Medical conditions and impairments

1. How do I determine if my ailment is considered a 'serious medical condition'?  Please define 'serious medical condition'.

An applicant must disclose to the TRBWA any serious medical condition, disorder, illness, mental or physical impairment, that adversely affects, or is likely to adversely affect, their ability to practise professionally, competently and safely as a teacher.

These are likely to be medical conditions or impairments that are:

  • permanent, long-term, persistent in nature or constantly recurring, or otherwise long-lasting in their effects; and 
  • cause long-term physical or mental incapacity; and  
  • those in which treatment may not be effective or is not being managed by the individual, medical professionals or the individual's employer, or adjustments/modifications or assistance are not able to be applied to the situation to enable the teacher to practise capably and safely.

If an applicant is affected by their use of, or dependence on, alcohol or a drug or drugs to such an extent that their practise as a teacher is, or is likely to be, affected, then this would need to be disclosed.

Please refer to the Fit and Proper Policy – Medical Conditions and Impairments and the Guideline for the Consideration of Medical Conditions and Impairments (Fit and Proper) for further guidance.

2. Do I need to disclose a medical condition that is current adequately managed or is in remission?

It is not necessary for you to disclose a medical condition or impairment, which is not serious and does not adversely affect, and is not likely to adversely affect your ability to practise as a teacher.

It is most likely that a medical condition or impairment would not need to be disclosed:

  • if the medical condition or impairment is temporary or occasional in nature and the effects of which are short term or mild; or 
  • in injuries, such as a physical injury where the teacher, as a result of the injury, is temporarily not teaching or is temporarily on leave until they have sufficiently recovered to resume teaching without adversely affecting their teaching practise; or 
  • even though it may continue over an extended period of time, including recurrences of a single underlying medical condition, if it is managed through periodic treatment by a medical practitioner; and does not affect the teacher's practise; or 
  • if it is an illness which has been treated and is in the recovering stage and is not likely to adversely affect the teacher's practice; or 
  • if it is a recurrence or relapse of an illness which would not adversely impact a teacher's practise; or  
  • provided the applicant will recognise the situation and will not teach if their condition or impairment would adversely affect their teaching practise; or 
  • provided it has been diagnosed by a medical practitioner and is being managed through continuing treatment or therapy from a medical practitioner or specialist and these requirements are being complied with, including multiple treatments, or is being managed within the workplace with the employer, and if teaching, the applicant's teaching practise is not adversely affected. 
  • It would not usually be necessary, therefore, to disclose broken bones, a previously treated, cured illness, an illness or disease in remission, or a condition such as asthma, provided that it is being managed by the individual and their medical professional and that it does not, or is not likely to, adversely affect the person's ability to practise as a teacher.

Please refer to the Fit and Proper Policy – Medical Conditions and Impairments and the Guideline for the Consideration of Medical Conditions and Impairments (Fit and Proper) for further guidance.

3. I have answered yes to Q5 of the Fit and Proper questions in the application form.  What information will I need to provide? 

You will be required to provide answers to the following supplementary set of questions, at the time you declare the existence of a medical condition or impairment, which adversely affects or is likely to adversely, affect your ability to practise as a teacher. 

  1. Describe the nature and seriousness of your medical condition or impairment.
  2. Describe how your medical condition or impairment adversely affects or is likely to adversely affect your practise as a teacher.
  3. Describe the steps you have taken to manage your medical condition or impairment and the effect on your practise as a teacher.
  4. Are you currently employed as a teacher? Yes/no
  5. If yes, who is your employer?
  6. Detail the way your medical condition or impairment is being managed in the workplace.
  7. Is there any other relevant information you wish to disclose? 

Please refer to the Fit and Proper Policy – Medical Conditions and Impairments and the Guideline for the Consideration of Medical Conditions and Impairments (Fit and Proper) for further guidance.

Fit and Proper - Medical conditions and impairments form (Additional questions for Q5)

4. I have answered yes to Q5 of the Fit and Proper questions and have submitted my application.  What happens next?

All information provided by applicants is initially considered by the Director (under delegation from the Board) to decide whether or not there is sufficient information, to determine whether registration may be granted or renewed, or whether further consideration is necessary.

If, after undertaking the initial assessment, it is decided that there are grounds for further consideration of a matter, the Director may :

  • request further information from the applicant.
  • refer the matter to the Fit and Proper (Medical Conditions and Impairment) Committee of the Board.
  • refer the matter to the Board.

If this is referred to the Fit and Proper (Medical Conditions and Impairment) Committee, an assessment of the circumstances will be made and the Committee will submit a recommendation to the Board as to whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to be registered.

The Board may then decide to:

  • grant or renew the registration;
  • grant or renew the registration with condition;
  • request further information from the applicant; or
  • refuse to grant or renew the application for registration.

Please refer to the Fit and Proper Policy – Medical Conditions and Impairments and the Guideline for the Consideration of Medical Conditions and Impairments (Fit and Proper) for further guidance.

5. What can I do if I am not happy with the Board decision?

Any applicant or nominee who is aggrieved by a Board decision has the right to apply to the State Administrative Tribunal for a review of that decision.

Any decision by the Board to refuse an application for the grant or renewal of registration, or to impose a condition when granting or renewing a registration, is a reviewable decision under s124 of the Act.  

Please refer to the Fit and Proper Policy – Medical Conditions and Impairments and the Guideline for the Consideration of Medical Conditions and Impairments (Fit and Proper) for further guidance.

6. Can the TRBWA guarantee the privacy of the information I provide?

The TRBWA recognises that the personal information collected, used or held by the TRBWA is of a sensitive nature.

It is in this context and in line with the TRBWA Privacy Policy, the TRBWA will ensure that the TRBWA's collection, use and disclosure of personal information are consistent with its obligations under the Teacher Registration Act 2012 (WA), the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and Australian Privacy Principles.

7. Can the TRBWA guarantee the information I provide won't be passed to my employer?

The TRBWA does not pass confidential information about teachers to employers unless it believes it was in the public interest to do so and subject to you being contacted in advance.

8. I answered yes to Q5 of the Fit and Proper questions in the application form. Where can I find the additional questions?

Fit and Proper - Medical conditions and impairments form (Additional questions for Q5)

Last modified: 12/09/2017 3:41 PM