Application for Registration under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003
For information about the HPCA Act see the Ministry of Health website at http://www.moh.govt.nz/hpca
June 2010 Update
A letter has been received from the Ministry of Health following the review of criteria for determining whether a health profession should be regulated unter the HPCA Act.
The Minister of Health has decided to require the speech-lanugage therapy profession to re-apply for regulation under the new criteria which will come into effect from 1 July 2010. The new guidelines for applying for Regulation under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 are available at http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/Files/hpca-files/$file/guidelines-for-regulation-hpca-act.pdf.
The Executive Council is currently considering all of the information and the options and will keep members updated.
May 2010 Update
The Ministry of Health released the analysis of submissions received on the review of the criteria for the regulation of new professions under the HPCA Act. This analysis also states that "a more comprehensive review of the Act is scheduled to begin in 2012 ...".
March 2010 Update
NZSTA has lodged a submission with the Ministry of Health in response to the Discussion Document on determining if statutory regulation is the most appropriate way to regulate health professions and releasing proposed criteria for inclusion under the HPCA Act.
January 2010 Update
Two letters have been received from the Ministry of Health and are available to read here. Our application is still on hold along with those of a number of other professions while the Ministry now consult on the criteria for determining whether a new profession should come under the Act. A discussion document has been released by the Ministry of Health asking for submissions on determining if statutory regulation is the most appropriate way to regulate health professions and releasing proposed criteria for inclusion under the Act. It is available at Discussion Document. NZSTA put in a submission in and asked members for their feedback.
October 2009 Update
Following discussions with the Ministry of Health, we now anticipate that a decision will not be reached until the beginning of 2010 as the review of the Act has resulted in stalled progress for the NZSTA and a number of other Associations.
A further reply was received from the Minister of Health to the letter sent on 20th August 2009 and can be accessed here.
September 2009 Update
No reply has been received to date from the Ministry of Health to the letter sent by the President and the Professional Standards Portfolio Leader on 20th August. An acknowledgement was received from the Minister of Health and can be accessed here. The President will be contacting the Ministry of Health again about the delay
August 2009 Update
Currently, the association is awaiting the Minister of Health's decision regarding the inclusion of the NZSTA under the Act. The Executive Committee continues to keep in regular correspondence with the Minister, highlighting the delays in our application. The most recent correspondence can be accessed here.
June 2009 Update
The review of the HPCA Act has now been completed. Members can view the report from this review by visiting http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/pagesmh/9103/$File/report-minister-hpca-jun09.pdf
March 2009 Update
The NZSTA has made a submission on the recommendations provided by the Ministry of Health earlier this year. See HPCA Recommendations Submission
February 2009 Update
Following the 2008 review of the Health Practitioners' Competence Assurance Act, a draft report has been released. Submissions on the recommendations are now being accepted; the deadline for all submissions is 5pm February 20th 2009. The review report can be accessed at:
The Executive Committee encourages members (and non-members) to read the report and provide submissions. The Executive Committee will be making a submission on these recommendations on behalf of the association.
December 2008 Update
With the change to a new government following the recent national elections, the out-going Minister of Health (David Cunliffe) has responded to the Executive's most recent letter. The most recent letter to the Minister of Health can be accessed here, while Mr. Cunliffe's letter of response can be viewed here.
As the letter states, new applications for consideration under the Act have not been accepted since March 2007; however, the Executive Committee of the time were not informed of this change. The on-going review of the Act, along with a new government, indicates further delays for the decision as to whether our application will be accepted or not.
November 2008 Update
Throughout the year, the Executive Committee has been in communication with the Ministry of Health, seeking feedback on the application made late last year. As reported at the AGM in May, following frequent communication with the Ministry, the Executive Committee were informed the decision regarding the inclusion of speech-language therapy under the Act was delayed due to a review of the Act.
This review has been on-going, with workshops held last month in Auckland and Christchurch. At the Christchurch workshop, the Executive Committee were informed there are currently four professions that have completed the consultation phase of the application process. The review is due to be completed in December this year, and will then go to the Minister of Health.
The review, along with our application for inclusion under the Act, needs to go before the Minister of Health. Although the Executive Committee have not been given a formal timeframe, it is not expected we will hear anything further until early 2009.
March 2008 Update
The date for making a submission on the regulation of Speech-Language Therapy under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act was early December 2007 (see below). However, the Ministry of Health accepted a number of submissions into January this year.
The next step will be to analyse the submissions, and report the results to the Minister of Health for his decision on whether or not Speech-Language Therapy should be regulated. The Ministry is unable to provide a time frame for when this process will be completed.
An additional hold up is Ministry of Health's current review of the Act. This review is likely to affect the way regulatory bodies are structured (i.e should there continue to be one regulatory authority for each regulated profession or should there be more 'grouping' of related professions). Cabinet indicated last year that it did not want any new regulatory authorities established until the review has examined this issue. The review of the Act is intended to be completed by the end of 2008. The Ministry suggests that, when this is complete, they should be able to progress any outstanding applications for regulation.
October 2007 Update
The NZSTA application for registration under the HPCA Act has been organised as a "consultation document" by the Ministry of Health. Consequently, consultation will be sought from health professionals, agencies, and organisations. This is a critical phase of the application process. The deadline for submissions for this consultation is December 3rd 2007. The document is available at the following link:
Please encourage all individuals and organisations you may be associated with in making submissions for this application.
Much of the ground-work for making a submission for registration under the HPCA Act was laid in the years leading up to 2007. Most significantly, consultation with Speech-Language Therapists across the country took place during 2005. This consultation took the form of the survey, which focussed on general views around registration and the HPCAA, including a draft scope of practice. The 120 responses to this survey were subsequently put forward as part of the application to the Ministry of Health.
Once the application was submitted, the next stages in the process were impeded by governmental process. However, the application was moved into the next phase (consultation) earlier this year.
What is the HPCAA?
The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2003) provides a framework for the regulation of health practitioners in order to protect the public where there is a risk of harm from the practice of the profession. Having one legislative framework allows for consistent procedures and terminology across the professions now regulated by the Act. The principal purpose of protecting the health and safety of the public is emphasised and the Act includes mechanisms to ensure that practitioners are competent and fit to practice their professions for the duration of their professional lives.