Examination Authorities

A Guideline to applying for an Examination Authority

Examination Authorities authorise a doctor or authorised mental health practitioner to enter premises to detain and involuntarily examine a person to decide if further steps should be taken to assess the person’s mental state.  Examination authorities are a valuable mechanism for assisting someone to become engaged in treatment should that need to be the case.

Of course, if the situation is an emergency where a person’s safety is compromised, the emergency examination procedure should be utilised.  More information in relation to the emergency examination procedure can be found here.

The Mental Health Review Tribunal decides applications for Examination Authorities.

A member of the public can apply to the Tribunal for an Examination Authority if they have received advice from a doctor or authorised mental health practitioner about the person’s likely mental state and the doctor or authorised mental health practitioner support the need for an Examination Authority.

To apply for an Examination Authority, a member of the public must fill in Part A of the application form and have a GP, psychiatrist or mental health practitioner fill in Part B of the application form.  Both completed parts of the application form are then sent to the Mental Health Review Tribunal by email or post.  See the bottom of the application form for the email or postal address.

On receiving the completed application, the applicant will be contacted and a hearing will be organized. At the hearing, the applicant will present the reasons for their application to the Tribunal. The Act requires that an applicant be given 3 days notice of the hearing but an applicant may agree to waive the 3 days’ notice. Most applications are heard within 7 days of the Tribunal receiving a completed application.

The applicant will attend the hearing at the Tribunal office, either in person or by phone, and the Tribunal will decide whether to make the Examination Authority or otherwise. The person the subject of the application will not be told of the hearing or who made the application for the examination authority if one is issued.

If an Examination Authority is made, it will be sent to the relevant Authorised Mental Health Service and that service will organise for the person to be assessed.