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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 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

This policy framework is made pursuant to ss 26(2)(a)(c)(d) of the Health Services Act 2016.

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:

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 Amendment(s)
11.  11 July 2023  Amendments to MP 0051/17 Language Services Policy. Inclusion of additional question in Data Sources section of related document: 'Language Services Annual Reporting Template'. Minor amendments to supporting information documents: 'Language Services Guidelines' and 'Decision making tree for engaging and interpreter'. 
10.  2 May 2023 Minor Amendment to MP 0051/17 Language Services Policy.  Insertion of supporting information document ' Decision making tree for engaging an interpreter'.
6 April 2023  Policy review and amendment to MP 0051/17 Language Services Policy.  Amendments as follows: Inclusion of the state government WA Language Services Policy 2020 in the purpose section; applicability section amended to WA health entities - inclusion of Department of Health; Policy Requirements and Compliance Monitoring sections refined, inclusion of related documents: Language Services Procedure, Language Services Annual Report Template and the Language Services e-Learning module; Inclusion of supporting information document: Language Services Guidelines and inclusion of definitions for 'staff member', 'system manager', 'contracted health entity' and WA health entities'.
8 1 November 2022  Amendment to MP 0128/20 Use of Official Information, Digital Services (Social Media) and Public Comment Policy changed from Employment to Communications Policy Framework.  Also, amendment to policy owner to Director, Communications.  
7 17 March 2021
Amendment to Policy Framework Supporting information WA Language Services Policy 2020 and MP 0051/17 WA Health Language Services Policy.
6 16 February 2021 
Rescinded OD 0113/08.
5 27 November 2020
Rescinded OD 0652/16, IC 0127/12, OD 0368/12, OD 0435/13, OD 0510/14, OD 0565/14, OD 0653/16.
4 15 August 2019
Rescinded OD 0459/13. 
3 21 December 2017
Updated Policy Framework Custodian in online PDF Document only. Changes were not made to Policy Framework landing page until 10 January 2018.
2 3 April 2017
New MP 0051/17 WA Health System Language Services Policy, superseded OD 346/11.
1 1 July 2016 Original version


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.