Guidelines for setting up virtual appointments.
Ensuring your privacy and security for counselling clients and supervisees.
Virtual counselling sessions – privacy for clients
Virtual counselling sessions using video conferencing platforms is a safe and secure way of connecting with your counsellor online. Just like in-person care, your virtual appointments, messages, and information are protected by privacy rules.
On this page:
- Connect securely online
- Privacy during your appointment
- Tips for safely sharing information online
Connecting securely online
Video conferencing connects clients with a counsellor online, using a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Your appointment will use your regular internet service or data plan with your counsellor also using their own regular internet service and/or data plan but must comply with privacy, cyber security and confidentiality guidelines and Australia privacy law. This includes all forms of communication technology with clients inclusive of sms text message, call, and video chat with patients.
Privacy during your appointment
Your counsellor will call you from a private setting such as their office or an appointment room. You should also be in a private, safe location where you feel safe to openly discuss private information.
Private locations for your appointment include:
- A private room of your home
- Your car
- A private room in a friend’s home
- Outdoors, away from other people
If you cannot find a private place for a video conference virtual counselling appointment, let your counsellor know. They will be able to help you to reschedule or suggest a better location for the virtual appointment.
Tips for safely sharing information online
Keeping virtual counselling appointments private and secure is the responsibility of clients and providers. Take steps to protect yourself when you begin connecting with your counsellor online.
- Keep your devices protected with updated antivirus software
- Protect your wireless connection with a password
- Make sure that your name you use to either log into or join the video conference platform used for your virtual counselling appointment is the same name that you have provided to the counsellor so that it is instantly recognisable. This allows your provider to screen for any unwanted, unsolicited guests.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi to access your virtual appointment.
- Avoid accessing virtual counselling appointments on devices shared with people outside of your home or family
- Don’t set up a virtual counselling appointment or share your information with a provider you don’t know or with information you don’t recognise. Call your regular provider’s main phone number to confirm their identity first.
Daphne Middleton at Resilience Project-live artfully is committed to providing quality services to you and this policy outlines our ongoing obligations to you in respect of how we manage your Personal Information.
We have adopted the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act). The NPPs govern the way in which we collect, use, disclose, store, secure and dispose of your Personal Information.
A copy of the Australian Privacy Principles may be obtained from the website of The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at www.oic.gov.au
What is Personal Information and why do we collect it?
Personal Information is information or an opinion that identifies an individual. Examples of Personal Information we collect include: names, addresses, email addresses, phone and facsimile numbers.
This Personal Information is obtained in many ways including correspondence, by telephone and facsimile, by email, via our website www.resilienceproject.com.au and from trusted third parties. We don’t guarantee website links or policy of authorised third parties.
We collect your Personal Information for the primary purpose of providing our services to you.
When we collect Personal Information we will, where appropriate and where possible, explain to you why we are collecting the information and how we plan to use it.
Sensitive information is defined in the Privacy Act to include information or opinion about such things as an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious or philosophical beliefs, membership of a trade union or other professional body, criminal record or health information.
Sensitive information will be used by us only:
• For the primary purpose for which it was obtained
• For a secondary purpose that is directly related to the primary purpose
• With your consent; or where required or authorised by law.
Where reasonable and practicable to do so, we will collect your Personal Information only from you. However, in some circumstances we may be provided with information by third parties. In such a case we will take reasonable steps to ensure that you are made aware of the information provided to us by the third party.
Disclosure of Personal Information
Your Personal Information may be disclosed in a number of circumstances including the following:
• Third parties where you consent to the use or disclosure; and
• Where required or authorised by law.
Security of Personal Information
Your Personal Information is stored in a manner that reasonably protects it from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
When your Personal Information is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was obtained, we will take reasonable steps to destroy or permanently de-identify your Personal Information. However, most of the Personal Information is or will be stored in client files which will be kept by us for a minimum of 7 years.
Access to your Personal Information
You may access the Personal Information we hold about you and to update and/or correct it, subject to certain exceptions. If you wish to access your Personal Information, please contact us in writing.
Daphne Middleton will not charge any fee for your access request, but may charge an administrative fee for providing a copy of your Personal Information.
In order to protect your Personal Information we may require identification from you before releasing the requested information.
Maintaining the Quality of your Personal Information
It is an important to us that your Personal Information is up to date. We will take reasonable steps to make sure that your Personal Information is accurate, complete and up-to-date. If you find that the information we have is not up to date or is inaccurate, please advise us as soon as practicable so we can update our records and ensure we can continue to provide quality services to you.
This Policy may change from time to time and is available on our website.
PO Box 124, Fremantle, Western Australia, 6959
T: 0404 014 343