Its purpose is to protect the health and safety of members of the public by providing mechanisms to ensure the life long competence of health practitioners. The Act builds on the framework created by earlier legislation, in particular the Medical Practitioners Act All the major concepts of the Medical Practitioners Act have been carried forward into the Act, adjusted where necessary to generic terms to provide a framework that can apply to all health practitioners not just doctors. The Act incorporates the basic principles of ongoing competence and the separation of the registration process from the disciplinary process. Important key protections are in place, with provisions to ensure that: only health practitioners who are registered under the Act are able to use the titles protected by the Act or claim to be practising a profession that is regulated by the Act registered health practitioners are not permitted to practise outside their scopes of practice regulatory authorities are required to certify that a practitioner is competent to practise in their scope of practice when they issue an annual practising certificate certain activities are restricted and can only be performed by registered health practitioners as specified in the Act.

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Midwifery Council of New Zealand A separate Midwifery Council was established on 18 December, , and will come into full effect on 14 September Work during this interim year will entail establishing premises and systems for the new Council processes and managing full separation from the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

The role of the Council covers standards, education, scope of practise and competency. Disciplinary processes will be managed through the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner and heard by a separate Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

Midwifery Council members are listed on the Ministry of Health website www. The Council has six midwives and two lay people appointed by the Minister. The Midwifery Council will have the same role and functions under the Act as the Nursing Council has for nurses.

Back to top Dual registration Those holding both a nursing and midwifery qualification will need to consider what to do in relation to practising certificates. To maintain practising certificates in both disciplines, the requirements of both Councils for competence based practising certificates will need to be met. Those who are practising nursing and not practising midwifery, will hold a practising certificate for nursing only. It does mean that she or he cannot practise as a midwife until he or she can meet the requirements of a competence based practising certificate for midwives.

Conversely those practising midwifery and not nursing will hold a practising certificate in midwifery but not in nursing. Their names will remain on the Register for Nurses but they will need to meet the requirements for a competence based practising certificate should they return to nursing.

A number with dual registration practise both nursing and midwifery. They will need to meet the requirements for practising certificates of both Councils. This may be difficult to achieve, depending on the requirements determined by the Councils and the employment setting.

If it is a requirement of a particular employment position, for example, rural settings, then there is an obligation by an employer to assist in maintaining competence requirements in both disciplines. Discussions on how this may be achieved will occur in early NZNO will provide advice to members if there is any difficulty in reaching agreement. A number with dual registration, work in specialised areas where they use both nursing skills and those from their midwifery practise, for example, neonatology and Plunket.

It is important to determine the nature and scope of the practise in making a decision about holding a practising certificate for these roles. Competence requirements for practising certificates for midwives will be based on the standards for registration as a midwife, that is the continuum of midwifery practise.

Neonatology and Plunket would fall under nursng and so a practising certificate from the NZNO will be required. Those with dual Registration who will hold only one practising certificate in the future will need to be quite clear about their scope of practise and not practise the other discipline until they have competence based practising certificate.

There are financial implications for nurses, midwives and employers in the introduction of competence based practising certificates. Depending on the final competence requirements, employment patterns of midwives in these settings may require some change to maintain competence across the continuum. Also, employers paying the costs of practising certificates will have to budget for the higher costs.


About the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act

Tokus Registration of, and practising certificates for, health practitioners. Further provisions relating to Tribunal in Schedule 1. Authorities to axt registers. Complaints about conduct before commencement of this section. Authority must inform applicant that it proposes to depart from indicated scope of practice or to decline application. Provisions applying to Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. Practitioners whose registration continued deemed to have authorised scope of practice.



Updates Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act the Act provides a framework for the regulation of health practitioners in order to protect the public where there is a risk of harm from professional practice. Having one legislative framework allows for consistent procedures and terminology across the professions now regulated by the Act. The principal purpose of protecting the health and safety of the public is emphasised and the Act includes mechanisms to ensure that practitioners are competent and fit to practise their professions for the duration of their professional lives. The Act was passed by Parliament on 11 September and received the Royal assent on 18 September The Act came fully into force on 18 September In doing so, the Act repealed 11 occupational statutes governing 13 professions. Not all health professions are regulated under the Act.


Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act

The Act sets out the rules for the way practitioners are registered, the process for complaints and how professional competence is maintained and assessed. The Act includes ways to make sure health practitioners are competent and fit to practice their professions for the duration of their professional lives. Having one Act for the regulation of health professionals means there are consistent procedures and terminology across all those professions. Examples of other health practitioners currently covered by this Act include doctors, nurses, midwives, chiropractors, dentists, dental hygienists, psychotherapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, medical laboratory scientists and many others. In total 21 health professional groups are regulated under the Act.


Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003


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