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Policy Framework statement

The Communications Policy Framework specifies the requirements that all Health Service Providers (HSPs) must comply with in order to ensure effective and consistent communications activities remain across the WA health system.


The Director General (DG) of the Department of Health is the System Manager responsible for the overall management, strategic direction and stewardship of the WA health system. The DG will use policy frameworks to ensure a consistent approach to a range of matters undertaken by HSPs. Policy frameworks must be complied with and implemented as a part of ongoing operations.

The purpose of this framework is to ensure:

  • clarity and consistency of communication initiatives targeted to consumer, staff and stakeholder groups in the areas of media relations, websites, style guide, marketing and branding across the WA health system.


This policy framework is binding on each HSP to which it applies or relates.


The key principles that underpin this policy framework are:
  • consumers, staff and stakeholders have a right to accessible, consistent and high quality information about health care topics regardless of where they live
  • information about health care and health services should be easy to find, simple to search and navigate and centrally available to all consumers, staff and stakeholders
  • where more than one HSP is impacted by the communications activities of another HSP, a singular whole-of-health approach should be adopted.

Legislative context

The Health Services Act 2016 refers to policy frameworks in ss. 26-27 and s. 34(2)(c).

The legislation below, may also apply:
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992

Mandatory requirements

Under this policy framework HSPs must comply with all mandatory requirements* including:

*Any mandatory requirement document that references the Hospitals and Health Act 1927 must be interpreted as a requirement under the Health Services Act 2016.

Supporting information

The following documents support and inform the implementation of the mandatory requirements:

Policy framework custodian

Assistant Director General
Public and Aboriginal Health Division

Enquiries relating to this policy framework may be directed to:


This policy framework will be reviewed as required to ensure relevance and recency. At a minimum this policy framework will be reviewed within two years after first issue and at least every three years thereafter.

Version Effective from Effective to Amendment(s)
1 1 July 2016 3 April 2017 Original version
2 3 April 2017 21 December 2017 New MP 0051/17 WA Health System Language Services Policy, superseded OD 346/11
3 21 December 2017 15 August 2019 Updated Policy Framework Custodian in online PDF Document only. Changes were not made to Policy Framework landing page until 10 January 2018
4 15 August 2019 27 November 2020 Rescinded OD 0459/13 WA Health Delivering Information in Accordance with State Government Access Policy 
 5  27 November 2020 16 February 2021 Rescinded OD 0652/16 Use of the Locked State Coat of Arms Policy, IC 0127/12 HealthPoint Guidelines: Staff Profiles, OD 0368/12 WA Health Web Policy, OD 0435/13 Use of the term 'Aboriginal' in all forms of WA Health communication, OD 0510/14 Display of External Advertising Materials in WA Health Facilities, OD 0565/14 WA Health Style Guide for Corporate Visual Identity, OD 0653/16 Use of the State Government Badge Policy (Revision).
6 16 February 2021  17 March 2021 Rescinded OD 0113/08 Media Communication
7 17 March 2021 Current Amendment to Policy Framework Supporting information WA Language Services Policy 2020 and MP 0051/17 WA Health Language Services Policy.


This policy framework has been approved and issued by the Director General of the Department of Health as the System Manager.

Approval byDr David Russell-Weisz, Director General, Department of Health
Approval date01 July 2016
Date published21 December 2017
File numberF-AA-40145


This policy framework is binding on those to whom it applies or relates. Implementation at a local level will be subject to audit.

Glossary of terms

Term Meaning
Applicability Under Section 26 of the Health Services Act 2016, policy frameworks may apply to:
  • All Health Service Providers
  • A type of public health service facility
  • A type of public health service
  • A type of staff member of a health service provider.
Communications An umbrella term referring to all activities in relation to media, branding, advertising, marketing, promotion, on line (web), publications and stakeholder engagement.
Health Service Provider Means a Health Service Provider established by an order made under section 32(1)(b) of the Health Services Act 2016.
WA health system Pursuant to section 19(1) of the Health Services Act 2016, means the Department of Health, Health Service Providers and to the extent that Contracted Health Entities provide health services to the State, the Contracted Health Entities.