Intent of this requirement
All adults have an equal right to make decisions about things that affect their lives and to continue to make those decisions as they get older. Making decisions in everyday life involves risks. This requirement is about how the organisation respects a consumer’s wishes and preferences relating to the risks they choose to take.
Dignity of risk supports a consumer’s independence and self-determination to make their own choices, including to take some risks in life. If consumer choices are possibly harmful to them, organisations are expected to help the consumer understand the risk and how it could be managed to help them live the way they choose.
Organisations have other responsibilities under law to manage risks to the health and safety of the workforce and others in the service environment. In meeting these obligations the organisation is expected to show how they involve consumers and look for solutions that are the least restrictive of their choice and independence.
- How does the organisation plan, adopt and review ways to support consumer choice and decision-making, including when it involves risk?
- What methods or strategies does management of the organisation and the workforce use to support consumers to make choices, including when a choice may include risks to the consumer?
- Do interactions between consumers and the workforce show that they support consumers to make choices which involve risk? Do these interactions show that they respect the consumer’s decisions?
- How does the organisation review risks that they have identified? How do they use risk mitigation to inform future risk management approaches and problem solving to improve outcomes for consumers?
- How does the organisation support the workforce to respect a consumer’s decisions and choices, even when they feel uncomfortable about the risk involved?
Examples of actions and evidence
- Consumers say the workforce understand what is important to them and aren’t judgemental about choices they make.
- Consumers say they feel heard when they tell members of the workforce what matters to them and what they want.
- Consumers say they are supported to understand benefits and possible harm when they make decisions about taking risks in day-to-day life and over the long term.
- Consumers say they are an active partner in decisions that involve risk and problem-solving solutions to reduce risk where possible.
Workforce and others
- The workforce can describe how they use problem-solving solutions to minimise risk and tailor solutions to help the consumer live the life they choose.
- The workforce can describe examples of how the organisation has supported consumers to have choice and control, including when that choice involves risk.
- The workforce can describe how the organisation takes reasonable care to avoid risks without limiting the ability of consumers to take responsibility for their own decisions and choices.
- Workforce orientation, training or other records that show how the organisation supported the workforce to meet this requirement.
- Evidence of policies and procedures that support the workforce to manage any tension between consumers taking risks, or refusing care or services, and their professional or legal obligations.
- Examples of problem-solving tools or decision support processes that combine a consumer’s values, goals and preferences with information about benefits and risks, to achieve consumer-centred solutions.
- If a consumer’s choices and preferences are restricted, there are policies and procedures that make sure these restrictions are limited and tailored and proportionate to the risk.