Authorisation for CSOs or ACCOs to provide medical consent - advice

This advice provides information about CSOs’ and ACCOs authorisation to provide consent for medical treatment for children in out-of-home care.

Document ID number 2128, version 5, 18 November 2019.

For related tasks see procedure Consent for medical examination and treatment.



Each CSO or ACCO providing out-of-home care for children or case management services for child protection clients placed in care services has been issued with an Instrument of Authorisation – Medical Consents (the instrument), signed by the area director, or director child protection.

Each area director's office is required to keep a list of all authorisations made to CSOs and ACCOs, including to whom the authorisation to provide medical consent has been made and to monitor the validity of authorisations.

Instrument of authorisation

The instrument enables the authorised persons within CSOs or ACCOs to provide consent for medical treatment, surgery, or other operations and admission to hospital if a registered medical practitioner advises it is necessary. This applies to a child in out-of-home care as a result of:

  • being taken into emergency care
  • an interim accommodation order
  • a family reunification order
  • a care by Secretary order
  • a long-term care order
  • a therapeutic treatment (placement order).

The instrument specifies by role, the person in the CSO and ACCO, such as executive director, chief executive officer, director, manager, who can give medical consent and this person, must personally consent.

An authorised person cannot delegate the authorisation to a person in another position within the organisation.

Prior to providing consent to medical treatment, the authorised person must satisfy themselves the treatment has been recommended by a registered medical practitioner as necessary, is appropriate treatment and that all reasonable effort has been made to obtain the views and, where possible, the consent of a parent.

Prior to providing consent to treatment, the authorised person will consider the appropriateness of seeking advice from child protection. The authorised person will ensure that there is appropriate documentation of the consent process.