The Accredited Persons Training Program
Accredited Persons are senior mental health practitioners with a minimum five years clinical experience in direct mental health consumer care. Along with medical practitioners they provide the legal foundation for the majority of involuntary mental health admissions in NSW.
Accredited Persons are specifically empowered to schedule ‘mentally ill’ and ‘mentally disordered’ persons under the NSW Mental Health Act 2007 (“the Act”). They are issued with accreditation by the Secretary of the NSW Ministry of Health which is valid for three years, with a requirement for re-accreditation after this period.
The Accredited Person Program is provided through collaboration by key organisations:
- The Mental Health Branch of the NSW Ministry of Health provides management, legal and regulatory oversight.
- Local Health Districts /Specialty Networks (LHDs /SNs) nominate and support their senior mental health clinicians to participate.
- HETI Mental Health Portfolio is commissioned by the MHB to provide Accredited Person training.
The primary role of an Accredited Person is to make an initial decision about a person’s need for involuntary admission under the NSW Mental Health Act (2007).
Accredited Persons have the following obligations and accountabilities:
- Perform within the standards of their profession
- Act fairly, properly, honestly and disclose any pecuniary interest
- Act lawfully and humanely when making a clinical assessment
- Ensure all documentation is complete and correct
- Be accountable for their decisions
The NSW Ministry of Health appointment of an Accredited Person is specific to the public health organisation (e.g. the Local Health District / Specialty Network (LHDN)) identified on their accreditation certificate. The Accredited Person is subject to that LHDN’s policy and procedures and cannot act as an Accredited Person in another public health organisation. Transfer of accreditation (in the event of the move of the person to another LHDN) must have NSW Ministry of Health approval.
Mental Health Branch (MHB) seeks nominations for initial accreditation from LHDNs. Nominees must be senior mental health practitioners with a minimum of 5 years clinical experience in direct mental health consumer care.
Initial accreditation requires full participation in a two-day workshop and successful completion of an assessment task. HETI recommends successful candidates to the Ministry for accreditation. The AP Program two-day workshop is conducted twice each year usually during February / March and August / September.
Each three years, Accredited Persons are required to attempt an online assessment that tests their currency in the application of the NSW Mental Health Act to practice.
Re-accreditation assessments are hosted on My Health Learning and require manager approval prior to attempting. This managerial approval confirms the accredited person’s competent performance and continued local support for their accreditation.
On successful completion of the online assessments, HETI recommends successful candidates to the Ministry for re- accreditation.
Successful candidates are issued with a certificate from the Ministry of Health authorising them as Accredited Persons for a period of three years.
MHB also formally notifies LHDs/SNs regarding the accredited status of their local nominees.
The Accredited Person's Handbook
The Accredited Person's Handbook provides a clear explanation of the legal and clinical framework within which Accredited Persons exercise their duties and responsibilities. Click here to download the book.
Note: Information provided in the Accredited Person's Handbook does not replace the requirement for Accredited Persons to refer directly to current, relevant legislation for requirements of their roles and responsibilities.