Applications can be made to SACAT when it is alleged that certain professionals act in a way that requires disciplinary action to be taken against them.

This may include acting unlawfully, improperly, negligently or unfairly in the course of their work.

See our fact sheets and guides for more information.

Disciplinary actions undertaken by SACAT

SACAT is currently conferred jurisdiction under the following Acts:

SACAT process

Once an application has been made, and any relevant fee has been paid, SACAT will provide a copy of the application and any supporting documents to the person who is the subject of the complaint.

Within 21 days of receiving a copy of the application, the person must provide a response to the Tribunal.

The Tribunal will schedule a directions hearing shortly after the application is received. The directions hearing will usually be held 4 to 6 weeks after the complaint is made.

At or after the first directions hearing, SACAT may :

  • decide a further directions hearing is needed
  • refer the matter to a conference
  • decide the matter is ready to go to a full hearing.

A legally qualified tribunal member will preside over the preliminary hearings held in a disciplinary matter.

SACAT may decide that one or more assessors should sit with the legal member for the full hearing.

Assessors are people with expertise in the relevant subject matter who can use that expertise to help the member reach the correct decision.

For example, in a matter about a conveyancer, the assessor(s) may be a conveyancer, and a representative of members of the public who have experience in dealing with conveyancers.

Either party involved in proceedings may ask that an assessor assist the member, although the final decision lies solely with the Tribunal.

If SACAT finds there has been unlawful, improper, negligent unfair or other relevant conduct, it can decide that disciplinary action should be taken in accordance with the relevant Act.

A range of orders may be made including:

  • a reprimand
  • a fine
  • cancelling a licence or registration
  • suspending a licence or registration
  • imposing a condition on a licence or registration.

Publishing decisions

Not all decisions made by SACAT are published. The Tribunal will publish reasons for a decision in order to:

  • assure members of the public and the relevant profession that appropriate standards are being maintained
  • demonstrate to the practitioner in question the seriousness of their conduct
  • deter the practitioner from any future departures from appropriate standards
  • deter other members of the profession who might be minded to act in a similar way.

When SACAT chooses to publish orders or reasons for decision it does so on the Australian Legal Information Institute (Austlii).

If a party to proceedings does not wish for a decision to be published, they may raise this with the presiding Tribunal Member either prior to or during the hearing.