Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board

Competence assurance policies

Risk of Harm

Under section 35 of the Act, the Board has obligationst to notify certain persons if it considers an individual practitioner poses a risk of harm to the public. The Board has established a Policy on Risk of Harm for assessing individual cases for risk of harm.

Supervision of practising optometrists and dispensing opticians

The Board may sometimes require an optometrist or dispensing optician to practise under supervision from a peer.  The Board will not implement a supervision arrangement unless it is satisfied that supervision (possibly combined with other measures) will protect public health and safety.  If the Board is not satisfied of this, it will likely consider requring the practitioner not to practise until he/she can meet specfied standards.

Situations where a supervision arrangement might be required include:

  • a competence review has found that the practitioner is practising below the required standard and needs to upskill
  • the practitioner has recently rejoined the workforce after a period of absence.

The Board has established Supervision Guidelines for such situations.


HRANZ/DHBNZ Agreed Guidelines on Competence Referrals

In 2009 and 2010, the Health Regulatory Authorities of New Zealand (HRANZ) and District Health Boards of New Zealand (DHBNZ) worked together on developing a guideline for DHBs dealing with competence concerns about health practitioners in their employment.

The final guidelines can be viewed here.  Employers other than DHBs may also find the guideline valuable.





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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