privacy Commissioner
  • the Director-General of Health
  • the Health and Disability Commissioner.

Publication order and naming policy

Under section 157 of the Act the Council may publish in any publication a notice setting out:

  • the effect of any order or direction it has made
  • a summary of any finding it has made
  • the name of the osteopath.

An order or a direction

An order is a decision made by the Council about a osteopath that the Act describes as an order. Under section 156A of the Act an order must:

  • be in writing
  • state the reasons why it was made
  • state clearly the osteopath’s right to appeal to the District Court against the order
  • be signed by the Registrar of the authority.

Orders are made under different parts of the Act (registration, health, competence and conduct).
Although some provisions use the word “order”, or “direction” not all functions that are ordered are “orders” or “directions” under the Act. An example is section 67A(2) of the Act where the Council may “order” a osteopath to undergo a specified medical examination. However, this can only proceed with the consent of the osteopath, there has been no finding and it cannot be appealed to the District Court.

Orders are also described in section 157 as having an effect and a finding. The Council’s proposed policy is therefore confined to orders that may be the subject of an appeal under section 106 of the Act.
Some orders result in a osteopaths’ practising certificate or registration being suspended. Others result in conditions being included in a osteopath’s scope of practice that are recorded on the public register. Other orders may not result in conditions being included such as requiring a osteopath to undertake a competence programme.

The purpose of the naming policy

Although the purpose of the policy is to:

  • enhance public confidence in the osteopathic profession and the Council’s disciplinary procedures by providing transparency about their decision-making processes
  • ensure the osteopath whose conduct has not met expected standards may be named when it is in the public interest to do so and
  • improve the safety and quality of health care.

The publication of orders is not limited to those made under the disciplinary process and the proposed policy therefore includes orders made under the health, competence and general provisions.

The content of the policy

The policy must set out
  • The class or classes of osteopaths in respect of which the naming policy applies
  • The circumstances in which a osteopath may be named
  • The general principles that will guide the Council’s naming decisions
  • The criteria that the Council must apply when making a naming decision
  • The requirement to have regard to the consequences for the osteopath of being named, including the likely harm to the osteopath’s reputation
  • The procedures the Council must follow when making a naming decision
  • The information the Council may disclose when naming a osteopath
  • The means by which the osteopath is named.
What general principles will guide the Council’s decisions to publish an order?

Under section 157G a naming policy must be consistent with:

  • the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003
  • the information privacy principles in section 6 of the Privacy Act 1993; and
  • the general law (including natural justice rights).
Naming policy to be available on the Internet

The naming policy must be available on the website.

Naming policies in force

The naming policy comes into force on the day after the date of issue.

Review of policy

The Council must review the policy within three years after the policy comes into force and then every three years after that. The same consultation will apply.

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