Privacy and Confidentiality Policy



Health Care Consumers’ Association (HCCA) is committed to handling the personal information of our members, consumer representatives, staff, volunteers or members of the public with openness, transparency and accountability. HCCA respects the right of privacy and protects personal information of any individual making contact with the organisation for any purpose.  This policy has been based on the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012.




This Privacy Policy outlines how HCCA manages the personal information of staff, volunteers, members and consumer representatives and members of the public. It also describes the type of personal information held, for what purposes, and how that information is collected, held, used and disclosed.


Collection Use and Storage of Information


According to the Privacy Act, personal information is any material that identifies or could reasonably identify an individual. Normally the personal information collected by HCCA may include an individual’s:

  • Name, title, address, gender
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Credit card details to process membership payments
  • Bank details
  • Photos or videos of people participating in HCCA events

Personal information will, generally, only be used for the primary purposes of:

  • Responding to individual’s queries
  • Processing HCCA membership forms
  • Reimbursements purposes
  • Distributing Consumer Bites
  • Informing HCCA upcoming events

Information about individuals and organisations shall only be accessed by HCCA staff. Information about individuals or organisations obtained by HCCA staff in the performance of their duties shall be destroyed 6 months after it was last used, unless:


(i) The information relates to a complaint against HCCA, in which case it shall be retained for 3 years


(ii) The information relates to a legal matter where HCCA is, directly or indirectly, the complainant or respondent, in which case the information shall be retained for 7 years


(iii)  The information relates to an application to become a consumer representative or other official representative of HCCA; for example attending a conference on behalf of HCCA, in which case it shall be retained for 3 months after the appointment or representation has been approved by the EC


(iv)  The information relates to a staff member, in which case it shall be retained for as long as the person remains an employee of HCCA.


(v) Information stored on, or retrieved from, the HCCA website will not be shared with any other organisation or individual. 

HCCA staff shall only obtain and retain information about a person or organisation that is relevant to that person’s or organisations specific duties.


HCCA will disclose personal information:

  • For the primary purpose for which it was collected
  • Where the individual would reasonably expect this
  • where the individual has consented

HCCA does not disclose personal information for any secondary purposes unless the individual’s consent has been given or as required by law. 
HCCA will not sell any personal information that it collects from an individual.

Permission must be obtained from the individual(s) concerned, before discussing or forwarding personal information to other organisations.  For example, providing unsuccessful job applicant CVs to other organisations seeking employees in similar roles.


Protecting personal information


HCCA stores information in different ways, including in paper and electronic form.

HCCA takes reasonable steps to protect personal information from misuse and loss and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Some of the ways HCCA does this are:

  • Confidentiality requirements for our employees
  • Storage files in lockable cabinets
  • Security measures for systems access
  • Providing a discreet environment for confidential discussions
  • Only allowing access to personal information where the individual seeking access has satisfied HCCA identification requirements
  • Access control for our buildings
  • Electronic information is stored under a ‘password protected’ computer system
  • Personal/confidential material relating to a person or organisation shall not be transmitted by insecure methods such as emails
  • All written information about an individual or individuals, which is not already in the public domain, shall be destroyed by shredding or disposed of in a locked document ‘security bin’.


Sensitive Information


The  HCCA will not collect information about an individual that reveals their racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs or affiliations, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, details of health, disability, sexual orientation, or criminal records without the consent of individuals.


Anonymity when dealing with HCCA


Individuals dealing with HCCA have the right not to identify themselves in relation to a particular matter where it is lawful and practicable to do so.


Accuracy and Correction of Personal information


HCCA tries to ensure information is accurate and up-to-date by updating its records whenever changes to information come to staff’s attention. HCCA disregards information which seems likely to be inaccurate or out of date.


Dealing with Unsolicited Information


HCCA will ensure that all unsolicited information is destroyed immediately.


Using our Website


HCCA may record anonymous information such as IP address, time, date, referring URL, pages accessed and documents downloaded, type of browser and operating system. The HCCA website may contain links to or from other websites. HCCA is not responsible for the privacy practices of other websites. This privacy policy applies only to the information we collect on the HCCA website.


Access to Personal Information


HCCA acknowledges that individuals have the right to access to the personal information the organisation may have collected from them.  If an individual requires to access their personal information held by HCCA, they need to send a written request by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . HCCA will handle such requests in accordance with the Privacy Act.


Direct Marketing


HCCA may use individuals’ personal information for the purpose of advertising HCCA events such as consumer representatives training, health issues groups, HCCA health forums and HCCA workshops. If people do not want to receive this type of information they can contact us so staff can delete their contact details from HCCA distribution lists.


Information about Individuals: 


 As a non-service provider, which does not engage in individual advocacy, HCCA does not normally retain documents or information about individuals.   However, during the course of conversations with enquirers who wish to discuss personal circumstances, including health, HCCA may occasionally receive personal information, which it will retain until contact with the individual(s) concludes.


Consumer representatives: Communication with community members on general principles and issues


Asking consumer representatives to observe the confidentiality and privacy of information will not prevent participants from communicating with other community members on general principles and issues as they need. If the consumer representative is unsure it is important that they check and seek clarification from the chairperson of the committee that they are a part of.


Case Studies:


HCCA may develop and publish case studies, write submissions and deliver presentations. HCCA staff shall:


1.Obtain written permission from the person concerned to use their experience.


2.Make every effort to de-personalise the record of the experience.

In the event the person agrees to reveal their identity, HCCA staff shall make every attempt to ensure the person’s decision is an informed one; the person has had sufficient time to make the decision; the person was not under pressure when making theHCCA should also suggest the person discusses the decision with an appropriate third party, for example an advocate, family member or solicitor.


Whistle-blower protections


If HCCA is approached by health services staff about fraudulent or negligent practice we will convene a meeting of the EC to decide on the organisation’s response.


Quality Assurance:


1.HCCA activity meets obligations under the Privacy Act


2.Permission received, recorded


3.Information stored in appropriate manner


4.Information destroyed appropriately, recording the time and manner of destruction


5.This policy shall be reviewed every 2 years, or earlier if required, for example following changes in legislation.


6.HCCA provides new employees with training on how to handle personal information appropriately and a copy of this policy is included in their induction package.


HCCA Code of Conduct



The Health Care Consumers' Association of the ACT (HCCA) is the peak health consumer advocacy organisation in the ACT. It has supported and developed health consumer perspectives and policy in the ACT since 1978.


HCCA is a body through which health care consumers participate in policy, planning and service decisions that affect their health. HCCA members and volunteers are expected to work to improve the quality and availability of health services and to support consumers to identify shared priorities about health and then represent these views to the ACT Government.

At all times the Code of Conduct is informed by reference to HCCA’s Strategic Plan and is aligned with its Constitution.


Members and Volunteers Code of Conduct


This Code of Conduct applies to HCCA members, consumer representatives and volunteers.

The Code of Conduct is focussed around three key areas:

  • Respect for people and the law
  • Professional and personal integrity
  • Privacy and confidentiality


Respect for people and the law


  • Treat people with respect for their different values, beliefs, cultures, religions and social and economic status.
  • Refrain from any act or statement which could be interpreted as bullying or harassment.
  • Value and acknowledge the contribution of others and engage co-operatively.


Professional and personal integrity


  • Be aware of and comply with the laws and policies that apply to a particular issue.
  • Question a direction or a policy if you believe it is unreasonable, unethical or unlawful.
  • Report any illegalities of which you become aware.
  • Act in a professional manner with honesty and integrity, avoiding conduct that would negatively impact the reputation of HCCA.
  • Declare any potential for conflict of interest, and stand aside when conflict of interest exists or is perceived to exist by others.
  • Act transparently and within your authority.
  • Be objective and unprejudiced in your approach, considering each case on its own merits.
  • Do not use your position to gain an advantage for yourself, family or friends.
  • Consider the broader impact of your decisions on your consumer relationships, the community and HCCA.


Privacy and confidentiality


  • At all times appropriate levels of privacy and confidentiality should be observed in verbal and written communication.
  • Maintain confidentiality of information communicated in a private context.
  • Asking consumer representatives to observe the confidentiality and privacy of information will not prevent participants from communicating with other community members on general principles and issues as they need. If the consumer representative is unsure it is important that they check and seek clarification from the chairperson of the committee that they are a part of.
  • Do not make statements to the media – HCCA has a delegated media spokesperson who is the only person authorised to makes public statements on behalf of the organisation.
  • The HCCA Privacy and Confidentiality applies.




Breaches of the Code of Conduct may result in a member or volunteer facing disciplinary actions, including removal from a committee/s or expulsion from the organisation.



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HCCA Complaints

The Health Care Consumer’s Association ACT (HCCA) aims to provide services of a high standard and quality, and which are consistent with its strategic directions, vision and mission.


HCCA acknowledges that its members, committee and reference groups members, consumer representatives, agencies and all people who have dealings with the organisation, have the right to complain about HCCA, its policies and personnel; and to make suggestions about how services can be improved. It also recognises the importance of privacy, confidentiality and fairness in dealing with any complaint.

Complaints are usually concerns that people have about services, the actions of staff, volunteers, members (including consumer representatives), committees and the policies of HCCA. Anybody who deals with HCCA can complain about any aspect of the organisation’s operation that he or she is not satisfied with, which may include:

  • treatment by staff and management;
  • quality of service;
  • time taken to respond to requests for service; and
  • decisions of HCCA committees.

To obtain the complete HCCA Complaints Procedure, please contact our office.

Blogger Tutorial

If you're interested in participating in HCCA's blog, please use the following instructions to create a account.


This video tutorial is provided by, and will explain, step-by-step, how to create your own Blogger account.



Follow other blogs

With the Blogger Following feature you can keep track of the blogs you follow via your Reading List on the Blogger dashboard. There are several ways to become a follower of a blog. One of the easiest ways is to visit a blog that has added the 'Following' widget, ad then follow these steps:

  1. Click the FOLLOW THIS BLOG link under the 'Followers' widget.

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  2. You'll then see a pop-up window with the options to either follow publicly or anonymously.

  3. settings for following blogs

  4. Select how you'd like to follow the blog, then click the orange FOLLOW button. You're now a follower of the blog! If you chose to follow the blog publicly, your profile picture will be displayed on the blog with a link to your Blogger profile.

  6. When you become a follower of a blog, the blog will also be added to your Reading List on your Blogger dashboard. Additionally, you can become a follower of any blog or URL (even if the blog doesn't have the 'Followers' widget) by adding the blog to your Reading List on the dashboard.