The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal has disciplined four dental technicians and one dental therapist for practising without a current practising certificate (APC), with penalties ranging from $1,000 to $10,500 and orders of censure. These and other recent decisions of the Tribunal highlight the importance of the APC as part of the regulatory regime, the absolute responsibility that practitioners have to ensure that their APC is renewed on time, and the firm approach taken by the Dental Council with regards to "late renewals".
In each of the five cases, the Dental Council had sent a number of reminders to the practitioners using the contact details supplied. Where reminders were not received because of a change in details, the Tribunal noted that the responsibility for, and consequences of not, advising the Dental Council of these changes lay with the practitioner. Further, while reminders where helpful, "it is the responsibility of every practitioner to ensure that the application is made and the appropriate fees paid in a timely fashion such that the practising certificate is issued before the previous one expires. Otherwise, the responsibility is then on the practitioner not to practise until the renewed certificate is received". The practitioners were censured, fined, and ordered to contribute to costs. 544/Dth12/229P, 555/Dtech13/232P, 556/Dtech13/233P, 550/Dtech13/243P, and 554/Dtech13/236P.