Axiom Psychological & Coaching Services (ABN 71548005914)
The Axiom Psychological & Coaching Services (Axiom) team take your privacy very seriously. Consistent with our logo “… because we care” we strive to comply completely with the Australian Government’s “Commonwealth Privacy Act, 1988”. The Act requires us to satisfy the thirteen (13) “Australian Privacy Principles” (APP) listed in the Act. Axiom is bound by Australian Privacy Principles as amended from time to time.
Detailed information about the Australian Privacy Principles can be obtained from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s (OAIC) website – http://www.oaic.gov.au/.
We are committed to being open and transparent in the way in which we gather information from and about you and in the way we manage the personal information we have gathered.
With regard to the way we store and communicate the information we have gathered we are committed to protecting the privacy of this information.
Why do we need to collect personal information?
As professional psychologists to be effective in the work we do it is necessary to collect a range of information about you. Without this information we would not be able to do our job. However we will only seek out necessary and essential information.
As per the Privacy Act (1988) you have the right to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym. However please be aware that in many aspects of the work we do such as counselling, therapy, writing reports for a third party (e.g. Court report) it is impracticable if you chose to use a pseudonym or remain anonymous. There are certain circumstances where we are required by law or direction from a court or tribunal where it is not possible for you to use a pseudonym or remain anonymous.
Where do we get your information?
In short pretty well anywhere. Obviously the most common way is when we talk directly to you. If you are making a booking to see one of our psychologists then our receptionist will start the process. In your consultation with a psychologist we will get more information.
The person who referred you to us (e.g. GP, lawyer, employer, case managers, etc) gives us information about you.
Any communication from you (i.e. face to face, telephone, email, sms, website) provides us with personal information.
Publicly available information such as what is available on the internet is also a source of information.
How do we collect the information?
Basically for the most part verbally or in writing. However as part of our professional service we also observe your behaviour in sessions with you which we may record in our files. During a counselling session or an interview we will be asking you questions. There are various forms we ask you to complete and by completing psychological tests you again provide personal information.
- Personal information
The Privacy Act (1988) sees “personal information” as information or an opinion about you and includes such things as your contact details, date of birth, educational background, employment history, test results, etc.
- Sensitive Information
The Act regards “sensitive information” as being information or opinion with respect to such matters as your racial or ethnic background, religious beliefs, political opinions, criminal record, membership to a professional or trade association, sexual preference, etc.
In the main “sensitive information” can only disclosed with your consent.
- Health Information
What is covered here is information or opinion about your health, including medical history, disabilities etc. As with sensitive information “health information” can only be obtained with your consent.
Who do we share your information with?
Depending on who referred you to us determine the amount of information we will share. If you have been referred by your GP we are required to provide a reasonable amount of information to your GP with regard to a diagnosis and your progress in counselling. If you were referred as an EAP client, only basic information is provided, not the details of what happens in the session – this is confidential information.
If you were referred for an assessment (e.g. Court report, neuropsychological assessment, pre-employment assessment, etc) sufficient information is provided to the referrer to satisfy the requirements and purpose of the referral.
Otherwise of course anybody who has a legal entitlement to obtain the information, including but not limited to documents required as per a subpoena.
A BIG BUT…
Under the Privacy Act (1988) there is a provision called “permitted general situation” which allows and in some circumstance such as child protection is mandated by law for us to disclose personal information. In these circumstances the guiding principles are if there is a serious threat to the life, health or safety to an individual or the public. Included in this provision is providing information with regard to a missing person.
How long do we keep files and personal information?
In accordance with the Psychology Board of the Australian Health Professional Regulation Authority requirement we keep files for five (5) years.
Are my files kept securely?
In a word “yes”. Current paper files are stored in locked filing cabinets in a secure area which has video surveillance. Non active paper files are stored in a secure location.
With regard to electronic files these are backed up and stored off site. All computers are password protected and we have a very high level of anti-virus and firewall protection.
Can I see my file?
Again in a word “yes”. To access your file please call us to make arrangements. Depending on how long you need there may be a charge.
However we reserve the right to deny access to your file if we have a belief that there is a threat to the life, health or safety of an individual or the public. If we do refuse you access we will put it in writing indicating our reasons for the refusal.
If you are dissatisfied with our decision we ask that you formalise your complaint as per the procedure listed below.
What if some of my personal information changes or is wrong?
Please advise us of the changes or errors and we will make the necessary changes. We are committed to ensuring that the information we have collected is complete, accurate and up-to-date.
Concerns and complaints
If you have either a concern or a complaint please put your concern/complaint in writing and send it to our Privacy Officer. Our contact details are:
Postal address: 46 George Street, East Gosford NSW, Australia 2250
Fax: 02 4324 5400