2.4 Duties and responsibilities of DAMEs

Code of conduct

All DAMEs must comply with the 11.1 Code of conduct for DAMEs, DAOs and COs.

Notification of change in medical condition

If the holder of a medical certificate tells a DAME or DAO about a medical condition that is safety-relevant, then the DAME or DAO must inform CASA of the condition within five working days.

A medically significant condition is safety-relevant if it reduces, or is likely to reduce, a person's ability to exercise the privilege of the licence they hold or have applied for.

Note that certain minor conditions (see 6.5 Temporary Incapacity of Certificate Holders) need not be reported until the applicant's next-following routine medical assessment. CASR 67.125 refers.

How to report

Communication with Aviation Medicine (AvMed) in the Client Services Centre by the DAME, DAO or Credentialed Optometrist to CASA should be via the online Medical Records System (MRS) notification. Details of how to do this are available in the Designated Aviation Medical Examiners MRS user guide.

Template available in medical records system

It is strongly recommended that DAME's use the supplied templates for communicating with the pilot or controller. A range of templates are available, including grounding advice and clearances to exercise the privileges of their licence to which their medical certificate(s) relate. This ensures the advice is clearly communicated, and simultaneously updates CASA about the condition.

Details of the condition, treatment and supporting documentation must be uploaded with the notification.

Identification of applicant

The DAME must be satisfied as to the identity of each applicant for medical certification. Unless the DAME personally knows the applicant, he/she must sight a photographic identity document of the applicant. In the majority of cases, the MRS will provide the photograph on file. It is recommended that where photographic identification is provided by the applicant, a copy is taken by the DAME for MRS and DAME records.

The DAME is required to certify that they have formally identified each applicant: CASR 67.170 refers.

Note: It is prudent to remind applicants to bring photographic identification to their appointments.

Undertaking the medical examination

Applicants are required to give complete and accurate responses to all questions. The DAME is expected to review the applicant's answer to the medical history questions in the medical assessment report, in conjunction with the applicant. They must ensure that the applicant understands each such question. The DAME should seek to clarify the safety-relevance of a positive response and include additional information where relevant. For example, headaches range from the trivial symptom to the severe migraine. The DAME should clarify which applies.

If a positive response is not felt to be safety-relevant, the reasons should be provided (as a comment) to avoid additional delay while this information is later sought.

In the event that the DAME answers the questions on the form on behalf of the applicant, it is essential that the applicant is able to review the responses to confirm accuracy.

All answers that are indicative of a clinical issue should be explored with the applicant.

The DAME must examine personally each applicant presenting for examination and record the results in the medical assessment report. Where the DAME obtains assistance from another staff member (nurse, other health professional) for performance of part of the examination, the DAME remains responsible and accountable for the conduct of the entire examination.

The DAME is to perform or arrange for any investigations or specialist assessments that are necessary for the examiner to be satisfied that the applicant meets the medical standard for the Class of medical certificate sought. Notification of tests and reports which have been arranged should be included in the appropriate question at the end of the medical application

Declaration and consent

The application form contains an important declaration concerning the accuracy and completeness of the information provided by the applicant. It also includes consent for the release of medical information. It is essential that the applicant has the opportunity to read and understand this before acknowledging acceptance during the application process. It is recommended that DAME's allow an applicant to read this consent before their appointment. It is also available to applicants when they complete the questionnaire.

The DAME is to comply with CASA's directions concerning completion and lodgment of medical reports. Details are available at 5.1 Submission of Medical Examinations.

Professional standards

The DAME is to maintain an up-to-date knowledge of the relevant civil aviation medical standards and techniques required by CASA and by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and also interpret these requirements for applicants for medical certification. In particular, the DAME is to understand and implement advice from CASA contained in the DAME Newsletters or of changes to the Handbook. Details of meetings are provided in the DAME Newsletter.

Administrative matters

The DAME is to notify CASA promptly of any change of address, change of e-mail address, change of telephone number, or absence from practice for periods of four weeks or more.

The DAME is to display his/her certificate of appointment as a DAME in his or her professional rooms.

The official CASA stamp is no longer issued to DAME's and has no role in the processing of applications.

DAMEs are requested to inform CASA of details when they learn of the death of any medical certificate holder (although this is not a requirement of appointment, such notice is useful for avoiding unnecessary communications from CASA, and also for monitoring of the health of Australia's aviation workforce).

Published date: 23 November 2021
Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//search-centre/manuals-and-handbooks/designated-aviation-medical-examiners-handbook/24-duties-and-responsibilities-dames
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