Important Information for Employers
Registration and Annual Renewal of Practising Status
To practise in New Zealand, optometrists and dispensing opticians must be registered with the Board AND hold a current practising certificate.
Registration is ‘for life’ unless the practitioner requests that their name be cancelled from the Register or they are removed for discipline reasons. It is their practising status that is renewed each year. It is a requirement under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCA Act) that practitioners advise the Board of their practising intentions each year and the Board will contact all registrants shortly before the end of the practising year (31 March) to enquire what their intentions are for the next year commencing 1 April.
It is an individual practitioner’s responsibility to renew their practising status each year. They cannot pass this responsibility, or their application, on to you as their employer.
You can check a practitioner’s practising status on the Register at any time. Click here to be taken to the Board’s online Register search page. If you have trouble locating a practitioner, please contact the Board’s office on 04 474 0704 and we can provide assistance.
The requirements for registration for optometrists and dispensing opticians are different as optometrists have a restricted task, and therefore must be registered in order to practise, where as dispensing opticians do not, theirs is title protection only. The legalities of registration for dispensing opticians are complicated, so the Board has prepared an information pamphlet which explains how to practise legally and in accordance with the Optical Dispensing Scope of Practice. Click here to view this pamphlet.
Employer obligations to report practitioners to the Board
There are certain sections of the HPCA Act that require employers to report their employees to the Board.
- Section 34(3) of the HPCA Act requires an employer to promptly give the Registrar of the Board written notice whenever an employee employed as a health practitioner resigns or is dismissed from his or her employment for reasons relating to competence. This notice must include the reasons for the resignation or dismissal.
- Section 45(2) of the HPCA Act requires an employer to promptly give the Registrar of the Board written notice if they have reason to believe that a health practitioner is unable to perform the functions required for the practice of their profession because of some mental or physical condition. This notice must include all of the circumstances surrounding this belief.
If you believe you need to make one of the above mentioned notifications or are unsure, please contact the Board’s Registrar on 04 474 0705.