Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct for Certain Health Care Workers

From 18 March 2019 South Australia has implemented the Code of Conduct for Certain Health Care Workers (the code) , which replaces the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners (old code). This change aligns South Australia with the National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers approved by the COAG Health Council.

Health care workers who do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will have to comply with the code and display certain information where they practise.

The code establishes:

  1. A range of minimum standards for unregistered health care workers
  2. Additional powers to the HCSCC if an unregistered health care worker is found to have breached the Code.

To download a copy of the code – click here

Consumers and health care workers can download an easy-read version of the Code of Conduct here. Health Care Workers must display the full Code of Conduct at all premises where they practise. The easy-read version is not to be used in its place – 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

Who is a Health Care Worker under the code

The HCSCC has been approached by a number of service providers requesting information about the code and whether it applies to the services they provide.

In responding to such queries, service provider’s attention is drawn to the definition of a health service under the Health and Community Services Complaints Act 2004 which says in part:

  • 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.

While the HCSCC is not authorised to provide legal advice, 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.

Services such as those provided by counsellors, social workers, massage therapists, homeopaths, iridologists, naturopaths, reflexologists and Reiki healers are just a small number of examples of unregistered health service providers.