Mandatory Code of Professional Conduct
This is a guide of seven principles for Australian College of Care Worker members to examine when they encounter an ethical problem. The Code of Professional Conduct sets minimum national and ethical standards that protect the health of the public and creates trust and confidence in the services provided by members of the Australian College of Care Workers.
The Australian College of Care Workers represents the values, knowledge and skills that society expects of care workers to build trust and confidence. A Code of Conduct is essential for setting and maintaining the expected standards of ethical behaviour for Care Workers working within the care profession.
The Australian College of Care Workers Members must abide by the Code of Conduct when caring for persons in aged care, mental health, disability, community and other health and care-related services by being accountable for their ethical practice. Australian College of Care Workers Members are subject to this Code of Practice shall abide by the ACCW Constitution, By-laws, Rules of Registration and Association and all relevant State and Commonwealth laws.
The Seven Principles
1. The enrichment of the quality of life of persons in care;
- Enable people to perform their daily activities within their capabilities
- Provide equity to individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds including from LGBTQI+ communities
- Provide respect, support, choice, dignity and value for individuals receiving care
- Provide care that is culturally sensitive to the needs of the consumer.
- Reduce the risk of adverse events through maintaining competency in the essential knowledge and skills appropriate to their scope of care practice
- Must not be working under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
- Must have a current police check with no convictions. If the Care Worker was in another country other than Australia at the age of 16, a signed statutory declaration indicating that the individual does not have a criminal history must be provided.
2. Honesty and dignity;
- Respect the ‘right of choice of a person in care’ to choose care services.
- Provide information to the consumer to make informed choices relating to care.
- Support the dignity and value of a person receiving care.
- Provide care services in a safe and ethical manner.
- Not to engage in sexual misconduct or any other inappropriate close physical, personal or emotional relationship with a client.
- Introduce and identify oneself before obtaining consent to commence care and provide services that are required by the consumer.
- Display your ‘Carer’s Licence to Practice’ registration which verifies a care workers status as checked and registered by the appropriate bodies.
3. Professionalism and professional development
- Meet the criteria for initial and ongoing annual Registration requirements.
- Always provide appropriate identification; by carrying a Registration Identification Card with photo, name, registration number and designation.
- Seek to enhance the reputation of the profession and the Australian College of Care Workers.
- Work within the scope of your qualifications, skills and knowledge.
- Respect and seek the professional proficiency of colleagues in their areas of competence when problems arise.
- Work collaboratively and competently with members of health and management teams within your scope of practice.
- Continue to improve your professional development by keeping current with legislation and codes of practice in your field.
4. Compassion and empathy;
- Provide care services which are safe and work in an ethical manner.
- Not engage in an inappropriate close personal, physical or emotional relationship with a client.
- Cooperate with other care workers in the best interest of the client.
- Report to immediate supervisor any concerns about the conduct of other care workers placing the consumer at serious risk of harm.
- Take appropriate action in response to adverse events from poor care practice, such as falls, cross infections, physical and mental abuse.
5. Responsibility and accountability
- Report issues of assault and abuse to your immediate management or government agencies.
- Refer immediately, matters and concerns relating to misconduct by Care workers including malpractice and abusive behaviour; physical, verbal, psychological, sexual, or financial misconduct to relevant authorities.
- Do not exploit the consumer financially, nor accept or offer financial inducements or gifts as a part of consumer care.
- Do not not ask consumers to give, lend or bequeath money or gifts that will benefit the Care Worker directly or indirectly.
- Maintain the necessary competence in the individuals field of practice.
- Be covered by appropriate indemnity insurance within the individuals division of practice. For example, insurance of $2,500,000 to 500,000,000 million dollars.
- Maintain updated first aid skills and qualifications to deal with any adverse events within your scope of practise.
- Obtain appropriate emergency assistance in the event of any serious adverse event and take steps to reduce the risk of recurrence.
6. Health and wellbeing
- Ensure the nutrition and hydration of a client is met to their satisfaction.
- Encourage choice and participation in activities of daily living.
- Safeguard the clients in care by ensuring a clean environment and prevent infections of persons with immune-deficiency, frail or elderly or on prescribed medication for chronic health conditions.
- Work within the individuals scope of practice. Do not provide care outside the individuals experience or training, or care services or treatment that the individual is not qualified to provide.
- Refrain from providing care in circumstances that may cause harm or risks to the client’s health and well being. For example, in circumstances where the individuals capacity may be impaired (ie, where the individual is taking prescribed medication or has infections), advice must be obtained from a general practitioner concerning the individuals ability to care for clients.
- Follow the plan of care actions and keep appropriate records and promptly report issues of concern that threatens the health and well-being of the client to relevant supervisors.
7. Communication of information and privacy
- Give accurate information, so clients can make make informed decisions.
- Respect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals information when providing care.
- Report adverse events and care services provided to immediate supervisor. These may include adverse reactions from care and treatments being provided, from medications whether prescribed or not.
- Must be qualified to provide care services to the clients and provide truthful information as to his or her qualifications, training or professional affiliations.
- Provide accurate information to clients and not misinform, misrepresent or mislead the consumer, the employer or the public.
- Comply with the confidentiality policy and relevant privacy laws that apply to client’s health information, including the Privacy Act 1988.
- Keep and maintain appropriate records that are accurate, timely, legible and up-to-date and ensure that these are held securely and not subject to unauthorised access except upon the request of the client.
Version 1 – August 2019