Responsibility for verifying credentials

The Chief Health Officer is responsible for verifying the credentials of suitably qualified medical practitioners. Under the provisions of the Public and Environmental Health Act, the Chief Health Officer is able to delegate a function of the Chief Health Officer to specified person(s).

The Chief Health Officer has, by instrument, delegated the function of verifying the credentials of suitably qualified medical practitioners to the executive officer, senior clinician or manager of a number of Northern Territory based health practices or facilities providing termination of pregnancy services. The Chief Health Officer will also be able to perform this function for a sole practitioner or for a practitioner whose executive officer, senior clinician or manager does not wish to be a delegate for credentialing procedures.

Other practitioners, practices or facilities providing termination of pregnancy services may also seek a delegation of the Chief Health Officer to permit them to verify the credentials of medical practitioners who will be performing termination of pregnancy services.  

A delegate of the Chief Health Officer must maintain appropriate records of the verification process, including copies of documents provided to the delegate by the medical practitioner in support of their request to be recognised as a suitably qualified medical practitioner, and confirmation (or otherwise) of the credentials of a suitably qualified medical practitioner set by the Chief Health Officer being met.

The Chief Health Officer has prepared a form for use by the delegates which meets the requirements for appropriate records of credentialing of a suitably qualified medical practitioner.  The form is designed to assist with the process of credentialing and associated record keeping or review. You will not be required to use the form, but may find it a quick and simple means of ensuring the process is appropriately undertaken and ensuring a suitable record is available for the practice and for the medical practitioner if there is ever any question about the lawfulness of a termination performed. 

The delegate (or the Chief Health Officer) is required to review the credentials of a suitably qualified medical practitioner at intervals of not more than 2 years. The medical practitioner must meet the minimum credentials at the time of review to maintain recognition as a suitably qualified medical practitioner.

The Chief Health Officer will also have the power to request access to records of a delegate to undertake a review of the verification of credentials of a medical practitioner to be recognised as a suitably qualified medical practitioner.

  1. This information is available as a factsheet
  2. A credentialing form has been developed to assist medical practitioners and their organisations to meet the credentialing requirements
  3. For more information, see the Northern Territory Clinical Guidelines for Termination of Pregnancy

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Last updated: 30 June 2017