Code of conduct - applying sanctions

Who should attend

This training is primarily targeted at two groups:

  • employees with responsibility for case managing Code of Conduct investigations
  • employees who have been delegated the Agency Head's power to apply sanctions under s 15(1) of the Public Service Act 1999.

Code of Conduct investigators and those responsible for providing quality assurance services will also gain benefit from participation in this training.

Course outline

We believe that for participants to get maximum benefit from the training the session should include:

  • a brief outline of the law, including discussion of changes to the law arising from the commencement on 1 July 2013 of the Public Service Amendment Act 2013
  • discussion of APSC policy, including AGS's critique of some aspects of that policy
  • exploration of practical aspects of applying a sanction, including:
    • gathering information and assessing the facts
    • contact with the employee or their representative
    • consideration of common aggravating and mitigating factors
    • making the right decision
    • preparation of a record of decision and reasons
  • pointers for avoiding common (and not-so-common) pitfalls in decision making
  • in-depth discussion of how the law applies in the 'hard cases', which will give participants a good understanding of the importance of clarity and rigour in decision making, and greater confidence about making and expressing tough decisions
  • an overview of the legal risks inherent in making conduct-related decisions, and employees' rights of review
  • discussion of privacy considerations and the extent to which conduct records can be used for other employment purposes

We allow plenty of time for open discussion about issues of particular concern. For example, we can discuss recent case law on the use of social media in connection with employment, and on options for responding to threats of harm and self-harm, whether made by members of the public or by employees.

During the session we will ensure that examples that relate to the work of your case managers and delegates will be available for participants to work through and discuss.


Our presenters are AGS lawyers who have a great depth of knowledge of the government environment, and who practise extensively in this area of law.


The course runs for 1 day.


Standard fee – $880 (inclusive of GST) per person. No more than 20 people will be accepted on each course and courses will only be conducted if we receive sufficient nominations.