A National Board has the power to take immediate action at any time, if it believes this is necessary to protect the public. This is an interim step that Boards can take while more information is gathered or while other processes are put in place.
Taking immediate action is a serious step. The threshold for the Board to take immediate action is high and is defined in section 156 of the National Law.1 To take immediate action, the Board must reasonably believe that:
The practitioner is always advised that the National Board is considering taking immediate action and given the opportunity to make submissions to the Board. The timelines for this process vary based on the degree of risk to the community, but the practitioner is always afforded natural justice. More information about immediate action can be found under Possible outcomes on AHPRA’s Notifications and Outcomes web page.
1The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).