The Mental Health Act 2016 requires the President to ensure members are adequately and appropriately trained to enable the Tribunal to perform its functions effectively and efficiently. In particular, the President must develop competencies in: a) administrative law; b) the operation of this Act; c) mental health and intellectual disability issues, including forensic mental health and forensic disability issues.
The President has prepared the Member Competencies Framework. The Member Competencies Framework forms the basis for appointment, performance management and professional learning and development activities related to the Tribunal members.
In addition to the Member Competencies Framework, the Tribunal has adopted The Administrative Review Council’s ‘A Guide to Standards of Conduct for Tribunal Members’ as the code of conduct for Tribunal members.
Good governance requires the President to ensure that the Tribunal has a workforce that is appropriately qualified and experienced to be able to discharge its functions. In relation to the Tribunal’s jurisdiction, good governance requires the Tribunal’s members to be appropriately qualified and trained in the Tribunal’s practices.
In addition, the Mental Health Act 2016 provides that the President must ensure the members are adequately and appropriately trained to enable the Tribunal to perform its functions effectively and efficiently.
Induction and Mentoring Program
The Tribunal commences members’ appointment term with an induction program which includes mentoring. The Tribunal’s induction program includes:
a minimum of a two-day program which includes delivery of training on workplace health and safety, the administrative aspects of the Tribunal's functions, decision-making under the Mental Health Act 2016 including the application of the Human Rights Act 2019, conduct of Tribunal proceedings and necessary professional skills such as communication.
a mentoring program where each new member is paired with an experienced member for a minimum of two hearing days. The expectation is that each mentor will provide support and guidance to their mentee prior to and after each hearing day.
Professional Learning and Development Framework
The Tribunal sees numerous benefits in investing in continuing professional learning and development. Some of these include:
- to improve performance, productivity, and efficiency.
- improvement in members' subject-matter specific skills and knowledge.
- increasing members' generic skills (e.g. teamwork, problem solving, communication).
- compliance with legal requirements.
- talent management and succession planning.
- member motivation.
The Tribunal recognises the various learning styles and existing levels of knowledge and experience of its members and therefore aims to employ numerous methods for building and sharing knowledge. The Tribunal must also accommodate the state-wide nature of its operations by making learning and development opportunities available to members across the State.
The various delivery methods that the Tribunal aims to adopt in providing professional development and training for members are outlined below:
|Delivery Method||Content||General Timing|
Face to face delivery or remote presentation via Microsoft Teams
Legal content (e.g. interpretation of the Mental Health Ac, considering relevant case law).
Clinical concepts (e.g. relevant diagnoses and treatment options, understanding intellectual disability).
Professional skills (e.g. communication skills, questioning techniques).
Face to face delivery or remote attendance via Microsoft Teams with presentations, panel discussions and small group work.
|Category-specific workshops covering both knowledge and skills based.||Once per year for each membership category|
|e-learning, self-paced modules||Knowledge based content targeted to specialist areas (e.g. forensic decision-making, electroconvulsive therapy)||Approximately 6 - 10 sessions per year|
|Concise, written documents made available to members||Information about relevant legislation, case law and Tribunal conduct||As regularly as required|
Experience sitting on panels with experienced members
|Experience gained from participation in hearings||Skills based by experiencing hearings conducted by other experienced members. Knowledge based when experiencing hearings of different types||On an as-needed basis|
|Communiques and Q&As||Written documents containing an update from the President, Deputy President, and Executive Officer||Updates regarding the Tribunal administrative operations, relevant legislative and case law developments, addressing questions raised by members during the prior month||Monthly|
|Booking times||Face to face or telephone discussion with an experienced staff member of the Tribunal (e.g. President, Deputy President, Executive Officer, Principal Lawyer or Full-Time Member)||Available to members to discuss any questions or concerns they have about Tribunal operations or decision-making||On an as-needed basis|
External Training Resources
In addition to professional learning and development activities created and provided by the Tribunal, members are also directed to external resources that may be relevant. Examples of these resources include publications by the Queensland Human Rights Commission and journal articles expert clinicians, e-learning offered by the Judicial Council of Cultural Diversity and seminars presented by the Council of Australasian Tribunals (COAT).
The Tribunal also aims to provide members with access to a wide range of experts on topics relevant to Tribunal decision-making topics. The Tribunal is grateful for the time these experts have provided the Tribunal in the delivery of training for its member:
Ms Rebekah Leong, Queensland Human Rights Commission
- Mr Scott James, Statewide Coordinator of the Independent Patient Rights Advisors
- Dr Haydn Till, Clinical Neuropsychologist
- Mr Michael Power, Director Queensland Health Victim Support Service
- Professor Cathy Humphreys, Professor of Social Work, University of Melbourne
- Dr Frank Lambrick, Senior Practitioner, Victoria
- Dr Darren Nellie and Dr Ed Herrernan, Community Forensic Outreach Service
- Dr Warren Ward, Director Queensland Eating Disorder Service
- Tere Vaka, Penny Gordon & Associates, Psychologist
- Dr Richard Cash, Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health
- Ms Michelle Combo, Way Forward, Psychologist, Metro South Hospital and Health Service
- Cameron Dean, Partner, McCollough Robertson
- Profressor Martine Powell, Professor at Griffith University and Director of the Centre for Investigative Interviewing
- Elizbeth Truong, manager, Transcultural Mental Health Centre
- Dr Geetha Kumaravelu, Senior Staff Specialist, Community Forensic Outreach Service
Professional Learning and Development Committee
To assist the Tribunal in designing a Learning and Development Framework that is appropriate to the needs of the Tribunal's membership, the Tribunal has a Learning and Development Committee. The Chair of the Committee is the Deputy President and the Committee is comprised of a number of Tribunal members. Membership of the committee is rotated to allow opportunities to vary participants.
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