Code of Conduct for Health Practitioners

Explaining a new code of conduct to massage therapists, counsellors, naturopaths and others—and reassuring the public.

The Challenge

In late 2023, the ACT Human Rights Commission needed to explain a new code of conduct that applied to specific health workers, and to reassure the public about the benefits for patients of the new regulation.

This education program was aimed at non-registered health workers: massage therapists, counsellors, naturopaths, dieticians, social workers, nursing or dental assistants, beauticians and others.

At a Glance

  • Project: Code of Conduct for Health Practitioners
  • Client: ACT Human Rights Commission
  • Delivered: August 2023
  • Duration: 2 months
  • Category: Healthcare, Explainer Video, Government
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Our Approach

We’ve been fortunate to have collaborated a number of times with the ACT Human Rights Commission—and each experience has been delightful. As a client, they are clear, decisive and thoughtful from the beginning to end. Together we’ve created videos about victim support, elder abuse, disability services and more.

To engage with such a wide and diverse audience required a multi-pronged approach. A key component was the creation of a video that spoke directly to those health practitioners who needed to understand and comply with the code. We established that the practitioners impacted should be depicted as a diverse group of characters, in a range of work situations and locations. The message was to be delivered with charm and a light touch, while remaining clear and instructive.

Because the target audience included practitioners from CALD communities—for example, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine—we created a video with open captioning. The combination of universal imagery and open captions was a resource-effective way of communicating with a diverse primary audience.

Our Solution

While the target audience for the information in this video was broad, the script spoke directly to the practitioners who were most impacted with well-defined instructions on how to comply; and the necessary steps for practitioners to take. This message was then brought to life with diverse, inclusive imagery to reflect the different cultural backgrounds of workers in the health space.

The video was shared on the ACT Human Rights Commission website and on social media. It also forms part of the commission’s ongoing communications strategy, with distribution support from key stakeholders including the ACT Health Directorate, Health Care Consumers Association, the Business Council of the ACT. It was also emailed to peak groups for health workers, education institutions who train and qualify health workers, small business peak organisations; and directly with a select group of massage therapists, counsellors and social worker services.

The Outcome

The video has been screened at staff training days by large health institutions and health worker peaks within the ACT, and has proven to be an effective communication tool to show health workers in a quick, accessible and informative style what their obligations are.

It was recently shared at a meeting of the National Health Commissioners network as an example of effective communication tools that can be developed about the code.

The video has also served as an invitation to health workers and their employers in the ACT to reach out to the Commission for more information about the code. In this way the video has been instrumental in increasing the safety of and protections for the ACT community by educating health workers, their employers and their clients about the importance of the code to public safety in the delivery of health services in the ACT.

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