Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board

Professional Conduct and Discipline

 

Professional Conduct Committees

The Board does not have powers to discipline health practitioners about whom a complaint has been made, however under section 71 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act it may appoint a Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) to investigate certain matters.

A PCC is not a sub-committees of the Board.  It is independent of the Board, regulates its own procedure and makes its own decisions.  The recommendations and determinations a PCC may make are set out in section 80 of the HPCAA and include:

  • recommending that the Board review the practitioner's competence
  • recommending that the Board review the practitioner's fitness to practise
  • recommending that the Board review the practitioner's scope of practice
  • recommending that the Board review the subject matter of the investigation to the police
  • recommending that the Board counsel the practitioner
  • determining that no further steps be taken
  • determining that a charge be brought before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal
  • in the case of a complaint, determining that the complaint be submitted to conciliation.

 

Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal

If a PCC (or the Health and Disability Commissioner's Director of Proceedings) lays a charge against a health practitioner, the charge will be heard by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (HPDT).  The grounds upon which a practitioner may be disciplined are outlined in section 100 of the HPCAA and include:

  • professional misconduct as a result of malpractice or negligence
  • professional misconduct that may bring or has brought the profession into disrepute
  • being convicted of an offence that reflects adversely on his/her fitness to practise
  • practising without a practising certificate
  • performing a health service within his/her scope of practice that is not permitted by that scope of practice
  • failure to observe any conditions in his/her scope of practice
  • breach of an order made by the HPDT under section 101.

Penalties available to the HPDT in the event that any of the above cases is found to apply are:

  • cancellation of the practitioner's registration
  • suspension of the practitioner's registration for no more than 3 years
  • imposition of conditions on the practitioner's scope of practice
  • censure
  • a fine of no more than $30,000
  • a requirement that the practitioner contribute to the costs of the proceedings or the PCC's costs, or the Director of Proceedings' costs

 

Contact Us

Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board

Level 5, 22 Willeston Street,
Wellington 6011
PO Box 9644, Wellington 6141
Tel: +64 4 474 0705, Fax +64 4 474 0709

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