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Proposing to decline an application

The Council has several pathways to registration, with most decision-making within our registration policies delegated to our Registrar.

Under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003, we may only register doctors who:

  • are fit for registration
  • have a prescribed qualification
  • are competent to practise within the scope of practice for which they have applied.

The policies have been developed to ensure that doctors have the right qualifications, training, and experience to work in New Zealand.  Council also wants to know that there are no mental or physical concerns that might affect your ability to practise and that, if you have been subject to criminal or professional disciplinary proceedings, Council can be satisfied of your fitness to practice in New Zealand.

If your application does not meet our registration policies, whether that is because you do not hold a prescribed qualification or if there are significant residual concerns over your competence or fitness for registration, we will ‘propose to decline’ your registration application. Should we need to ‘propose to decline,’ we will write and let you know the reasons.

A ‘proposal to decline’ means that your registration application is outside the Council’s registration policy and the Registrar’s delegated authority to approve the application, and that the application must be referred to a full Council meeting for consideration.

The most common reason to propose to decline is that you do not hold the prescribed qualification, though, as noted, Council might, on occasion, propose to decline if the information that you have provided does not satisfy Council that you are “fit for registration” or sufficiently competent. 

Before we make a final decision about your application for registration, we will give you an opportunity to make a written submission and be heard by Council members at a full Council meeting. You/and or your representative, for example, a lawyer, are able to attend the Council meeting and speak in support of your registration application. You will be able to tell Council members about any additional information that may influence their decision, and talk about why you think your application should not be declined.

It is important you take part in this process, as it will be your final opportunity to provide information for Council to consider before a final decision on your application.

At the Council meeting, members will consider the information submitted by you together with your registration application and the additional information provided by you or your representative, against the relevant policies. Council members will use all this information to decide whether you can be registered.

As mentioned, a proposal to decline is most often based on you not holding the prescribed qualification. Council is still able to consider registering you and having the matter come to a Council meeting is the opportunity for Council to consider doing so.

The test, however, is a high one. If you do not hold one of the prescribed qualifications, Council must be otherwise satisfied that your qualifications, training and experience meet the standard for registration. The actual legal test that the Council must apply is whether your overseas qualifications, training and experience are ‘equivalent to or as satisfactory as’ the prescribed qualification for registration.

Because Council meets every 8 weeks, appointment times at meetings are limited, and are allocated as applications are received. If you would like to make a written or oral submission to Council, you will need to ensure we receive your submission by the deadline you have been advised by your registration coordinator.

Should you decide to make no submission or not want to be heard, Council members will still be presented your case and make a final decision on your application at their next meeting. If you do not oppose the proposal to decline it is very likely that Council will decide to decline your application.

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