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Member code of conduct

1. RACGP member code of conduct

1.1 Policy number: CO-O-001.3

1.2 Category: Organisational

1.3 Approval date: February 2016

1.4 Revision date: February 2019

1.5 Unit responsible Office of the President and CEO

2. Code declaration

This Code guides expectations and prescribes a minimum standard of conduct from all RACGP members in their interaction with each other and with the RACGP’s staff.

This Code constitutes a behavioural code enforceable under clause 27(b) of the Constitution.

This Code is authorised by the CEO and endorsed by the RACGP Board.

3. Background

3.1 Conduct

The RACGP values the contribution made by members on its various Committees, panels and other advisory bodies (internal and external) and generally, in progressing the RACGP’s purposes.

The RACGP also values the diversity in its members and on its Committees. This diversity allows for greater experience and skills, identification of options and opportunities, and any associated risks/benefits. However, care must be taken to avoid diversity of opinion leading to disrespect and conflict between members, and between members and RACGP staff.

In addition, the RACGP has a legal responsibility to ensure its workplace is safe for attending members.

This Code has been adopted to prescribe a minimum standard of conduct expected of members when dealing with each other and with RACGP staff.

3.2 Objectives

This Code aims to ensure all RACGP interactions are conducted with integrity and in a professional manner befitting the RACGP’s stature.

3.3 Scope

This Policy applies to all interactions involving RACGP members. It also applies to all individuals engaged as representatives on external bodies.

3.4 Out of scope

This Policy does not apply to:

  1. any obligations incurred by members acting within their profession,
  2. any matters not connected to the RACGP, or
  3. any matters that are covered by any legal matters, including occupational health and safety matters (other than by reference to expected standards of behaviour).

Further, nothing in this Code derogates from those obligations inherent in:

  1. the Medical Board of Australia’s Good medical practice: a code of conduct for doctors in Australia, and
  2. the Australian Medical Association’s Code of Ethics, or
  3. as otherwise expected at law, which must be read and dealt with independently of this Code.

4. Definitions

In this Code:

Committee means any RACGP committee, and includes the RACGP Board, Faculty Boards, Sub-Faculty Boards and Faculty Committees, Expert Committees, other Advisory Boards and Panels, as relevant and as updated from time to time.

member has the meaning given to that term in clause 110(a)(xvi) of the Constitution, and includes Fellows, Members, Associates, Registrar Associates, Affiliates, Honorary Fellows and Honorary Members.

Other terms used in this Policy have the meaning given to them in Part 11.9 of the Constitution. In the event of any inconsistency between this Policy and the Constitution, the Constitution prevails.

All references in this Policy are to this Policy itself, unless otherwise indicated.

5. General principles

5.1 General conduct

When dealing with RACGP matters, members are expected to:

  1. act in the RACGP’s best interests,
  2. act with a high degree of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect,
  3. uphold the RACGP’s good reputation,
  4. interact with other members and staff in a constructive manner, especially when serving on Committees,
  5. respect the fact everyone they deal with in the RACGP is there for their skills, experience and abilities,
  6. be responsive to other members, staff and other stakeholders, and to overall RACGP requirements, and
  7. understand the RACGP has limited resources, and to work within those resources (and understand and expect the same from other members and staff).

Members are expected to comply with the spirit and the letter of this Code.

5.2 Regulatory compliance

When dealing with RACGP matters, members must comply with:

  1. when on the RACGP’s premises or performing RACGP duties, all RACGP policies as notified or as reasonably inferred as relevant, and
  2. all relevant laws and regulations.

5.3 Confidentiality

In performing their role or interacting with the RACGP, members may receive or have access to the RACGP’s confidential information. In this context confidential information includes all non-public RACGP information. Unless proven otherwise, all RACGP information is deemed confidential information.

Confidential information is proprietary and valuable, and unauthorised disclosure may cause the RACGP damage.

Accordingly, members in receipt of RACGP information must keep it confidential, and only use or disclose it as necessary for the purpose it was obtained for, or as authorised.

5.4 Conflicts of interest

When dealing with RACGP matters, members must comply with the RACGP’s Conflict of Interest Policy, as updated form time to time.

5.5 Proper use of authority

Members may be delegated authority by the RACGP Board or the Chief Executive Officer. Such individuals must always ensure they act within this delegated authority for appropriate purposes.

No individual may use their position, their authority or any information received to obtain an advantage for themselves or detriment for others. Most members will not be RACGP directors, however they are expected to maintain those standards in their behaviour and activities when engaged in RACGP matters as required of RACGP Board members.

Importantly, proper functioning of the RACGP requires adherence and respect to proper lines of communication, workflow and delegation. Outside of any express delegated authority, individuals must not direct other staff or members, the organisation or the Chief Executive Officer to perform any work, or perform work in any particular matter.

6. Responsibilities of RACGP personnel

6.1 RACGP Board members

The Chair of the RACGP Board is responsible for enforcing this Policy within the RACGP Board. All RACGP Board members are responsible for enforcing these standards of behaviour within the RACGP’s membership, and for supporting management in dealing with member conduct matters.

6.2 Members

Members are responsible for maintaining their standards of behaviour in accordance with this Code, and alerting their Faculty Board Chair (or in case of conflict, the Chair of the RACGP Board) of any digression.

6.3 Senior Leadership Team

The Senior Leadership Team is responsible for elevating any concerns to the RACGP Board.

7. Non-compliance with this policy

A failure to comply with this Policy may be met with disciplinary proceedings under clause 27 of the Constitution.

8. Related policies, documents and legislation

8.1 Policies

RACGP Constitution

RACGP Conflict of Interest Policy

8.2 Documents


8.3 Legislation


9. Administrative procedures

9.1 Access to published policy

This policy will be available via the RACGP intranet and website.

9.2 Review of this policy

This policy will have a review cycle of 3 years.