The Professional Standards Councils are independent statutory bodies with powers to assess and approve applications from associations for Professional Standards Schemes that limit the civil liability of members.
Through exercising this responsibility, the Councils provide consumers with greater confidence that, if a claim is made, there will be insurance or assets available to pay out damages awarded by the court.
The Councils also play a key role in improving professional standards and protecting consumers by:
In performing their functions, the Councils apply the professional standards legislation in each state and territory.
Structure of the Councils
The Councils are constituted under state and territory professional standards legislation. There are eight Councils – one in each state and territory. Each Council consists of a chair, deputy chair and councillors, and members are appointed by the relevant ministers in each state and territory.
Each Council has 11 members. NSW and Victoria nominate two members each, while all other state and territories and the Commonwealth nominate one member. All states and territories have agreed to appoint the same 11 members to their Councils.
Members are appointed for terms of up to three years, and can be reappointed at the end of their term.
Committees and advisory groups
The Councils can also set up committees and advisory groups to carry out work and provide advice to Council members. The Councils' long-standing committees are the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committees which, like the Councils, operate as a single body. Committee members are appointed on an annual basis, and can be reappointed at the end of their term. The Councils also create ad hoc working groups from time to time