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About the HPCAA Legislation
The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCAA)

The Psychotherapist Board of Aotearoa New Zealand (Board) is a statutory authority set up under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCAA) to ensure that psychotherapists are competent and fit to practise their professions.

The HPCAA can be viewed at www.moh.govt.nz/hpca

Purpose of Act

'The principal purpose of the HCPAA 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.

Functions of the Board

The HPCA Act sets out the functions of authorities under part 6 section 118 (a-m). These functions are:
a. to prescribe the qualifications required for scopes of practice within the profession, and, for that purpose, to accredit and monitor educational institutions and degrees, courses of studies, or programmes:
b. to authorise the registration of psychotherapists under this Act, and to maintain registers:
c. to consider applications for annual practising certificates:
d. to review and promote the competence of Psychotherapists:
e. to recognise, accredit, and set programmes to ensure the ongoing competence of Psychotherapists:
f. to receive and act on information from health practitioners, employers, and the Health and Disability Commissioner about the competence Psychotherapist:
g. to notify employers, the Accident Compensation Corporation, the Director-General of Health, and the Health and Disability Commissioner that the practice of a Psychotherapist may pose a risk of harm to the public:
h. to consider the cases of Psychotherapists who may be unable to perform the functions required for the practice of their profession:
i. to set standards of clinical competence, cultural competence, and ethical conduct to be observed by Psychotherapists:
j. to liaise with other authorities appointed under the Act about matters of common interest:
k. to promote education and training in the professions:
l. to promote public awareness of the responsibilities of the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand:
m. to exercise and perform any other functions, powers, and duties that are conferred or imposed on it by or under this Act or any other enactment.

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.


 16 Jun 2019, 1:05pm

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