The Osteopathic Council operates under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCA Act). The Act was passed on 18 September 2003. Most of the provisions of the Act came into effect on 18 September 2004. The HPCA Act replaces the profession-specific legislation that was in force before this date.
The purpose of the Act is to protect the health and safety of members of the public by providing for mechanisms to ensure that health practitioners are competent and fit to practise their professions.
The Act has regularised scopes of practice. Scopes of practice describe the contents of the profession. The scope of practice is required to be endorsed on each practitioner’s annual practising certificate. Every practitioner who practises must have a current practising certificate.
Section 7 is one of the key provisions of the Act. This section states that no person may claim to be practising a profession as a health practitioner of a particular kind or state or do anything that is calculated to suggest that the person practises or is willing to practise a profession as a health practitioner of that kind unless the person:
(a) is a health practitioner of that kind, and
(b) holds a current practising certificate as a health practitioner of that kind.
Health practitioners must not practise outside their authorised scope of practice. A copy of the Act can be viewed at www.legislation.govt.nz .
Section 118 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 sets out the Council's functions:
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