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HealthServe Australia (HSA) Organisational Code of Conduct for Safeguarding


The HSA Projects (HSA) Organisational Code of Conduct for Safeguarding  (Code of Conduct) sets the standard of behaviour for all HSA personnel representing or working on behalf of HSA.

This Code of Conduct applies to all employees, volunteers, contractors, consultants, officers and directors of HSA (collectively, HSA Staff).

These behavioural expectations are guided by HSA’s organisational values, policies and procedures, and should be read in conjunction with HSA’s Policy and Procedures. The Code of Conduct applies to all HSA Staff engaged in or related to the delivery of HSA’s work across Australia and all countries in which we operate, at all times, including outside of office hours when travelling to communities or locations where we work.

The Code of Conduct outlines the standard of professional behaviour required by HSA Staff in their interactions with all people of all ages, roles and backgrounds. The required professional behaviours support HSA’s ability to create safe and respectful relationships with communities and stakeholders, and to uphold the organisation’s reputation. It is important to note that this is not intended to provide an exhaustive list of behaviours but a broad framework to guide your engagement while representing HSA.


HSA Staff are responsible for abiding by the behavioural expectations outlined in the Code of Conduct in their engagement with or whilst representing HSA. If there are any breaches of the Code all personnel are required to report this to the appropriate manager or via HSA complaints portal – see website.

Professional Behaviour:

All HSA Staff are expected to maintain a high standard of personal and professional behaviour. As a representative of HSA, I will: 

  • Conduct myself in a manner that is consistent with HSA’s values and always act in a respectful and professional manner towards all people.
  • Comply with all relevant local legislations, including labour laws in relation to child labour.
  • Display understanding and sensitivity of local customs and traditions as well as religious/cultural practices of the country and /or community in which I work.
  • Treat all people engaged with HSA with respect, regardless of their race, colour, gender, language, religion, age, political or other opinions, national, ethnic or social origin, sexuality, property, disability, birth or other status.
  • Respect the backgrounds, experience, knowledge and responsibilities of all people contributing to HSA’s work.
  • Not use language or behaviour towards people that is inappropriate, harassing, abusive, sexually provocative, demeaning or culturally inappropriate.
  • Maintain honesty, accountability, confidentiality and transparency in all areas of my work and all financial dealings.
  • Not accept gifts financial or otherwise, except for small cultural and customary gifts given in appreciation or mutual respect. If this occurs I will notify the relevant HSA contact.
  • Avoid and promptly disclose any perceived, potential or actual conflict of interest.
  • Not publicly comment on political, religious or cultural matters as a representative of HSA without prior approval.
  • Accept responsibility for my own personal safety and security and will exercise reasonable caution in my work and inform my supervisor if I have any safety or health concerns or incidents.
  • Work within the scope of my roles, responsibilities and discuss any variances with my supervisor.
  • Ensure that when engaged with HSA, HSA knows where and how I can be contacted at relevant times, especially in the event of any security risk or emergency, and in these events I will follow the instructions of my HSA supervisor.
  • Abide by all HSA policies and procedures.
  • Not knowingly engage (directly or indirectly) anyone who poses an unacceptable risk to children.
  • Not fund any individual or organisation that does not meet the standards set out in HSA’s Policy in their operations and activities.
  • Immediately disclose to relevant HSA personnel all charges, convictions and other offenses, particularly those related to sexual exploitation, abuse or harassment of children or adults, including those under traditional law, which occurred before or occurs during my engagement with HSA.
  • Understand that HSA prohibits fraternisation of staff (any relationship that involves, or appears to involve, partiality, preferential treatment or improper use of rank or position including but not limited to voluntary sexual behaviour) while engaged in the delivery of HSA programs and activities.
  • Accept responsibility for my own health and wellbeing management during my engagement with HSA, and I will complete all stipulated medical checks or questionnaires required in line with my ability to perform my role, including disclosing any relevant known pre-existing health conditions, including mental health conditions.
  • Notify my HSA supervisor of any persistent health problems, medical assistance required or hospitalisation related to my engagement with HSA.

Professional Behaviour at Project Sites:

All HSA Staff that visit or attend project sites must comply with the following. As a representative of HSA attending project sites, I will:

  • Act and take appropriate measures in my work to safeguard children, vulnerable people, the environment and communities we work with
  • Maintain appropriate emotional boundaries with children, vulnerable people and community members and not seek contact outside the designated program for activities in person or through technology and other means.
  • Not develop any 'special' relationships with children that could be perceived as favouritism, such as the offering of gifts or special treatment.
  • Ensure that another adult is present when working in the proximity of children.
  • Not invite unaccompanied children into my home without their guardian’s permission, unless they are at immediate risk of injury or in physical danger and not for extended periods.
  • Not spend time alone with children who are unrelated to me outside work hours unless I meet with those children in the context of my family, social, and community life. In this situation, I will ensure those children’s privacy is respected, and not discuss private/confidential information concerning them.
  • Not use physical discipline or humiliating punishments on children.
  • Not seek out or engage in physical contact with children that is unprofessional or unnecessary (e.g. cuddling, kissing, children sitting on my lap, physically restrain). Necessary physical contact may include removal of a child from an immediate risk or dangerous situation.
  • Not sleep close to unsupervised children unless absolutely necessary, in which case I must obtain my supervisor’s permission, and ensure that another adult is present.
  • Not engage a child (under 18 years of age) [1], in any form of sexual intercourse [2] or sexual activity [3] including paying for sexual services. I understand that sexual activity with children (a person under the age of 18) is prohibited regardless of the age of consent locally and that mistaken belief in the age of the child is not a defence.
  • Not work under the influence of drugs, alcohol or be in possession of illegal drugs or give or expose children to substances while engaged in HSA activities.
  • Use all communication devices appropriately, and I will not use any medium (including: computers, mobile phones, or video and digital cameras) to exploit or harass individuals or to access any pornography
  • Not hire children for domestic or other labour which is inappropriate given their age or developmental stage, which interferes with their time available for education and recreational activities, or which places them at significant risk of injury. I will be aware of behaviour and avoid actions which could be perceived by others as child exploitation and abuse.
  • Immediately report concerns or incidents to relevant HSA personnel or following the reporting guidelines regarding sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment of children or adults or a possible breach of HSA’s policies or this Code of Conduct.
  • Understand that HSA prohibits transactional sex (the exchange of money, employment, good or services for sex, including sexual favours) while engaged in the delivery or related to HSA programs or activities.
  • Ensure that in all photos, footage, images, and stories, people are properly clothed, images are appropriate, respectful, dignified, portray an honest representation of the context and facts and are culturally appropriate. I understand that photos, footage, and images must not be sexually suggestive, degrading, or submissive.
  • Take care to ensure local traditions or restrictions for reproducing images are adhered. I will obtain and document informed consent from parent/ guardian and from the child/ young person for use of an individual’s image. I will ensure all images are stored securely and do not reveal identifying information about children as per HSA’s Policy.

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HealthServe Australia works in partnership with other international organisations, complementing their strengths with health resources. It has a special relationship with the largest group of Christian health professionals in Australia, the Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship of Australia (CMDFA) through which it was established. Many of the CMDFA members have worked for a number of years overseas in health work.



We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which we work and live, and pay our respects to First Nations people, and their Elders past and present.

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