Qualified privilege

What is qualified privilege?

Qualified privilege aims to encourage hospitals and health professionals to conduct quality improvement activities and investigate the causes and contributing factors of clinical incidents by protecting certain information from disclosure. The qualified privilege legislation protects identifiable information generated purely for an approved quality improvement process from disclosure or use court or other proceedings.

Why is qualified privilege necessary?

To improve the safety and quality of healthcare, it is important to review what went wrong and to find ways to prevent the event from happening again. Health care professionals may be more likely to review the quality of healthcare if they know that the information they discuss cannot legally be disclosed.

What is a registered quality improvement committee?

A registered quality improvement committee has been:

  • formally established by the board of a hospital
  • approved as a registered quality improvement committee by the Minister for Health (or approved delegate)

Qualified privilege options

Health professionals have 2 qualified privilege options when conduction quality improvement activities:

Qualified privilege provided by State QP Legislation

The Health Services (Quality Improvement) Act 1994 (external site) governs qualified privilege in Western Australia. The purpose of the Act is to encourage health professionals to participate in quality improvement processes aimed at improving the quality of clinical care.

Qualified privilege prohibits the disclosure of information that identifies, either directly or by implication:

  • individual health care providers
  • patients



More information

Patient Safety and Clinical Quality
Email: eopp@health.wa.gov.au

Last reviewed: 14-03-2022
Produced by

Patient Safety and Clinical Quality