Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners

From 14 March 2013 health practitioners who are not within the ambit of the Australian Health Practitioners’ Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will have to comply with a Code of Conduct and display certain information where they practise.
The Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners establishes:
  1. A range of minimum standards for unregistered health practitioners
  2. Additional powers to HCSCC if an unregistered health practitioner is found to have breached the Code.
To download a copy of the plain English version of the Code of Conduct – click here
To download a copy of an Easy Read – Poster Style version of the Code of Conduct – click here
To download a copy of the SA Government Gazette – click here
Further information about the Code of Conduct is available on the SA Health website – click here

A Notice to Health Service Providers regarding the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners

The Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner has been approached by a number of service providers requesting information about the Code of Conduct for unregistered health practitioners and whether it applies to the services they provide.
In responding to such queries, service provider’s attention is drawn to the definition of the Health and Community Services Complaints Act (2004). That definition says in part that:
health service means –
  • a service designed to benefit or promote human health; or
  • a service provided in association with the use of premises for the care, treatment or accommodation of persons who are aged or who have a physical disability or mental dysfunction; or
  • a diagnostic or screening service; or
  • an ambulance service; or
  • a service to treat or prevent illness, injury, disease or disability; or
  • a service provided by a health professional; or
  • a service involving the provision of information relating to the promotion or provision of health care or health education; or
  • a social, welfare, recreational or leisure service if provided as part of a health service; or
  • an administration service directly related to a health service.
Whilst the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner is not authorised to provide legal binding advice, the Commissioner suggests that any provider who is supplying services that are consistent with the definition, and where a reasonable person, could reasonably claim that they are seeking and receiving health services, then the Code applies to that practice.
In the Commissioner’s view services such as those provided by counsellors, massage therapists, homeopaths, iridologists, naturopaths, reflexologists and Reiki healers are just a small number of examples of unregistered health service providers.