Section 45 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (the Act) imposes a mandatory obligation on health practitioners (e.g., psychologists), their employers, health service organisations, and medical officers of health to promptly give the Board written notice if they have reason to believe that a health practitioner is unable to perform the functions required for the practise of their profession because of some mental or physical condition. This includes impairment caused by alcohol or drug abuse.
The Board takes a very collaborative and supportive approach to managing fitness concerns. We prefer to work alongside a practitioner to facilitate their recovery, to support safe practice, and to minimise disruption to their personal and professional lives. It is much easier for us to accomplish these goals if we are informed of any difficulties earlier rather than later, and are included in any assessment, management, or remedial planning processes.
If you have concerns about a psychologist’s fitness, the Board’s Psychology Advisor can discuss your concerns with you to determine whether a formal notification should be made.