Read the Information for Witnesses (PDF 215KB) before you witness a persons Advance Care Directive. 

Authorised witnesses include:

  • health practitioners
  • Justices of the Peace
  • law practitioners
  • police officers
  • social workers
  • teachers.

For regulatory instruction and further details about authorised witnesses, visit Regulations and Rules made by the Governor of South Australia.

Becoming a witness

It is your choice whether or not you witness a person’s Advance Care Directive.

Check that you fit one of the authorised witness categories on the who can witness my Advance Care Directive page.

  • You must be independent of the person you are witnessing for, and cannot be:
    • a beneficiary in their Will – for example, a family member
    • appointed as their Substitute Decision Maker or
    • their health practitioner or paid professional carer.
      If there is a chance you will be the person’s health practitioner in the future you should not witness their Advance Care Directive.
  • To be valid, an Advance Care Directive must be completed on the official Advance Care Directive form (PDF 371KB). It may be completed in handwriting or electronic text.
  • You should not witness the Advance Care Directive until it has been finalised including signed by any Substitute Decision Makers (you do not need to witness the acceptance of Substitute Decision Makers).
  • It is not your role to check the content of the person’s Advance Care Directive.
  • If you think the person is not competent to complete an Advance Care Directive, you can request they provide medical documentation which states that they are.

Fulfil your witness obligations

To fulfil your witness obligations you must:

  • Make sure the person has a copy of the Advance Care Directive Information Statement. You may need to read it to the person if they are visually impaired. The Information Statement is available in 15 different languages on the promotional resources page.
  • Certify that the person appeared to understand the Advance Care Directive Information Statement and that they did not appear to be acting under any form of duress or coercion.
  • If you are an interpreter, see the information for interpreters page.


The Advance Care Directives Act 2013 (SA) contains penalties for making false or misleading statements, as well as penalties for dishonesty, undue influence, or inducing another to give an Advance Care Directive. Maximum penalties are $20,000 or imprisonment for two years.

Process for correct witnessing

To fulfil your obligations as a witness, please complete the checklist (PDF 215KB) within the Information for Witnesses.

Online training for witnesses

To fulfil your obligations as a witness, it is strongly encouraged that you complete
the online training for witnesses.

Further information

For information about certifying copies of the original Advance Care Directive form, see what to do once my Advance Care Directive is complete.