Code of Conduct

The Australian national healthcare practitioner Code of Conduct sets standards for non-registered healthcare providers, who are not regulated under the national scheme by Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). It also applies to registered practitioners operating outside their area of registration, for example a physiotherapist providing reiki therapy. Any breach of this code by a healthcare professional may be grounds for a complaint to, or investigation by, the Health Complaints Commission (HCC).

In summary, the Australian national healthcare practitioner Code of Conduct says that practitioners must:

  • Provide services in a safe and ethical manner.
  • Obtain consent from their clients before performing any therapy.
  • Conduct themselves ethically and appropriately when giving treatment advice.
  • Report concerns about treatment or care provided by other health care workers.
  • Take appropriate action in response to adverse events.
  • Adopt standard precautions for infection control.
  • Practice safely if diagnosed with infectious medical conditions.
  • Not make claims to cure certain serious illnesses.
  • Not misinform their clients.
  • Not practice under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Not financially exploit clients.
  • Not engage in sexual misconduct.
  • Comply with relevant privacy laws.
  • Keep appropriate patient records.
  • Be covered by appropriate professional indemnity and public liability insurance.
  • Display information about how patients might make a complaint.

Practitioners should refer to the relevant full text of the Code of Conduct to understand their responsibilities.

Compliance with the code should not mean extra work for those already operating safely and ethically, but it does provide grounds action against those who are not. If the CMA receives a complaint about a member, we may investigate this. At any time during an investigation, we may issue an interim order prohibiting delivery of a service, or part of a service, by that practitioner. A final and complete prohibition order may then be issued following investigation if it is necessary to do so.  Following an investigation into practitioner, we may also issue a public warning statement to alert the general public to serious risks to their health, life, safety or welfare.