Code of Conduct for Certain Health Care Workers
Made under the Health and Community Services Complaints Regulations 2019
1 - Interpretation
In this code of conduct:
health care worker means a natural person who provides a health service (whether or not the person is registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (South Australia));
health service has the same meaning as in Health and Community Services Complaints Act;
2 - Application of code of conduct
This code of conduct applies to the provision of health services by:
(a) health care workers who are not required to be registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (South Australia) (including de-registered health practitioners); and
(b) health care workers who are registered health practitioners under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (South Australia) and who provide health services that are unrelated to their registration.
3 - Health care workers to provide services in a safe and ethical manner
(1) A health care worker must provide health services in a safe and ethical manner.
(2) Without limiting subclause 1, health care workers must comply with the following:
(a) A health care worker must maintain the necessary competence in his or her field of practice;
(b) A health care worker must not provide health care of a type that is outside his or her experience or training, or provide services that he or she is not qualified to provide;
(c) A health care worker must only prescribe or recommend treatments or appliances that serve the needs of clients;
(d) A health care worker must recognise the limitations of the treatment he or she can provide and refer clients to other competent health service providers in appropriate circumstances;
(e) A health care worker must recommend to clients that additional opinions and services be sought, where appropriate;
(f) A health care worker must assist a client to find other appropriate health care services, if required and practicable;
(g) A health care worker must encourage clients to inform their treating medical practitioner (if any) of the treatments or care being provided;
(h) A health care worker must have a sound understanding of any possible adverse interactions between the therapies and treatments being provided or prescribed and any other medications or treatments, whether prescribed or not, that he or she is, or should be, aware that a client is taking or receiving, and advise the client of these interactions;
(i) A health care worker must provide health services in a manner that is culturally sensitive to the needs of his or her clients;
4 - Health care workers to obtain consent
Prior to commencing a treatment or service, a health care worker must ensure that consent appropriate to that treatment or service has been obtained and complies with the laws of the jurisdiction.
5 - Appropriate conduct in relation to treatment advice
(1) A health care worker must accept the right of his or her clients to make informed choices in relation to their health care.
(2) A health care worker must not attempt to dissuade a client from seeking or continuing medical treatment.
(3) A health care worker must communicate and co-operate with colleagues and other health service providers and agencies in the best interests of their clients.
6 - Health care workers to report concerns about the conduct of other health care workers
A health care worker who, in the course of providing treatment or care, forms the reasonable belief that another health care worker has placed or is placing clients at serious risk of harm must refer the matter to the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner.
7 - Health care workers to take appropriate action in response to adverse events
(1) A health care worker must take appropriate and timely measures to minimise harm to clients when an adverse event occurs in the course of providing treatment or care.
(2) Without limiting subclause (1), a health care worker must –
(a) ensure that appropriate first aid is available to deal with any adverse event
(b) obtain appropriate emergency assistance in the event of any serious adverse event
(c) promptly disclose the adverse event to the client and take appropriate remedial steps to reduce the risk of recurrence
(d) report the adverse event to the relevant authority, where appropriate.
8 - Health care workers to adopt standard precautions for infection control
(1) A health care worker must adopt standard precautions for the control of infection in the course of providing treatment or care.
(2) Without limiting subclause (1), a health care worker who carries out skin penetration or other invasive procedure must comply with –
(a) the South Australian Public Health Act 2011; and
(b) the Guidelines on the Safe and Hygenic Practice of Skin Penetration published by the Department and as in force from time to time
9 - Health care workers diagnosed with infectious medical conditions
(1) A health care worker who has been diagnosed with a medical condition that can be passed on to clients must ensure that he or she practises in a manner that does not put clients at risk.
(2) Without limiting subclause (1), a health care worker who has been diagnosed with a medical condition that can be passed on to clients must take and follow advice from a suitably qualified registered health practitioner on the necessary steps to be taken to modify his or her practice to avoid the possibility of transmitting that condition to clients.
10 - Health care workers not to make claims to cure certain serious illnesses
(1) A health care worker must not claim or represent that he or she is qualified, able or willing to cure cancer or other terminal illnesses.
(2) A health care worker who claims to be able to treat or alleviate the symptoms of cancer or other terminal illnesses must be able to substantiate such claims.
11 - Health care workers not to misinform their clients
(1) A health care worker must not engage in any form of misinformation or misrepresentation in relation to the products or services he or she provides or the qualifications, training or professional affiliations he or she holds.
(2) Without limiting subclause (1) –
(a) a health care worker must not use his or her possession of a particular qualification to mislead or deceive clients or the public as to his or her competence in a field of practice or ability to provide treatment;
(b) a health care worker must provide truthful information as to his or her qualifications, training or professional affiliations; and
(c) a health care worker must not make claims either directly to clients or in advertising or promotional materials about the efficacy of treatment or services he or she provides if those claims cannot be substantiated.
12 - Health care workers not to practise under the influence of alcohol or unlawful substances
(1) A health care worker must not provide treatment or care to clients while under the influence of alcohol or unlawful substances.
(2) A health care worker who is taking prescribed medication must obtain advice from the prescribing health practitioner or dispensing pharmacist on the impact of the medication on his or her ability to practise and must refrain from treating or caring for clients in circumstances where his or her capacity is or may be impaired.
13 - Health care workers with certain mental or physical impairment
(1) A health care worker must not provide treatment or care to clients while suffering from a physical or mental impairment, disability, condition or disorder (including an addiction to alcohol or a drug, whether or not prescribed) that places or is likely to place clients at risk of harm.
(2) Without limiting subclause (1), if a health care worker has a mental or physical impairment that could place clients at risk, the health care worker must seek advice from a suitably qualified health practitioner to determine whether, and in what ways, he or she should modify his or her practice, including stopping practice if necessary.
14 - Health care workers not to financially exploit clients
(1) A health care worker must not financially exploit their clients.
(2) Without limiting subclause (1):
(a) a health care worker must only provide services or treatments to clients that are designed to maintain or improve clients’ health or wellbeing
(b) a health care worker must not accept or offer financial inducements or gifts as a part of client referral arrangements with other health care workers
(c) a health care worker must not ask clients to give, lend or bequeath money or gifts that will benefit the health care worker directly or indirectly.
15 - Health care workers not to engage in sexual misconduct
(1) A health care worker must not engage in behaviour of a sexual or close personal nature with a client.
(2) A health care worker must not engage in a sexual or other inappropriate close personal, physical or emotional relationship with a client.
(3) A health care worker should ensure that a reasonable period of time has elapsed since the conclusion of the therapeutic relationship before engaging in a sexual relationship with a client.
16 - Health care workers to comply with relevant privacy laws
A health care worker must comply with the relevant privacy laws that apply to clients’ health information, including the Privacy Act 1988 of the Commonwealth.
17 - Health care workers to keep appropriate records
(1) A health care worker must maintain accurate, legible and up-to-date clinical records for each client consultation and ensure that these are held securely and not subject to unauthorised access.
(2) A health care worker must take necessary steps to facilitate clients’ access to information contained in their health records if requested.
(3) A health care worker must facilitate the transfer of a client’s health record in a timely manner when requested to do so by the client or their legal representative.
18. Health care workers to be covered by appropriate insurance
A health care worker should ensure that appropriate indemnity insurance arrangements are in place in relation to his or her practice.
19. Health care workers to display code and other information
1) A health care worker must display or make available a copy of each of the following documents at all premises where the health care worker carries on his or her practice:
(a). a copy of this Code of Conduct
(b). a document that gives information about the way in which clients may make a complaint to the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner.
2) Copies of these documents must be displayed or made available in a manner that makes them easily visible or accessible to clients.
3) This clause does not apply to any of the following premises:
(a) premises of any hospital (within the meaning of the Health Care Act 2008);
(b) premises of any health services established or licensed under the Health Care Act 2008;
(c) premises of the SA Ambulance Service Incorporated;
(d) premises of an approved provider (within the meaning of the Aged Care Act 1997 of the Commonwealth).
Concerned about the care you have received?
The Code of Conduct for Certain Health Care workers sets out what you can expect from your health practitioner. If you have concerns about the health service that was provided, talk to the health practitioner immediately. In most cases the health practitioner will try to resolve your concerns. If you’re not able to deal direct with the health practitioner, or you’re not satisfied with their response, speak with the HCSCC:
Call: 8226 8666 or 1800 232 007 (toll free from Country SA landline)
Write: HCSCC - PO Box 199, Rundle Mall SA 5000
Fax: 8226 8620
Code of Ethics
Ethical standards are important in promoting safe and professional counselling practices. These are important in order that members/registrants deliver a professional level of service that caters for the best interests of their clients, and the public at large.
1. The Australian Counselling Association (“the ACA”) has been established to;
(a) To provide an industry based Association for persons engaged in counsellor education and practice.
(b) To monitor, maintain, set and improve professional standards in counsellor education and practice.
(c) To be a self-regulatory body to provide for registration of members and to provide a mechanism for dealing with complaints about members.
(d) To liaise with Government for the benefit of members and the public.
2. Membership of the ACA commits members to adhere to the ACA Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct applies to counsellors work related activities. It includes the clinical or counselling practice as well as research, teaching, supervision of trainees and other activities that relate to the overall general training and employment of the counselling profession.
3. The Code of Conduct is intended to provide standards of professional conduct that can be applied by the ACA and by other bodies that choose to adopt them in Australia. Depending upon the circumstances compliance or non-compliance with the Code of Conduct may be admissible in some legal proceedings.
Code of Ethics
(a) The helping relationship constitutes the effective and appropriate use of helper’s skills that are for the benefit and safety of the client in his or her circumstances.
Code of Practice
(a) This Code applies those values and ethical principles outlined above to more specific situations which may arise in the practice of Counselling. Many clauses and/or sections of the Code are inter-related and this should be kept in mind both when reading and applying the Code.