The OPG’s guardianship standards outline the responsibilities of guardians and help explain what to expect. These standards conform to the National Standards for Public Guardianship. A copy of these standards is available from the Australian Guardianship and Administration Council website.
These standards are:
In providing information, guardians will meet the following standards:
- Provide information to the represented person (where appropriate) and other key people about the guardian's role and authority regarding the represented person; and
- Ensure that information about substitute decision-making is provided to medical, dental and health care providers.
Support decision-making capacity
In supporting decision-making capacity, guardians will meet the following standards:
- Support represented persons to exercise their decision-making capacity wherever possible
- Ensure when supporting a person to make a decision that the support assists them to express their will and preferences
Ascertain will and preferences
When ascertaining will and preferences, guardians will meet the following standards:
- Seek and consider the views of the represented person, giving effect to their will and preferences wherever possible.
- Explore the reasons for any objection to a decision and consider ways to achieve a represented person’s wishes or resolve the dispute.
- Make or attempt to make contact with the represented person (in person or using audiovisual technology) a minimum of once each year.
- Seek and consider the views of key parties and medical and other professionals, as necessary.
- Seek a second opinion on behalf of a represented person where necessary
- Consider the views of those genuinely involved with the represented person, where these views are put to the guardian and are about issues that the guardian can make decisions about.
When advocating for a represented person, guardians will meet the following standards:
- Make all attempts to advocate for the best option that will enable a decision that most improves the quality of life and participation of the person
- Assess if all service options have been presented and advocate where a preferred option has not been presented
When acting to protect the interests of a represented person, guardians will meet the following standards:
- Assess and review whether a represented person is safe and whether they have experienced or are at risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation
- Provide information and advice to the represented person and other key people in their life about the risks of abuse and how to prevent it where appropriate
- Take action, make decisions and make referrals if there is reasonable concern that the person is at risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation, taking into consideration the represented persons views and wishes.
When making guardianship decisions, guardians will meet the following standards:
- Make decisions according to authority of the current order.
- Communicate or ensure decisions are communicated to the represented person and key parties in a manner meaningful to them.
- Provide written reasons for a decision on request of the represented person and at times, other interested parties.
- Review their decision-making on a regular basis with their manager
When recording information, guardians will meet the following standards:
- Record guardianship decisions including the views of the represented person and other relevant parties.
- Record significant information obtained.
- Record significant details of contact made and decisions taken.
Participate in Guardianship Order reviews
Guardians participating in Guardianship Order reviews will meet the following standards:
- Recommend continuation of the Guardianship Order for the shortest time possible and only when there is evidence that the represented person lacks legal capacity and needs decisions to be made for them in those areas.
- Request a review of the current Guardianship Order if the guardian believes a revocation or change in the Order will help promote or safeguard the best interests of the represented persons.
- In preparing the report, the guardian will consult with the represented person, as far as possible, to determine their views, along with other key parties.
Observe privacy and confidentiality requirements
Guardians will ensure they meet the following standards:
- Protect the privacy and confidentiality of the represented person and the key people in their lives.
- Ensure that they only share information relevant to the performance of their statutory authority and in the best interests of the represented person.
In demonstrating their ongoing professional development, guardians can be expected to meet the following standards:
- Participate in supervision of their work including periodic individual reviews of guardianship files
- Undertake continuing professional development that is relevant to their role