Optometry Board of Australia - Optometrists, your Code of conduct comes into effect today
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Optometrists, your Code of conduct comes into effect today

29 Jun 2022

The revised Code of conduct (the code) for optometry comes into effect today with resources to help optometrists understand and apply the code also published.

The Optometry Board of Australia (the Board), along with 11 other National Boards, is pleased to see the revised shared Code of conduct come into effect today and is encouraging all practitioners to familiarise themselves with it.

Board Chair, Judith Hannan, noted the importance of the document, and thanked those who have been involved in its revision.

‘The Code of conduct gives important guidance to optometrists about the Board’s expectations and the standard of conduct the public can expect from optometrists. Revising the code included extensive consultation and I’d like to thank everyone, including the practitioners, who participated in the process. Your contributions have helped to create a more useful, more accessible and contemporary document for both optometry and the public’, Judith said.

Judith said the Board was particularly pleased with the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and cultural safety, a new section to the code.

‘We’ve included the National Scheme’s definition of cultural safety in the revised code as well as guidance on how you can ensure culturally safe and respectful practice. This inclusion highlights the important role optometrists have in achieving equity in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians to close the gap, Judith said.

The Board is also pleased with the inclusion of guidance about performance targets and similar business practices.

‘To ensure patient safety isn’t compromised, any performance targets, or similar practices must be consistent with the Code of conduct. This is now clearly spelled out in the code, which is great to see,’ Judith said. 

Resources to help you understand the Code of conduct

To support you in understanding and applying the code, National Boards have developed supporting resources. These include a series of frequently asked questions, and case studies which look at how to code could be applied in practice scenarios. National Boards have also developed a Code of conduct principles document, a one-page summary of the code, and encourage you to print a copy and place somewhere visible. You can find these resources on the Resources to help health practitioners webpage.

‘Maintaining a high level of professional competence and conduct is essential for good care, and you have a professional responsibility to be familiar with the code and apply its principles in your practice. We hope these resources will be useful for the profession and will help you apply the code’, Judith said.

National Boards have also developed resources to help the public understand the code and the standards of conduct the public can expect from optometrists. Some case studies and a short summary of what the code is can be found on the Resources to help the public webpage. The summary of the code has been made available in Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Greek, Italian and Vietnamese. These can be found on our Translations webpage, along with other information in these languages.

Where can you read the code?

To read the copy of the code please visit the Shared Code of conduct page on the Ahpra website.


For more information

Page reviewed 29/06/2022