The review process
We have a five-step process to review a decision made by one of our staff.
Step 1 - Talk with the staff member who managed the complaint
If a person is not happy with a decision we have made or actions we have taken, we recommend raising these concerns directly with the staff member who managed the matter. They may be able to quickly and effectively address concerns raised and consider new information related to the matter.
Step 2 - Apply for a review
If the staff member is not able to resolve these concerns, we welcome applications for a review of the matter. We call this an ‘internal review’.
Applications for an internal review must be made within three months of the decision being issued.
The application must explain why the person is dissatisfied with the decision that was made or the actions taken in relation to their matter. This may include because the applicant believes the decision-maker did not:
- consider or respond to all issues raised in their complaint
- appropriately explain their decision or the reasons the decision was made
- consider all information provided (or based their decision on erroneous or incomplete information).
We encourage applicants to consider what they are seeking from making an internal review application.
How to apply
Applications for review are accepted by:
- submitting a form online
- emailing (ideally attaching a completed application form) firstname.lastname@example.org
- mailing an application to National Health Practitioner Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner, GPO Box 2630, Melbourne, Victoria, 3001
- calling 1300 795 265 (a translating and interpreting service is available via 131 450). Our office hours are 9:00am to 5:00pm Melbourne time, Monday to Friday (excluding Victorian public holidays). A voicemail service is also available.
The best way to ensure we can quickly process an internal review request is to complete our review form.
Step 3 - Assessment of an internal review application
The application is first assessed by a staff member who considers whether the information provided by the applicant meets the internal review requirements.
If the application is not made within three months of the decision being made, the staff member will review the reasons provided for any delay. We will only consider granting an extension of time to make an application for an internal review in exceptional circumstances.
The staff member will then assess the information provided and consider whether there are sufficient grounds for a review, including whether the applicant raises new information about the matter. Once the assessment is complete, the staff member can decide:
- to speak with the applicant about alternative ways to achieve their goals, such as referring the applicant to an alternative organisation that may be better suited to addressing their concerns. For example, concerns about a decision made by a National Health Practitioner Board may be appellable to a court or tribunal.
- to accept the application and begin the internal review. At this time, another staff member may be assigned to complete the review to ensure the most efficient use of office resources.
- not to take any further action. This may be in necessary where there is evidence that the application has been made with the intent to cause harm, or where there is no substance or information to support the claims that have been made.
Step 4 - Internal review considerations
If the application is accepted, the staff member will begin the internal review. This review will consider if:
- all the issues raised in the complaint were appropriately addressed
- the decision reached was reasonable based on the available information
- the decision reached was adequately explained to those involved.
Reviews are generally conducted within three to six months. However, complex reviews may take up to nine months to be finalised.
Step 5 - Outcome of an internal review
After the case officer has completed their review, they will generally speak with those involved to discuss their findings, and based on this, how best to resolve the matter. The potential outcomes of an internal review include:
- the original decision being upheld
- the original decision being changed.
The staff member who reviewed the matter will let the applicant know the result of their review in writing with a detailed explanation of why this decision was made.
Please remember that an internal review cannot change a decision made by Ahpra, a Board or an accreditation organisation, or comment on whether a decision was right or wrong.
Internal review decisions are final
Please note that our office will only review a matter once.
Once a matter has been reviewed, there is no further avenue for appeal or review of the decision.
For more information, please read our ‘Internal review’ policy. This policy also outlines more information about how we collect and use information gathered throughout this process.
How we can helpHow we can help
Our office accepts complaints to the Ombudsman, complaints to the Commissioner and applications for an FOI review.
Complaints we assist withComplaints we assist with
Our office assists with complaints about how Ahpra, the National Boards and accreditation organisations regulate Australia’s registered health professions.
Hear complaint storiesHear complaint stories
Hear more about how our office works with people to strive for positive change in the regulation of Australia's health professions.
Commissioner complaintsCommissioner complaints
The Commissioner can assist with complaints about how Ahpra, the National Boards or accreditation organisations, including specialist medical colleges, have collected, used or disclosed personal information.
Ombudsman complaintsOmbudsman complaints
The Ombudsman can assist with complaints about how Ahpra and the National Boards have handled notification or registration matters, personal information and FOI requests. We also can also assist with concerns about how accreditation organisations (such as specialist medical colleges) have handled some matters, including the accreditation of an education provider, program of study or training site or the assessment of overseas qualified practitioners.
Other health complaintsOther health complaints
Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to make a health-related complaint. Find out more about how to make sure you're in the right place.