National Code of Conduct

The purpose of the National Code of Conduct, also referred to as the National Code, is to protect the public by setting minimum standards of conduct and practice for all unregistered health care workers who provide a health service. It will set national standards against which disciplinary action can be taken and if necessary a prohibition order issued, in circumstances where a health care worker’s continued practice presents a serious risk to public health and safety.

It will be up to each state and territory to examine how the National Code of Conduct for health care workers is implemented and progressed.

Find out more from the COAG Health Council (external link) website.

You can currently complain about an unregistered health provider under the Health Complaints Act, however we do not yet have any disciplinary powers.

National Code of Conduct in Tasmania

What

The National Code for health care workers has not yet been implemented in Tasmania.  Once the legislation implementing the Code has been proclaimed this page will be updated accordingly.

This Code will protect the public by setting the minimum standards of conduct and practice for all unregistered health care workers who provide a health service.

In some cases, where the continued practice presents a serious risk to the public, disciplinary action may be taken or a prohibition order issued.

How

The National Code of Conduct is the set of standards that health care workers must follow.  It outlines the behaviour that you, as the consumer, should expect.

The Code of Conduct outlines that health care workers must:

  • provide safe and ethical healthcare
  • get consent for treatment
  • take care to protect you from infection
  • minimise harm and act appropriately if something goes wrong
  • report concerns about other health service providers
  • keep appropriate records and comply with privacy laws
  • be covered by insurance
  • display information about the general code of conduct and making a complaint.

The Code of Conduct outlines that health care workers must not:

  • mislead you about their products, services or qualifications
  • put you at risk due to their own physical or mental health problems
  • practice under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • make false claims about curing serious illnesses such as cancer
  • exploit you financially
  • have an inappropriate relationship with you
  • discourage you from seeking other health care. Refuse to cooperate with other health care providers if you do.

Who

Some health occupations likely to be captured under this code are:

  • Counsellors
  • Massage therapists
  • Dietitians
  • Speech pathologists
  • Naturopaths
  • Alternative therapists
  • Personal care attendants
  • Pharmacy Assistants

Once the code has been proclaimed, you will be able to make a complaint to us if you are unhappy with the treatment you have received from a health care worker.  We will assess and may investigate your complaint.  If there is a serious risk to public health and safety then the Commissioner will have the power to issue prohibition orders.

Prohibition Orders

Prohibition orders are published in those states that have already implemented a code-regulation regime.

New South Wales - Health Care Complaints Commission (external link)

Queensland - Office of the Health Ombudsman (external link)

South Australia - Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner (external liink)

Victoria - Health Complaints Commissioner (external link)

Updated: 11th May 2021