Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Shared Code of conduct principles
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Shared Code of conduct principles

Code of conduct

The shared Code of Conduct (the code) includes 11 principles of conduct. Each principle is followed by practical information about how to apply it in practice. Underpinning the code is the expectation that practitioners will use their professional judgement to achieve the best possible outcomes in practice.

A list of the 11 principles of the code are set out below. 

Code of conduct principles

The following principles set out 12 National Boards’ expectations of the practitioners they regulate. These practitioners are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners
  • Chinese medicine practitioners
  • chiropractors
  • dental practitioners
  • medical radiation practitioners
  • occupational therapists
  • optometrists
  • osteopaths
  • paramedics
  • pharmacists
  • physiotherapists
  • podiatrists and podiatric surgeons

Put patients first – Safe, effective and collaborative practice

Principle 1. Practitioners should practise safely, effectively and in partnership with patients and colleagues, using patient-centred approaches, and informed by the best available evidence to achieve the best possible patient outcomes.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and cultural safety

Principle 2. Practitioners should consider the specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their health and cultural safety, including the need to foster open, honest and culturally safe professional relationships.

Respectful and culturally safe practice for all

Principle 3. Respectful, culturally safe practice requires practitioners to have knowledge of how their own culture, values, attitudes, assumptions and beliefs influence their interactions with people and families, the community and colleagues. Practitioners should communicate with all patients in a respectful way and meet their privacy and confidentiality obligations including when communicating online.

Working with patients

Principle 4. Basing relationships on respect, trust and effective communication enables practitioners to work in partnership with patients. Practitioners should maintain effective and professional relationships with their patients and provide explanations that enable patients to understand and participate in their care.

Working with other practitioners

Principle 5. Good relationships with colleagues and other practitioners strengthen the practitioner-patient relationship, collaboration and enhance patient care. Good relationships require health care to be free of discrimination, bullying and harassment.

Working within the healthcare system

Principle 6. Practitioners have a responsibility to contribute to the effectiveness and efficiency of the healthcare system and use resources wisely.

Minimising risk to patients

Principle 7. Good practice involves putting patient safety, which includes cultural safety, first. Practitioners should minimise risk by maintaining their professional capability through ongoing professional development and self-reflection and understanding and applying the principles of clinical governance, risk minimisation and management in practice.

Professional behaviour

Principle 8. Practitioners must display a standard of professional behaviour that warrants the trust and respect of the community. This includes practising ethically and honestly.

Maintaining practitioner health and wellbeing

Principle 9. It is important for practitioners to maintain their health and wellbeing. This includes seeking an appropriate work–life balance.

Teaching, supervising and assessing

Principle 10. Practitioners should support the important role of teaching, supervising and mentoring practitioners and students in order to develop the health workforce.

Ethical research

Principle 11. Practitioners should recognise the vital role of ethical and evidence-based research to inform quality healthcare and policy development, conduct research ethically and support the decision-making of research participants. 

The shared Code of conduct does not apply to the following professions:

shared Code of conduct principles 
Download the code of conduct principles

Page reviewed 29/06/2022