Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers

The ACT Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers is set out in the Human Rights Commission Regulation 2023.

The Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers sets out minimum practice and ethical standards that non-registered health care workers must comply with in the ACT. The Code also informs consumers about what they can expect from health care workers when accessing a health service. Consumers can raise a concern or lodge a complaint with the Commission if they have concerns about the conduct or services delivered by a non-registered health care worker.

Under s.95 of the ACT Human Rights Commission Act health care workers are also obliged to display a notice letting consumers know where they can complain if they have a concern about the service being provided.

Displaying the Code of Conduct

Health care workers in the ACT must display the Code of Conduct and the s.95 notice explaining to consumers and patients that they can make a complaint about a concern about the health care worker, a health service or a breach of the Code of Conduct to the ACT Human Rights Commission.

The Code of Conduct for health care workers (PDF 130KB)

Code of conduct for health care workers summary (PDF 96KB)

The s.95 notice (PDF 216KB) is available for display.

Key aspects of the Code

The Code of Conduct applies to a health care worker who is not a registered health practitioner and to a registered health practitioner who provides health services unrelated to their registration.

Health Care Workers:

  • must provide health services in a safe and ethical manner including within accepted professional standards and within their experience, training and qualifications
  • provide a health service that is sensitive to the cultural needs of the client;
  • must not make claims to cure cancer or other terminal or incurable illnesses
  • must adopt standard precautions for infection control
  • must not dissuade clients from seeking or continuing with treatment by a registered medical practitioner and must accept the rights of their clients to make informed choices in relation to their health care
  • must not practise under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • must not financially exploit clients and must not accept or offer certain financial inducements or gifts
  • are required to have an adequate clinical basis for treatments
  • must not misinform their clients about themselves or their practice
  • must not engage in a sexual or close relationship with a client
  • must keep appropriate records
  • must keep appropriate insurance
  • must create appropriate policies and procedures to ensure client confidentiality and privacy and comply with them
  • must display code and other information (with some exceptions)

Powers of the Commission

The Commission manages complaints about health care workers and health services in the ACT. If the Commission finds that a health care worker has breached the Code of Conduct and poses a risk to the health or safety of members of the public it can:

  • make recommendations to the health care worker to improve their practice
  • issue an order prohibiting the person from providing health service for a period of time or permanently.
  • issue an order placing conditions on the provision of health services by the health worker
  • make a public statement identifying and giving warnings or information about the health worker and health services provided by the health practitioner.