Transferring complaints

We may decide that there is potential to resolve a complaint by transferring it to Ahpra’s complaints team

We may decide that there is potential to resolve a complaint by transferring it to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency’s (Ahpra) complaints team.

This is one of the most common ways our office works with Ahpra to get quick and meaningful results for people making a complaint.

Read more about Ahpra’s complaints handling policy and procedure

Complaints we often transfer to Ahpra

There are two main reasons we recommend transferring complaints to Ahpra.

Reason 1: Ahpra hasn’t had an opportunity to address the concerns raised

We like to give Ahpra the opportunity to respond to the concerns raised in a complaint before we take any further steps.

This process often leads to faster results for complainants as Ahpra’s complaints team can address the concerns directly.

Our investigations are comprehensive, which means it can take longer to gather and assess the relevant information.

Reason 2: A matter is ongoing with Ahpra

We generally do not take forward complaints that are about active Ahpra matters. This is because the concerns raised may be addressed when the matter is finalised by Ahpra. An investigation by our office may also slow down Ahpra’s handling of a matter if it has to respond to our investigation.

This is often the case for complaints to our office about delays associated with registration of health practitioners. For complaints like these, we have found that people often receive an update, and sometimes the registration process is sped up, by transferring the complaint to Ahpra. 

Find out more about how to make a complaint to the Ombudsman or Commissioner

Find out how to apply for review of Ahpra's FOI decision.

The transfer process

There are four main steps in the transfer process.

Step 1

We contact the complainant to explain why we believe the best way to address their concerns quickly and effectively is to transfer the complaint to Ahpra’s complaints team. We will then request their consent (either written or over the phone) to transfer the complaint.

Step 2

If the complainant consents to the transfer, we will contact Ahpra’s complaints team to transfer the complaint. The complaint remains open with our office while Ahpra responds to it. Ahpra has two business days after the date it receives the complaint from our office to acknowledge receipt. Ahpra is required to respond in full to the complaint within 20 business days.

Step 3

Once the complainant receives a response from Ahpra, we will assess the response to ensure it is fair and reasonable. After this assessment, we may decide to:

  • make further enquiries to Ahpra
  • investigate the complaint, or
  • take no further action and finalise the complaint.

Step 4

We will share our assessment of Ahpra’s response with the complainant and discuss the best way to finalise the complaint.

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