Employer Responsibilities under HPCA Act
The purpose of the HPCA Act is to protect the health and safety of the public by establishing mechanisms to ensure that health practitioners are competent and fit to practice their professions.
The Registration Competency Requirements describe the combination of skills, knowledge and attitudes that Dietitians are defined by and are required to demonstrate.
The Board draw the following points from the HPCA Act to your attention:
- If an employee employed as a dietitian resigns or is dismissed from his or her employment for reasons relating to competence, the employer must give the Registrar of the Dietitians Board written notice of the reasons for that resignation or dismissal (s34(3) of the HPCA Act refers).
- If an employer of a dietitian has reason to believe that the practitioner is unable to perform the functions required for the practice of his or her profession because of some mental or physical condition, the employer must promptly give the Registrar of the Dietitians Board written notice of all the circumstances (s45(2) of the HPCA Act refers).
- The statutory functions of the Dietitians Board include notifying employers that the practice of a health practitioner may pose a risk of harm to the employer (s 118(g) of the HPCA Act refers).
- If the Dietitians Board has reason to believe that a dietitian poses a risk of harm to the public, it must promptly give the employer of the practitioner written notice of the circumstances that have given rise to that belief (s35(1)(d)). The Board may also give this written notice to any person who works in partnership or in association with the practitioner.
- If the Dietitians Board, having conducted a review of the competence of a dietitian, has reason to believe that the practitioner fails to meet the required standard of competence, and issues an order (for example, under s38 an order that conditions be placed on the practitioner’s scope of practice) it must ensure that a copy of the order is given within five working days to the employer of the practitioner and any person who works in partnership or association with the practitioner (s39(3)(a) of the HPCA Act refers).
- If the Dietitians Board reviews the competence of a dietitian or has set a competence or recertification programme for the practitioner, it may for the purposes of the review or programme inspect all or any of the records of the practitioner, who must make the records available (s42 of the HPCA Act refers).
The HPCA Act (2003) is available online on the NZ Legislation website.