ESSA Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice

The ESSA Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice sets out the professional practice expectations of ESSA members and accredited individuals. A new Code came into effect 1 January 2021.

The Code should be reviewed regularly to ensure ongoing compliance.

ESSA members/and or accredited individuals should make themselves familiar with all applicable ethical and professional practice requirements including:
- Related ESSA policies and standards
- The National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers.

Key changes to the 2021 Code include:

  • Emphasis on the importance of professional behaviours and conduct with clients, their families and carers
  • Highlighting the responsibility of ESSA members and professionals to look after their own health and wellbeing to ensure they provide safe and effective services
  • Highlighting that practicing within the guidelines of employers, organisations or professional groups does not absolve responsibility of ESSA members and professionals for the service that is delivered, their actions or behaviours
  • Strengthened concepts relating to:
    • Informed consent
    • Respecting the rights of clients, their values and beliefs
    • Practicing in a safe, inclusive and sensitive manner
    • Representing services, products and service outcomes truthfully and accurately in promotional materials
    • Working collaboratively, professionally and respectfully with others
    • Safety and quality in service delivery
    • Privacy and confidentiality

Criminal/Ethics History Declaration Form

To advise ESSA of a criminal or ethical history, review the Fit and Proper Person Fact Sheet first, and if relevant, please download, complete and submit the Criminal/Ethics History Declare Form.

For more information please contact the ESSA National Office on 07 3171 3335 or


What happens if I can’t sign the criminal history declaration?
You will need to declare your history and supply relevant information for consideration by ESSA. For more information, please contact the ESSA office.

I have previously signed a criminal history declaration, how often do I need to do this?
Each year at renewal time you will be required to sign a criminal history declaration. If you had previously declared any history, and your situation has not changed you will be able to sign the declaration and will not be required to submit evidence again.

Updated January 2021