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Annual Report 2011/2012 Professional Standards Councils



Annual Report 2011/2012 Professional Standards Councils

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Tabled paper 112


Tabled Papers for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






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Professional Standards Council

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C o u n C ilS 13Professional Standards Councils Annual Report 201112 AbOUT ThE PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS COUNCILS fOrMATION Of The COuNCILS The 1980s culminated in the market crash of 1987, which caused a hardening of the Australian insurance market in the early 1990s. Reacting to the worsening situation, the NSW Government drafted ground-breaking legislation the Professional Standards Act 1994 with the goal of balancing consumer protection by raising professional standards and limiting liability. It introduced this legislation with bipartisan government support. The Professional Standards Council of NSW was established in 1995 under Section 39 of the Professional Standards Act 1994 (NSW). The Council approved the first Cover of Excellence schemes in 1996. Professional Standards Councils were then constituted in other jurisdictions over a period of 10 years. In 2001, the collapse of Australian corporate giant HIH Insurance showed that issues of corporate governance and liability were still high profile and active in the national economy, giving further impetus to the gradual extension of the professional standards legislation regime. The Commonwealth Government subsequently co-operated with complementary legislation, allowing occupational liability to be limited under the Trade Practices Act 1974, Corporations Act 2001 and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001. However, during 2011-12, the Commonwealth did not prescribe any schemes under the Corporations and ASIC Acts. The global financial crisis of 2008, which is still reverberating around the global economy and impacting Australia, has resulted in a challenging market. It is significant to note that, in Australia, the enactment of professional standards legislation and the application of schemes approved under this legislation, has meant greater protection for consumers of some professional services in Australia than would otherwise have been the case. rOLe Of The COuNCILS The Councils play a key role in promoting the objects of the professional standards legislation, which are to: enable the creation of schemes to limit the civil liability of professionals and others facilitate the improvement of occupational standards of professionals and others protect the consumers of the services provided by professionals and others. (Source: Professional Standards Act 1994 (NSW)) L-R: Iain Summers, Terry Evans and Tiina-Liisa Sexton C o u n C ils