The Declaration of Qualified Privilege for Professional Qualities Reflection in Australia expires after 1 October 2021

Date published:
30 Sep 2021

The objective of a Professional Qualities Reflection (PQR) is centred on the recording of personal reflections on an event, or series of events, experienced by a trainee in an everyday routine that impacted on their medical professionalism.

The PQR is a Quality Assurance Activity that has been declared on behalf of the Minister of Health and Aged Care by the Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health under Part VC section 124X of the Health Insurance Act 1973 under the Commonwealth Qualified Privilege Scheme.

From 1 October 2021, Qualified Privilege will no longer apply to PQR for trainees in Australia as the Commonwealth has indicated that these activities no longer meet the required threshold.

What does this entail?

All documents and information that were present and declared prior to 1 October 2021 will continue to be protected from disclosure and confidential pursuant under section 124Y of the Health Insurance Act. However, this statutory protection will not apply to any documents or information provided as part of a Quality Assurance Activity after 1 October 2021.

This restriction is applicable only to Australia and not to Aotearoa New Zealand.

What does this mean for RACP trainees?

The RACP strongly advises de-identifying the names of patients, peers, persons or organisation(s) as well as any information entered in Professional Quality Reflection and TRACC to protect the privacy of individuals/organisation(s) in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Australian Medical Association Privacy Handbook.

The College will not release any information provided by trainees to any third party without consent unless it’s required to do so by law.

If a trainee personally receives a Subpoena or a court order to reveal any Quality Assurance Activity Records, the College encourages them to seek legal advice regarding whether those records must be produced.  

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