Social Media Policy


Introduction and purpose of this policy

Social media is a useful direct public engagement tool as it provides an opportunity for Sydney Medical Service Co-operative Limited (the Co-operative) to engage with those who have an interest in our service and to participate in online communities of shared interest.

The term social media encompasses different types of internet applications that allow user-generated content and multi-directional exchange of information. Social media includes blogs (Twitter), social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn), wikis (including Wikipedia pages), podcasts, forums and discussion boards and photo and video sharing (Flickr, Youtube).

The internet is not anonymous. Any person using social media applications should assume that everything they write can be traced back to them.

It is likely that employees and contractors will be regarded by the public as representatives of the Co-operative. Therefore, it is essential that Users make a clear distinction between what they do, think or say in their capacity as an employee or contractor of the Co-operative and in their personal capacity.

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to the employees and contractors (Users) of the Co-operative:

  • on the use of social media at work and at home
  • to identify and mitigate risks associated with the use of social media

User conduct on social media

When using the Co-operative’s social media, Users must not:

  • post any material that:
    • is unlawful, threatening, defamatory, pornographic, inflammatory, menacing or offensive (this applies to the use of words, illustrations, nicknames)
    • infringes or breaches another person’s rights including privacy and intellectual property rights of a third party or the Co-operative (for example, a User must not share, disclose or send protected information relating to patients, employees or contractors)
    • misuses confidential information (for example, a User must share, disclose or send information concerning the Co-operative’s business operations that are not in the public domain)
    • is materially damaging or could be materially damaging to the Co-operative’s reputation or image, or another individual
    • is in breach of any of the Co-operative’s policies or procedures
  • use social media to send unsolicited commercial electronic messages, or solicit other users to buy or sell products or services or donate money
  • impersonate another person or entity (for example, by pretending to be someone else when you submit a contribution to social media)
  • tamper with, hinder the operation of, or make unauthorised changes to the social media sites
  • knowingly transmit any virus or other disabling feature to or via the Co-operative’s social media account(s), or use in any email to a third party, or the social media site
  • attempt to do or permit another person to do any of these things:
    • claim or imply that you are speaking on behalf of the Co-operative, unless you are authorised to do so
    • disclose any information that is confidential or proprietary to the Co-operative, or to any third party that has disclosed information to the Co-operative
  • be defamatory, harassing or in violation of any other applicable law
  • include confidential or copyrighted information (eg music, videos, text belonging to third parties)
  • violate any other applicable policy of the Co-operative

Monitoring social media sites

The Co-operative’s social media channels are part of the service provided by the Co-operative and will be monitored and dealt with regularly. The Co-operative will monitor online activity to ascertain whether breaches of this policy have occurred.

Restrictions on advertising

The Co-operative complies with AHPRA national law and takes reasonable steps to remove materials that advertise their services. Users must not post any material which would be contrary to the law in this respect.

The Co-operative is not responsible for removing (or trying to have removed) unsolicited testimonials published on a third-party website or in social media accounts over which it does not have control.

Personal social media use

Users are free to personally engage in social media outside of work hours via personal accounts. The Co-operative encourages the responsible, ethical and lawful use of social media at all times. Users should respect copyright, privacy, fair use, financial disclosure and other applicable laws when publishing on social media platforms.

Users, in connection with their personal social media accounts, must not:

  • do anything to bring the Co-operative into disrepute
  • represent personal views expressed as those of the Co-operative
  • reveal confidential information about the Co-operative or a person who uses the Co-operative (for example, Users should not post information relating to patients or other employees or contractor, or information concerning the Co-operative’s business operations that are not in the public domain)

Breaching the terms of this policy

Users must comply with the terms of this policy in connection with the use of the Co-operative’s social media applications and personal social media applications.

If detected, a breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action which may include:

  • in relation to an employee, a verbal or written warning, or in very serious cases, termination of employment
  • in relation to a contractor, termination of the contract with the Co-operative.


If the Co-operative becomes aware of any criminal conduct arising or alleged breach of any law, the Co-operative may notify the police or other relevant authority. In these circumstances, the User may be liable to criminal or civil action.


The Co-operative will induct employees to this policy. Users who wish to clarify any aspect of this policy may do so by contacting the Chief Executive Officer.

Policy review statement

This policy is current as at 11th December 2020

The Co-operative reserves the right to amend this policy. The policy will be reviewed every 2 years to ensure that it is in accordance with any changes that may occur. The Co-operative will notify employees and contractors of any change to this policy.