Mandatory Disease Testing Scheme

The Mandatory Disease Testing Scheme commenced on 29 July 2022.

Under the scheme, certain frontline workers who, in the execution of their duty, have come into contact with another person’s bodily fluid (blood, faeces, saliva, semen) through a deliberate action can apply for a Mandatory Testing Order.

If a worker’s application is successful, the third party will receive an order to get a blood test.

Who can apply for a Mandatory Testing Order?

The scheme applies to certain health, emergency services, and law enforcement workers at:

  • NSW Police Force
  • Corrective Services NSW
  • Youth Justice NSW
  • Fire and Rescue NSW
  • NSW Rural Fire Service
  • NSW State Emergency Service
  • NSW Health Service
  • Office of the Sheriff of NSW
  • NSW Ombudsman
  • Inspector of Custodial Services (NSW)
  • Official Visitors to NSW correctional and juvenile justice facilities
  • St John Ambulance Australia (NSW)
  • Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.

More information about which workers from these organisations can apply for a Mandatory Testing Order is set out in the Mandatory Disease Testing Act 2021.

When can a worker apply for a Mandatory Testing Order?

A worker can only apply for a Mandatory Testing Order if the third party is 14 years or older, and the contact:

  • happened when the worker was on duty
  • was deliberate
  • took place without the worker’s consent.

How to apply

Before a worker can apply, they must consult a doctor as soon as possible (within 24 hours and no later than 72 hours) after the incident.

To apply, workers will need to complete the Mandatory Testing Order Application Form (DOCX , 47.3 KB) and send it to a senior officer within their organisation. This must be one of the organisations listed above.

For more information about completing an application, please read the Information for workers factsheet (PDF , 123.9 KB).

MTO decision process

The senior officer will generally consider and determine the application within 3 business days. However, the senior officer must refuse the application or apply to the Local Court or Children’s Court for a Mandatory Testing Order if the third party appears to be a vulnerable third party. A vulnerable third party is a third party who:

  • is between the ages of 14 and 18; or
  • has a mental health condition or cognitive impairment which significantly affects their ability to consent to providing a blood sample.

The senior officer must consider the Chief Health Officer guidelines when they review an application. Once the senior officer makes a decision, they must inform the worker of their decision and provide the reasons for the decision.

If a worker or third party knowingly gives false or misleading information to the senior officer, it is a punishable offence and they could face a fine of up to $11,000, 12 months imprisonment, or both.

What to do if you receive a Mandatory Testing Order

If you are a third party and are served a Mandatory Testing Order, you’ll be required to provide a blood sample within 2 days of being served. The order will specify the location (a collection centre) you must attend to provide the sample. You can find a full list of collection centres on the NSW Health website.

Your blood will likely be tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. The results will be provided to both your doctor and the worker’s doctor. If you don’t nominate a doctor, the results will be provided to the Chief Health Officer of the NSW Ministry of Health.

You must comply with the Mandatory Testing Order. If you don’t comply, it is a punishable offence and you could face a fine of up to $11,000, 12 months imprisonment, or both.

If you are not considered a ‘vulnerable third party’, you can apply for a review of the senior officer’s decision to make the Mandatory Testing Order.

For more information about what to do if a Mandatory Testing Order application is made concerning you and how to apply for a review of a decision to make an order, please read the Information for third parties factsheet (PDF , 114.0 KB).

Oversight

The operation and administration of the Mandatory Disease Testing Act 2021 is monitored by the NSW Ombudsman. For more information, visit the NSW Ombudsman website.

Legal support

For legal help, call LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 or visit the Law Access website.

If you have a speech or hearing impairment, contact the National Relay Service and ask for LawAccess NSW.

If you need an interpreter, call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450 and ask for LawAccess NSW.

Last updated:

04 Aug 2022

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