I am an Employer

When you employ a practitioner

Before you employ a health practitioner you should check the Council’s register to verify:

  • that they are currently registered
  • the scope of practice they are registered in
  • that they hold a current annual practising certificate (APC)
  • whether there are any conditions or restrictions on their registration and/or  practice.

You must ensure that your registered health practitioner employees retain their registration and always maintain a current APC.  If they do not, you should stand them down immediately and notify the Medical Sciences Council in writing and email to prof.standards@medsci.co.nz.

Concerns about an employee

If you have concerns about the performance of an employee who is a registered health practitioner, you should talk to the Council and seek advice.  You can do so informally by phone or you can send a formal notification, but before you do you may wish to consider:

  • was it an isolated issue or one-off incident, or does there appear to be a pattern of poor performance emerging? If so, you may wish to consider the possibility of a competence issue.
  • have you talked to the practitioner about your concerns?
  • was it a serious departure from accepted practise for that profession?
  • does the practitioner pose a risk of serious harm to their patients?
  • has there recently been a change in the practitioner’s behaviour or ability? If so, you may want to consider the possibility of a health issue impacting on their ability to safely practise.

Duty to notify of competence concern

If you employ a registered health practitioner you are legally obliged to notify the Council in writing whenever a health practitioner registered with the Council resigns or is dismissed from his/her employment for reasons related to competence.  The notification is to be addressed to the Council’s Registrar in writing and include the reasons for the resignation or dismissal.

Duty to notify of a health concern

If you employ a registered health practitioner, you are legally obliged to notify the Council in writing if you have reason to believe they are unable to perform the functions of their profession because of a mental or physical condition.   You must include information on all the relevant circumstances that led you to that belief.

Duty to notify of a conduct concern

You have a duty to notify us if you have concerns that an employee, who is a registered health practitioner, may be engaged in immoral, illegal or unethical conduct; is neglecting their professional duty; or has been grossly negligent.

Should the Council consider that the information provided raises one or more questions about the appropriateness of the conduct or the safety of the practice of the practitioner, the Council may refer the matter to a Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) for a substantive investigation.  A PCC may in turn, lay charges against the practitioner before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

Anonymous complaints

The Council cannot act on an anonymous complaint. The Act and the principles of natural justice require that the complainant participates in the process.

Please note that if you wish to proceed with a concern or complaint the Council requires the name of the health practitioner and a written outline of the nature of your concerns. As part of the Council’s processes and in accordance with natural justice any information received in respect of a practitioner will be disclosed to the named practitioner for their right of response.

Please put your concerns in writing and email to prof.standards@medsci.co.nz.

The Council will acknowledge receipt of your complaint and advise you on the next steps to be taken.