Code of Ethics

The NZOPA Code of Ethics can be found in Schedule 1 of the Rules.

The Code sets out rules on how members will and will not act, and how the standard for their interaction with the patients and their standards of practice. 

All members will

  • at all times remember the interests and self-respect of all patients are of prime importance
  • at all times be aware of their scope of practice and refer patients accordingly
  • endeavour to work with other health professionals to provide the best treatment in the best interest of the patient
  • act in a professional manner when dealing with patients, peers and other professional bodies
  • cultivate a spirit and practice of The Association and co-operation with all fellow members and all members of the Allied Health and Medical professions
  • use their skills for the benefit of the Allied Health and Medical professions and the general public
  • support The Association, abide by the rules and advance the Allied Health and Medical professions by all legitimate means
  • acknowledge the NZOPA and will use his/her skills and knowledge to benefit The Association
  • provide services to users in a professional manner that puts their wellbeing and health outcomes first.
  • always honestly represent himself/herself as well as his/her services to the patient and all others concerned
  • observe similar restrictions in his/her personal relations with users of prosthetic and orthotic services as are normally accepted by the Allied Health profession

No member will

  • claim to heal or cure the conditions of any client
  • solicit work, either directly or indirectly, in any manner considered by the Executive Committee to be professionally improper
  • pay, either directly or indirectly, any person to introduce clients to him, her or it
  • publish any advertisement in any form of media if that advertisement is in any way misleading, deceptive, or derogatory to The Association or the medical profession
  • recommend or administer any medical treatment or medication requiring oral or injected drugs unless authorised to do so.

Members act ethically and maintain standards of practice

  • members uphold and are guided by recognised professional codes of ethics where applicable
  • members are responsible for maintaining their professional standards
  • members use knowledge and skills and demonstrate expected competencies for the benefit of patients
  • members are accountable for practicing safely within their scope of practice
  • members maintain and update professional knowledge and skills
  • members participate in peer support and review
  • members accurately maintain up-to-date and comprehensive records related to Orthotic, Prosthetic and rehabilitation services.

Members respect the rights and dignity of patients

  • members acknowledge Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi as a founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand, and will apply the principles of the treaty whilst promoting equitable opportunity for positive health outcomes within the context of Māori health (models), including whānau (family health), tinana (physical health), hinengaro (mental) and wairua (spiritual health).
  • members acknowledge the cultural diversity that exists within Aotearoa New Zealand and aim to practice in an inclusive patient centred manner
  • members provide information to enable the patient to exercise informed choice and consent regarding their treatment plan related to Orthotic and Prosthetic services subject in each of the above to the maintenance of professional standards as set out in NZOPA Competency Standards
  • members safeguard confidentiality and privacy of information obtained within the professional relationship
  • members help patients understand their rights and acknowledge their responsibilities
  • members provide for and respect patients’ personal privacy
  • members practice within the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi

Orthotic and Prosthetic services will be delivered in a way that justifies public trust and confidence

  • members maintain valid professional qualifications
  • members ensure that CPD practices are followed to maintain skill levels
  • members use professional knowledge and skills to promote patient safety and wellbeing
  • members take responsibility for being familiar with legislative requirements, regulations and codes of patients’ rights and comply with these
  • members comply with all government contracts and with workplace policies and procedures
  • members follow Health and Safety legislation and workplace requirements to maintain safety standards for patients, staff and others in Orthotic and Prosthetic services
  • members act in ways that contribute to the good standing of the NZOPA

Conduct in Question

Examples of behavior, related or unrelated to Orthotic & Prosthetic service delivery, that could be considered as a basis for a complaint about conduct are:

  • Court conviction for criminal offence(s) that leads to or brings a custodial sentence
  • Compromising patient/client safety or wellbeing through:
    • inability to perform duties satisfactorily
    • neglect of responsibilities
    • inadequate observation/documentation
    • violation of patient’s rights
    • maltreatment
    • inappropriate use of force or intimidation
    • causing injury or bodily harm
    • physical, verbal or sexual abuse
  • failure to comply with legislated requirements/ethical principles
  • improper disclosure of personal information about patients
  • harmful imposition of political, religious or cultural views
  • harmful imposition of health practices/options
  • offer/acceptance of bribes, or other favours, or sexual advances
  • failure to observe fiscal constraints, misappropriating funds or property
  • attempting to defraud, dishonest dealings and/or falsifying records
  • Discrimination under the Human Rights Act 1993
  • Other unlawful conduct