Agency Information Guide
Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act), each NSW Government department and agency is required to publish an annual Agency Information Guide.
The information in this guide describes the structure, functions and the role of the Health Professional Council Authority (HPCA) and the Councils. Additionally, the Agency Information Guide requires the inclusion of how information can be accessed by members of the public and any processing charges that may apply.
The HPCA was established on 1 July 2010 with the introduction of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. The HPCA is an executive agency of the NSW Ministry of Health providing secretariat and corporate services to 15 health professional Councils in NSW. Each Council is an independent statutory body established under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) (the National Law (NSW)).
The 15 health professional Councils are:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Council of New South Wales
- Chinese Medicine Council of New South Wales
- Chiropractic Council of New South Wales
- Dental Council of New South Wales
- Medical Council of New South Wales
- Medical Radiation Practice Council of New South Wales
- Nursing and Midwifery Council of New South Wales
- Occupational Therapy Council of New South Wales
- Optometry Council of New South Wales
- Osteopathy Council of New South Wales
- Paramedicine Council of New South Wales
- Pharmacy Council of New South Wales
- Physiotherapy Council of New South Wales
- Podiatry Council of New South Wales
- Psychology Council of New South Wales
The Councils are established to protect the public. This is achieved through the management of complaints relating to the conduct, performance and health of registered practitioners with a principal place of practice in NSW. Councils also manage matters relating to the conduct and health of students registered to undertake health practitioner training in NSW.
The Councils co-regulate with the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC), which is an independent statutory authority established under the Health Care Complaints Act 1993.
The HPCA has two locations.
14 of the 15 Councils and the HPCA are located at:
Level 6, North Wing
477 Pitt Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
The Medical Council and HPCA staff who support this Council are located at:
Gladesville Hospital, 2nd Gate Entrance
Gladesville, NSW 2111
The National Law (NSW) requires some Councils to have community members. Community members participate in decision making processes about regulation including policy development. Councils also engage lay members to participate in decision making processes in regulating health professionals.
We welcome feedback. Feedback can be provided by:
Telephone: 1300 197 177
Written: Level 6, North Wing, 477 Pitt Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
What kind of information do we have?
We have information about making a complaint, how complaints are managed, policies and procedures about regulating health practitioners and other publications such as Council newsletters, strategic plans and annual reports. Most of this information is available on our websites.
We are required to keep a register of our contracts that record information about each contract that has, or is likely to have a value of $150,000 or more. See our access to information page for further detail.
Access to information may be considered through an informal or formal application.
Informal access application
You may request information held by us. Generally copies of the following types of information will be provided without the need to make a formal application:
- Correspondence sent by you and to you
- Information that contains your personal information
- Information that has already been published, and
- Information where public interest considerations against disclosure do not arise.
You do not need to complete a Formal Access Information form for this information; however your request must be in writing. In some situations, charges may be incurred for services such as photocopying or postage.
Information disclosed informally may impose conditions about the use or disclosure of the information.
In some situations, you may be requested to make a formal application in accordance with the GIPA Act for reasons that may include public interest factors.
Formal access application
If the information you are applying for is not available on our website or by contacting us directly, you may apply under the GIPA Act for access to the information. Applications for formal access to information under the provisions of the GIPA Act need to be in writing or by completing the Formal Access Information form accompanied by the $30 application fee and certified proof of identification, if you are seeking access to personal information.
Before making a formal application, we recommend that you contact us first to discuss your application, as we may be able to release the information informally.
Certain information cannot be released under the GIPA Act, as set out below.
Information that is not available
Information that we are unable to release in response to an access application includes:
- Private health information or personal information about another person
- Information collected under the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 (Schedule 1 clause 1 GIPA Act)
- Information about complaints that are made to the Health Care Complaints Commission and information that it shares with Councils about these complaints (within the meaning of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 relating to a particular complaint (Schedule 2, clause 2 of the GIPA Act))
We will not release information if there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.
Application and processing fees
Information about fees and charges are available from the Information and Privacy Commission or 1800 463 626.
If you cannot afford the fee, you can apply for a 50% reduction in processing costs on the grounds of financial hardship, or ask for a waiver of the fee if the information will be of special benefit to the public generally. You will need to provide us with information to help us consider your request.