About policy governance

The Chief Executive of the Department for Health and Wellbeing is the System Leader under the Health Care Act 2008 responsible for the overall management, strategic direction and stewardship of the SA Public Health System.

The intention of the SA Health Policy Framework is to ensure a consistent approach to the development and management of system-wide policy across SA Health. 

The SA Health Policy Governance applies to all policies and guidelines. It outlines the principles-based approach to policy development, the governance for policy management, and the process and templates required for policy development and approvals.

The SA Health Policy Governance structure is outlined in the:

Who does the Policy Governance Framework apply to?

The Policy Governance Framework and all policies apply to all employees of SA Health; this is all employees of the:

  • Department for Health and Wellbeing
  • Local Health Networks (including state-wide services aligned with those Networks)
  • SA Ambulance Service

How policies are organised

The Framework incorporates a number of Policy Domains which are used to categorise SA Health policies and guidelines by topic area.

Every SA Health policy and guideline is aligned to one Policy Domain, based on the key topic area that the policy or guideline addresses.

Policies within each Policy Domain must be complied with and implemented as a part of ongoing operations.



A document that directs conduct and decision-making across SA Health and is aligned with the organisation’s legislative and strategic objectives. Compliance with a policy is mandatory.

Mandatory Instruction

An additional level of prescriptive information included within a policy about how a policy must be implemented to support compliance.


Best practice exemplar document that supports the implementation of a policy. Compliance with a guideline is not mandatory but adaption or adoption is encouraged.


A set of specifications and other information published to ensure services, systems or products are consistent, reliable and safe. May be linked with a policy or guideline.

Policy Domains

See the Policy governance page for a a list of all policy domains.