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About the HPCAA Legislation
Te Tiriti O Waitangi and why it is not mentioned in the HPCAA

Click here to download an extract of a Ministry Document May 2003.

The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCAA)

The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA) was passed on 18 September 2003. The majority of the provisions in this legislation came into operation on 18 September 2004. The HPCAA applies to all health practitioners, not just to psychotherapists.

The HPCAA established separate Regulatory Authorities (RAs) to enact the legislation for each group of health practitioners. Each Regulatory Authority (Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand) works within the same regulatory framework of the HPCAA. The HPCAA can be viewed at www.moh.govt.nz/hpca

Purpose of Act

The principal purpose of this Act is to protect the health and safety of members of the public by providing for mechanisms to ensure that health practitioners are competent and fit to practise their professions.

The mechanisms to support the purposes are:

  • Scopes of practice describe and define the boundaries of each profession.
  • To ensure professional competence has to be proven in order to register as a health practitioner.
  • Evidence of continuing professional competence is required when a health practitioner applies for an annual practising certificate in order to be able to continue to practise.
  • A Regulatory Authority can suspend a practitioner's Annual Practising Certificate, impose conditions on a scope of practice or alter a practitioner's scope of practice.

The Act requires all psychotherapists register with the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand. If a psychotherapist is not registered with the Board and does not hold a current APC then they cannot practise psychotherapy in New Zealand.



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