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Guardianship standards

The Office of the Public Guardian has developed a set of Guardianship Standards, which outlines the roles and responsibilities of guardians and details how they are expected to act. These standards conform to the National Guardianship Standards (PDF, 6 pages).

The Guardianship Standards inform represented persons and other interested parties what to expect from guardians.

Guardians are expected to meet the following minimum standards:

Provide information

In providing information, guardians will meet the following standards:

  1. Provide information to the represented person (where appropriate) and other key people about the guardian's role and authority regarding the represented person; and
  2. Where appropriate, guardians will ensure that information about substitute decision-making is provided to medical, dental and health care providers.

Seek views

In seeking views, guardians will meet the following standards:

  1. Seek and consider the views of the represented person, giving effect to their wishes where possible and where it is in their best interest.  If the represented person objects to a proposed course of action, seek the reasons for the objection and take account of them, and consider ways to achieve their wishes or resolve the dispute, if possible.
  2. Make or attempt to make personal contact with the represented person a minimum of one visit each year.
  3. Seek and consider the views of key parties and medical and other professionals, as necessary.
  4. Consider the views of anyone 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.

Make decisions

In making guardianship decisions, guardians will meet the following standards:

  1. Make decisions according to authority of the current order.
  2. Communicate or ensure decisions are communicated to the represented person and key parties in a manner meaningful to them.
  3. Provide written reasons for a decision on request of the represented person or a key party.

Record information

In recording information, guardians will meet the following standards:

  1. Record guardianship decisions including the views of the represented person and other relevant parties.
  2. Record significant information obtained.
  3. Record significant details of contact make and decisions taken.

Participate in Guardianship Order reviews

Guardians participating in Guardianship Order reviews will meet the following standards:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Ensure privacy and confidentiality

Guardians will ensure they meet the following standards:

  1. Protect the privacy and confidentiality of the represented person and the key people in their lives.
  2. Ensure that the guardian releases only information relevant to the performance of their statutory authority and in the best interests of the represented person.


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