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Practising certificate policy

No doctor may practise medicine unless he or she is registered under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCAA) within a scope of practice and holds a current PC (s 8 of the HPCAA).

If the Registrar receives a complete application for an annual practising certificate (‘PC’), together with the required fee, the Registrar must issue a PC unless he or she believes on reasonable grounds that the applicant –

  • has at any time failed to maintain the required standard of competence 
  • has failed to fulfil, or has failed to comply with, a condition included in the applicant’s scope of practice 
  • has not satisfactorily completed the requirements of an educational programme that he or she has been ordered to complete 
  • has not held a PC in New Zealand within the 3 years immediately preceding the date of application 
  • Is unable to perform the functions required to practice medicine because of some mental or physical condition 
  • has not engaged in the practice of medicine within the 3years immediately preceding the date of the application.

The Registrar or the Council may propose to decline to issue the PC if satisfied that any information included in the application is false or misleading. However, the applicant must be given full details of the reasons for this decision, and an opportunity to make written submissions to be heard on the matter before a final decision is made. (s 27(4) HPCAA)

If any fines, costs or expenses that the applicant has been ordered by the HPDT to pay remain unpaid, the Registrar may decline to issue a PC until the fine, costs or expenses are paid. The applicant may request the Council to review such a decision. (ss 26(4) and (5) HPCAA)

In considering an application for a PC, the Council must not decide that a PC should be issued unless it is satisfied that the applicant meets the required standard of competence. In order to satisfy that criterion, the Council may include any conditions in the applicant’s scope of practice or vary any existing conditions.

To view the policy in its entirety in PDF format, please click on the link below:

Download Policy on practising certificates (PDF, 396 KB)

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