From 1 July 2018, it is a requirement under the Children’s Act 2014 (previously titled the Vulnerable Children Act 2014) that all existing core children’s workers have passed an appropriate check of their suitability to work with children (a worker safety check).
Additionally, from 1 July 2019 it is a requirement for all children’s workers to have passed a worker safety check.
General practitioners who are providers of primary maternity services are considered core children’s workers under the Act and must be safety checked.
Accredited primary care practices
The Ministry of Health recognises accreditation of primary care practices to the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) Aiming for Excellence Foundation Standard as evidence for providers of primary maternity services that the requirements of the Children’s legislation (including safety checking and a Child Protection Policy) have been met.
If a practice is recorded on the RNZCGP register as assessed and accredited to the Foundation Standard (or to the higher level Cornerstone accreditation) by the RNZCGP, the practice and people who work within it do not need to supply the Ministry with evidence of a completed safety check.
Any employees of these practices who also have an individual authorisation to claim from the Ministry can use the accreditation of the practice they work for as evidence of a safety check.
What if a practice is not accredited?
If a practice is not accredited they will need to supply evidence of safety checking of staff providing primary maternity services and of a Child Protection Policy to the Ministry in order to continue to claim and be paid for primary maternity services under the Notice. Any employee with an individual authorisation to claim will also need to ensure they have provided evidence of a safety check to the Ministry.
This will mainly be relevant to new practices that have not had the opportunity to complete accreditation, and are newly applying for an authorisation to claim for Primary Maternity Services.
For more information on how to get a safety check, go to Safety checks for Primary Maternity Service Providers. If you have questions, you can call 0800 855 066 option 2 for information.
If your accreditation to the Foundation standard lapses this will impact your ability to claim for primary maternity services. Please contact the Ministry to discuss as a matter of urgency.
If an authorisation to claim is terminated, providers can apply for a new authorisation at any time once you have passed a safety check, and have all the other necessary information required to be eligible for an authorisation to claim for primary maternity services.