Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct describes standards of professional conduct that promotes adherence to the department’s and NSW Public Sector’s values. It provides a framework for employees to support day to day ethical decision making.
Changes since previous version
2022 Oct 19 – updated links in the implementation document, Code of Conduct procedures, to e-learning courses on managing gifts, benefits and hospitality (section 7.3.1) and added a link to the current declaration form.
Updated the implementation document, Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Procedures, and introduced the following requirements:
- an exception for reporting low-risk, ‘staff-to-staff’ gifts that meet the GIFT test
- that employees decline any gift if the donor and/or their intentions are not known, which reduces risk associated with anonymous donors
- a blanket prohibition on staff from Internal Audit, Procurement and Quality Assurance and Regulatory Services from receiving gifts, which will tighten controls on gifting in high-risk functions
- removed the prohibition on accepting gifts of alcohol above $50, which reflects the low risk associated with this.
2021 Jul 12 - update to Code of Conduct implementation document - updated links, minor wording changes, removed clause in 9.2.2
2021 Feb - updated Code of Conduct implementation document to remove reference to a removed document. Removed Provision of Personal References Procedures document - information contained within Code of Conduct implementation document. Maintenance update of Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Procedure to fix broken links and minor typographical error.
2021 Jan - updated Code of Conduct implementation document to align with regulatory and technological changes. Minor updates to policy statement.
2020 Dec - minor edits to Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Procedure to reflect changes to the organisational structure.
2020 Nov – minor edits to clarify differences between gift cards and cash vouchers.
2020 Nov – minor edits to Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Procedure to reflect changes to the organisational structure.
2020 Aug – updated Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Procedure.
2020 Mar - change of contact details.
Removed reference to the delegations for Reporting Suspected Wrongdoing at Section 64 of the procedures.
Provision of Personal References Procedures
Gifts and Benefits Procedure
- Policy statement
- The NSW Department of Education's vision is to be Australia’s best education system and one of the finest in the world. To achieve this vision, we need a highly professional and inclusive workforce.
- The Code of Conduct describes standards of professional conduct that promotes adherence to the department’s and NSW Public Sector’s values.
- All employees are expected to exercise sound judgement and live up to both the content and spirit of the Code of Conduct.
- Audience and applicability
- All department employees, contractors and volunteers.
- The Code of Conduct draws on legislation, regulations, policies and procedures.
- The Code of Conduct should be read in conjunction with the NSW Public Service Commission’s Code of Ethics and Conduct for NSW Government Sector Employees, with which all government sector employees must comply.
- Employees must also comply with relevant legislative, industrial and administrative requirements. This includes lawful directions made by a person with appropriate authority.
- Where there is a conflict between legislation and the Code of Conduct, legislation should take precedence.
- Employees are expected to be aware of, and act in accordance with, applicable government directives, circulars and memoranda. Some of this material is referenced in the Code of Conduct.
- Legislative provisions
- Government Sector Employment Act 2013
- Teaching Service Act 2013
- Education (School Administrative and Support Staff) Act 1987
- Anti-Discrimination Act 1977
- Children’s Guardian Act 2019
- Crimes Act 1900
- Copyright Act 1968
- Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009
- Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988
- Industrial Relations Act 1996
- Multicultural NSW Act 2000
- Ombudsman Act 1974
- Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1988
- Public Finance and Audit Act 1983
- Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994
- Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012
- Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.
- Responsibilities and delegations
- Employees must:
- keep students safe and support their wellbeing
- treat everyone with respect, courtesy, fairness, and honesty
- act with the utmost care and diligence
- understand and apply the laws, policies, procedures and guidelines that underpin their work
- work collaboratively and comply with lawful and reasonable directions
- always uphold the values and good reputation of the department whether on or off duty
- avoid conflicts of interest, report those that cannot be avoided and cooperate in their management
- only use official information for the work-related purpose it was intended
- only use their position and resources for a proper purpose
- report inappropriate conduct immediately.
- Workplace managers, in addition to complying with the responsibilities detailed in section 4.1, must:
- model the department’s values and professional conduct
- promote a collaborative and collegial workplace
- foster performance and development processes with employees under their supervision
- provide ongoing support and feedback to employees under their supervision
- provide employees under their supervision with information about available support services and resources
- communicate the responsibilities under the Code to employees under their supervision
- establish systems for effective communication and consultation in decision-making
- utilise reporting systems when a breach of the Code may have occurred
- promptly address poor conduct and performance.
- Employees must:
- Monitoring and review
- The Executive Director, Professional and Ethical Standards monitors the implementation of this policy, regularly reviews its contents to ensure relevance and accuracy, and updates it as needed.
Executive Director, Professional and Ethical Standards
02 7814 3722