Policies high level involvement


If you are involving consumers at a high level – for example, as partners or experts – you may need to ensure you have policies to cover this type of involvement. Such policies include:

  • a statement of commitment. Consumers engaged in a working group, committee or board are asked to commit to attend meetings, be informed about the issues discussed, actively participate, ask questions and contribute positively. The organisation will commit to supporting consumers’ administrative needs as required.
  • confidentiality. Confidential issues may arise in working group, committee or board meetings. There are some groups which require all members to sign a confidentiality agreement as part of their membership. As a member, consumers are expected to maintain the same level of confidentiality as all the other members.
  • conflict of interest. Consumers should declare financial or personal interests in a certain outcome. In such circumstances, it may be appropriate for that consumer to not be involved in any decision-making processes.
  • complaints. Any concerns regarding the professional behaviour of staff or of other consumers should be directed to the relevant staff member within the organisation.
  • ethical practice. Consumer roles and responsibilities should be clearly outlined in Terms of Reference for each group.
  • indemnity issues. Consumers recruited to participate in our groups, committees or boards are covered by the relevant organisation policy while carrying out activities they are recruited to perform.
  • privacy. All organisations need to comply with their state or territory, and Australian privacy laws, the Information Privacy Act 2000 and the Health Records Act 2001, as well as other laws that regulate the handling of personal information.
  • representation. Consumers are appointed to working groups, committees or boards because they can bring a different perspective to the decision-making process. They represent a ‘consumer perspective’ but are not expected to represent the views and opinions of all consumers or their families.