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4.1.3 Public sector responsibilities and standards of conduct

Last Modified: 06-Apr-2022 Review Date: 01-Jul-2019


To guide staff about standards of behaviour required by the Department of Communities (Communities) and provide a basis on which to promote ethical standards of practice.


  • All Communities staff must comply with codes of ethics and conduct which provide a framework in which ethical practice and decision-making can take place. Refer to the Communities Code of Conduct in related resources.
  • Staff with specific qualifications, such as psychologists and social workers, have obligations to their profession’s Code of Ethics. These codes provide ethical guidelines for practice in relation to specific issues that may occur in the course of their professional practice.
  • Where decisions in casework that are based on professional judgement diverge from formal policy and practice guidelines, they need to be approved by a senior officer and the rationale for the decision made must be adequately documented. The relevant district director and Executive Director must also be informed. Such professional discretion is supported by senior management who acknowledge that while specific standards and requirements exist to guide case practice, decisions must also be based on professional judgement, assessment and decision-making.
  • In matters related to conduct, all incidents of actual or threatened harm, bullying, harassment or violence towards a staff member must be immediately reported to the district director and/or line manager.
  • Where staff witness incidents which they believe constitute a breach of conduct, the matter should be referred to the appropriate authority. Refer to Reporting Misconduct - Information for staff in related resources.
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