Charges brought before the tribunal for practising without an APC
Three practitioners have recently been referred to the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (the tribunal) for practising without a current annual practising certificate (APC).
The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 requires every health practitioner practising in New Zealand to hold a current APC. The Council will refer practitioners found to be practising without one to a professional conduct committee (PCC). It is then the PCC’s decision to refer the case to the tribunal if it considers the matter sufficiently serious.
In the first case, a dental hygienist had practised for almost four months without an APC. The PCC considered the dental hygienist had placed patients at potential risk by continuing to practise without an APC.
In the second case, a clinical dental technician had practised for over seven months without an APC. The PCC acknowledged the technician had faced difficult personal circumstances at the time, but that did not negate the legal requirement to hold an APC. Further, the PCC did not accept the technician’s explanation that they were not undertaking clinical examinations of clients and therefore the absence of an APC was less critical. The PCC stated there remained an element of danger to the public from the technician’s practise without an APC.
In the third case, a dental hygienist/therapist was five months late in renewing her APC and acknowledged to the PCC that they had seen more than 100 patients in this time.
The PCCs have laid charges with the tribunal against all three practitioners for practising without a current practising certificate. The cases are yet to be heard but the tribunal’s decisions will be published on our website once they are final.