Key messages

  • Codes of practice provide practical guidance to any person or body performing functions or duties under the Mental Health Act 2014 to promote best practice.
  • A code of practice provides a greater level of guidance and detail than is generally included in legislation or regulations.

Codes of practice provide practical guidance to any person or body performing functions or duties under the Mental Health Act 2014 to promote best practice.

Code of practice

The Mental Health Act 2014 provides for the development and implementation of codes of practice.

Codes of practice provide practical guidance to any person or body performing functions or duties under the Mental Health Act 2014 to promote best practice. Code of practice provide information to people with mental illness, carers and families, clinicians and mental health service providers about the Mental Health Act 2014.

A code of practice includes a greater level of guidance and detail than would generally be in legislation or regulations.

Codes of practice can be easily updated to reflect developments in clinical best practice.

Although a code of practice provides guidance on how to comply with obligations under the Act, a code of practice cannot impose a duty on any person, give rise to an enforceable right, or impose any liability or penalty.

The Secretary to the department has made a Community Visitors Code of Practice, which describes the role, functions and powers of community visitors under the Act. 

Consultation on codes of practice

A range of people may be consulted during the development of a code of practice, including consumer and carer groups, designated mental health services, the Chief Psychiatrist, the President of the Mental Health Tribunal, and the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner.