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Privacy and Confidentiality: Your rights and our commitment to you

To ensure we provide the most appropriate services and support, our Accordwest staff have to gather and collate information about you and your situation. However, it’s  important to note that we are committed to protecting your rights and privacy.

The law and our Privacy Policy
AccordWest is committed to working within the Australian Privacy Principles (APP’s effective March 2014). A detailed copy of the APP’s can be viewed on the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (www.oaic.gov.au). The APP’s are there to protect you and your information. Importantly, AccordWest understands the type of information you provide is defined as personal information.  As part of the APP’s, AccordWest is committed to ensuring that all personal information is managed in an open and transparent way.

If you would like more information about the APP’s, or our Privacy Policy, please contact us (08 9729 9000 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).  You can also contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner via 1300 363 992 or through www.oaic.gov.au for additional information. 

Collecting personal information
Your Accordwest worker will only collect personal information that’s relevant and required to tailor our support services to suit you.

We will only collect personal information that's relevant and required to tailor our support services to suit you.

Some non-identifying data may also be collected in order for us to meet our funding requirements (see Using non-identifying data below). You will be advised if this will occur.

If you are uncertain about any question or request for information, please feel free to ask why you are being asked that question. You have the right to choose not to answer any questions we ask, although this may inhibit our ability to provide the right support and services.

Rest assured, if you choose not to provide information and this compromises the support we are able to provide, it will only be for safety reasons - we always strive to provide the best service we can.

Using non-identifying data
Non-identifying data is information from which your personal details have been removed (i.e. your name, date of birth, address, phone number, etc). Sometimes, we use non-identifying data for:

  • Research - to help us improve our services and understanding
  • Service planning - to better meet the needs of clients
  • Reports to our funding bodies about the services we provide

If your de-identified information is to be used for any of these purposes, you will be informed and you have the right to prevent its use. Please note, any research or reporting will never identify you.

Sharing information with other services and agencies
We will only provide your information to other services or agencies with your consent or knowledge (except in certain Duty of care requirements, see below). In all but exceptional cases, your support worker or team will keep your personal information private, and it will only be used to ensure we fulfil your case management needs.

Our staff will ask you to complete an Exchange of Information Form. This enables you to nominate what information we can share, and with whom.

Duty of care
The only time we may share your information without your consent is if the law requires us to do so, or we believe that you, or another person, is at risk. This is very rare.

In those instances we will inform you of our decision, if possible. If it is believed providing this information will put you or another person at risk of serious and imminent harm, we are allowed, by law, to disclose your personal information without your knowledge or consent.

In summary, we will not disclose your information to anyone unless:

  • You have consented to the disclosure; and
  • This disclosure is necessary because you, or another person, are at risk of harm; or
  • You are unable to give consent (eg, if unconscious after an accident); or
  • Your worker is legally obliged to disclose the information (eg, by a court order).

In any of the above cases, only information that is absolutely necessary will be provided. AccordWest will not disclose information to overseas recipients unless compelled by Australian Law.

Keeping case notes safe and confidential
Your support worker is required to ensure that your records are objective, accurate, relevant, legible, up to date and stored safely.

All of our case files are stored electronically and password protected – only authorised personnel are able to access your personal information.

If there is any particularly sensitive information on file, you may request that this information is stored in a sealed section in your file – access to the sealed section can only be authorised by the CEO or, in their absence, the CEO.

Access to your information
Under the APP’s, you have the right to request access to your file at no cost. Upon request, your file will be made available to you (in the presence of a worker) within a reasonable timeframe. You have the right to request an explanation of your file and any file notes. You may seek correction of such information provided it does not compromise the accuracy of the service/s provided.

The CEO must view your file and approve any copies of material that you request before access is granted. Where access is prohibited by law, or an exception under state or federal law applies, (eg, where access would create a safety risk) we will explain why access has been denied.

Further information
If you have any concerns about the privacy or accuracy of your information, or would like to know more about our Privacy Policy, please discuss this with your worker.

To discuss this issue with a different worker, please call 08 9729 9000 and we will make a suitable appointment for you.  Alternatively, please write to:

The CEO
AccordWest
PO Box 6498
SOUTH BUNBURY WA 6230

In the event that you feel your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information has been compromised, or you would like to make a complaint about any matter, please read our Grievance Policy. We are happy to assist you if you wish to lodge a complaint.

Complaints about breaches of privacy can also be made to:

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
Telephone: 1300 363 992
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Write: GPO Box 2999
CANBERRA CITY ACT 2601

Read more about the ethical principles that underpin our commitment to your privacy and confidentiality. If you would like to make a complaint, read our grievance policy and learn about our complaints process.

 
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