- On September 4, 2019
- September / October 2019
Understanding the service check register
Unsure how the SCR works? Meridian Lawyers Principal, Dominique Egan explains when records are created and how to request for a removal.
The Service Check Register (SCR) is a NSW Health state-wide database intended to assist with the screening process in recruitment and the management of misconduct matters. Whilst many understand the SCR to be a barrier to ongoing or future employment in the NSW Health system, this is not its purpose.
The NSW Health Policy Directive, Service Check Register for NSW Health (PD2013_036) sets out the process for the creation, maintenance and removal of entries on the SCR. The Policy Directive is currently being reviewed.
When is a SCR record created?
Commencement of a disciplinary process or an adverse finding will not automatically result in the creation of a record.
A SCR record must be related specifically to decisions concerning administrative, disciplinary or remedial action to mitigate risks in response to alleged misconduct or a finding of misconduct.
The creation of the SCR record must be directly related to decisions taken and documented in response to alleged misconduct or misconduct and must be directly related to the risks identified.
What is misconduct?
Misconduct includes the following:
- Behaviour or conduct which seriously breaches the expected standards of behaviour or conduct as set out in relevant legislation, registration standards and codes / guidelines approved by the Medical Board of Australia and NSW Health policies.
- A refusal to carry out a lawful and reasonable instruction provided to a supervisor or person in the line management of the staff member.
- Serious wrongdoing that is a matter of public interest, eg corrupt conduct.
- Criminal charges or convictions that have an adverse impact on the workplace and/or role or performance of the staff member.
- Making vexatious allegations or knowingly making false or misleading public interest disclosures.
How will I know?
Staff must be informed of a decision to place his or her name on the SCR.
The NSW Health organisation that created the record must provide a requesting NSW Health organisation with sufficient information from the SCR to assist in:
- a decision about recruitment,
- finalising a decision about appropriate disciplinary action following a finding of misconduct against a staff member; or
- a risk management decision in the case of secondary employment.
The information provided must be factual, relevant and objective. There is a standard form annexed to the Policy Directive.
NSW Health organisations must have procedures in place to initiate and manage requests for review.
The NSW Health organisation that created the SCR record must review the record when information is received that may affect the ongoing requirement for the record to remain on the SCR including:
- an individual believes a SCR record has been created incorrectly, or believes the decision to maintain a record is incorrect;
- If the individual believes the risks that resulted in the creation of the SCR record have changed or no longer exist because of action they have taken to address those risks, including the completion of remedial action; or
- If a registration board has removed conditions originally imposed as a result of the misconduct or makes any other decision in relation to the misconduct.
When considering a request for removal, the organisation will consider the seriousness of the misconduct and identified risks that resulted in the creation of the record, the length of time that has passed, submissions made by the staff member regarding the action they have taken or changes in circumstances, references, changes in or the removal of conditions, education and training undertaken, and any other relevant evidence.
If a staff member is dissatisfied with a decision, they can seek a review of the decision by the Workplace Relations Branch at the Ministry of Health.