In the interest of accountability and transparency, certain Board decisions are able to be reviewed independently through the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NTCAT). This ensures that the Board’s decisions are subject to oversight and a readily accessible check and balance process.
- The refusal of an application for registration, including an application for registration renewal.
- The imposition or variation of a condition on registration.
- What is NTCAT?
NTCAT is a centralised, non-judicial body that is established to review a wide range of administrative decisions made by government agencies. NTCAT provides an avenue for a person to seek efficient and cost-effective recourse for certain decisions that are made by the Board. NTCAT was established to enable and encourage parties to represent themselves in hearings, however, affected persons may wish to consider obtaining legal advice in seeking review of the Board’s decision.
- What are reviewable decisions?
In order to ensure transparency and accountability in decision making, some decisions made by the Board are able to be reviewed by NTCAT. These decisions are known as reviewable decisions.
The type of decisions that are able to be reviewed are specified in the Teacher Registration (Northern Territory) Act 2004 (the Act), including which Board decisions are able to be reviewed, and who may apply for the review of the relevant decision.
- Who can apply for a review?
Applications for review of relevant Board decisions are made directly to NTCAT by the affected person. There are three categories of affected persons that are able to make an application to NTCAT.
An applicant is a person who has applied for registration, including registration renewal. Applicants may seek review of Board decisions that pertain to:
• The refusal of an application for registration, including an application for registration renewal.
• The imposition or variation of a condition on registration.
An applicant may also be a higher education institution, which is an educational institution that provides or proposes to provide a higher education course. Higher education institution applicants may seek review of Board decisions that pertain to the refusal to accredit a course.
A teacher is a person who is qualified to program and deliver a course of instruction at a school and to assess the work of students in relation to that course of instruction. Teachers may seek review of Board decisions that pertain to:
• The cancellation of registration for reasons of disciplinary proceedings.
• The suspension of registration following the appointment of an inquiry committee.
• The imposition or variation of conditions on registration imposed through disciplinary proceedings.
• Further action taken by the Board in relation to disciplinary proceedings without first holding an inquiry.
• Cancellation under section 65A (loss of Ochre card) or 66 (fail to provide information).
A complainant is a person that has made a complaint to the Board under section 49 of the Act in relation to a teacher or an authorised person. If the complaint resulted in a preliminary investigation or inquiry, and the complainant is not satisfied by the decision made by the Board, the complainant may apply for a review of that decision through NTCAT.
- Can an Authorised person apply to NTCAT for a review of a Board decision?
An Authorised person is an unregistered person in relation to whom an authorisation is in effect. Authorised persons, and their employers, do not have the ability to apply for a review of Board decisions through NTCAT.
- When can I apply for an NTCAT review?
The Board encourages all affected persons to raise concerns or disputes about its decisions directly with the Board in the first instance. Following this, if the affected person wishes, an application may be made to NTCAT.
NTCAT should be contacted directly for advice on required timeframes for application.
In relation to registration decisions, including registration renewal, the Board has 90 days from the date the application is accepted by the Board to decide an application. An application is accepted by the Board when it is complete. An application for registration is complete when the office of the Board determines that:
- The applicant holds the prescribed qualifications for registration;
- The applicant is not disqualified from registration by the Board;
- The application is made through the completion of the approved form with all required information provided;
- The application is accompanied by all documents required by the approved form; and
- The application is accompanied by the prescribed registration and application fees.
An applicant may apply to NTCAT for a review of decisions following the decision being made, or after 90 days following the acceptance of your application – whichever occurs sooner.
In relation to disciplinary proceedings, there is no minimum timeframe for the Board to make its decision. However, disciplinary proceedings conducted by the Board must observe the rules of procedural fairness, including being conducted as quickly as the matter allows.
Accreditation of Initial Teacher Education courses
In relation to the accreditation of Initial Teacher Education courses, the timeframe for the Board to make its decision is eight months.
- How will I know that I am able to apply for review of a decision?
When a decision is made by the Board, the affected persons will be notified of the decision in writing. Affected persons are able to request a statement of reasons for the decision from the Board.
In communicating the decision, the Board will also notify the affected persons whether the decision is a reviewable decision, and whether the person has a right to have the decision reviewed by NTCAT.
- How do I apply for a review of Board decisions?
Board decisions may be reviewed by NTCAT upon application by the relevant affected person or entity.
An application to NTCAT for review may only be made after a decision has been made by the Board. If an application for registration has not been decided by the Board within 90 days, the decision is taken to be adverse to the applicant and an application to NTCAT for a review may be made.
Applications for a review of a Board decision are to be made directly by the affected person or entity to NTCAT. The relevant process for an application for review of a Board decision is determined by NTCAT.