Code of Practice

All health shops within the HSASA are required to comply with this Code of Practice. The HSASA Code of Practice consists of principles covering the following main areas which are the core of a health shop owner and staff practice.

1.     The Wellbeing and Safety of the Consumer

The HSASA is a professional organisation with a constant emphasis on the improvement and development of professional and knowledgeable service (to promote and improve access to, and quality of, information so that consumers are able to make informed choices) and the quality and safety of goods sold.

Health shop staff must:

1.1  Always consider the wellbeing and safety of the consumer and act in their best interest.

1.2  Demonstrate accepted, professional behaviour when interacting with the public.

1.3  Provide truthful, accurate and independent information in a form that is not misleading to the public.

1.4  Take action to prevent harm to the consumer.

(It is important to educate consumers on the risks and benefits of certain products.)

1.5  Refer consumers to another higher trained practitioner when dealing with a condition which is outside of one’s scope of practice.

1.5.1      Respect and recognize the expertise of other health professionals.

1.5.2      Consult and cooperatively work with other health professionals to achieve the expected outcomes for the consumer.

1.5.3      Establish and maintain relationships and communication paths with other health practitioners aimed at ensuring the best possible outcomes for the consumer.

1.5.4      In addition the consumer should be made aware of the following information with regard to CAMS:  They should not be taken concurrently with any prescribed conventional medication without referral to the medical practitioner prescribing that medication.  They should not be taken for prolonged periods of time without consulting a practitioner.

(If one does not know how to treat the condition of a consumer, one must then refer the consumer to a health practitioner who may treat the consumer accordingly.)

1.6  Respect the dignity of the consumer and acknowledge and respect consumer culture, diversity, beliefs and values, and not to discriminate on any grounds.

1.7  Adhere to confidentiality of consumer information and respect the consumer’s right to privacy.

(A consumer’s right to confidentiality and privacy must occur when interacting with other health care practitioners as well.)

1.8  Ensure responsibility and accountability of the safe handling, storage and sale of CAMS and foodstuffs, specifically with regards to supply chain principles and that these shall be upheld with primary concern for the well-being of the consumer,

1.8.1      Sound hygienic practices will be applied at all stages of the handling of CAMS and foodstuffs.

1.8.2      A strict stock rotation policy shall be adhered to.

1.8.3      All CAMS and foodstuffs shall be priced, labelled and weighed in accordance with current legislation.

1.9          Ensure responsibility and accountability in the supply, handling and manufacturing of products, specifically with regards to the quality and safety of product in that;

1.9.1      They should be manufactured under Good Manufacturing practice (G.M.P.)

1.9.2      They should fall within safety limits as defined from time to time by the South African Health Industry

1.9.3      They are safe for the purpose for which they are intended

1.9.4      They comply with any current regulations currently applying in food, complementary and alternative medicine law

1.10        Ensure that product packaging and any accompanying literature / advertising material intended for public consumption complies with the following principles:

1.10.1   It contains a full and comprehensive list of ingredients

1.10.2   It contains a suggested dosage where relevant, and a warning against the danger, if any, of overdosing

1.10.3   It clearly states any particular warnings and contraindications (e.g. pregnancy, drug interactions, time warnings, allergies etc.)

1.10.4   Statements must be honest, accurate, and representative, and consistent with known, established, and published CAMS principles.

2.     Forwarding the Health Shop Profession

The HSASA is a professional organisation with a constant emphasis on the promotion of the Health Shop profession and the improvement and development of staff and customer service.

Health shop staff must:

2.1  Understand the importance to continually learn and upgrade ones knowledge so as to become more competent; and to commit to this ideal.

2.2  Make an effort to maintain one’s own personal health as well as that of one’s colleagues, so as to set a good example to others.

2.3  Identify signs and behaviour in one’s self and colleagues which demonstrate a need for intervention in professional practice and referral for advice.

2.4  Work within the parameters of the law.

2.5  Always keep the best interest of the consumer in mind when conducting business practice.

The HSASA Code of Ethics will be continually up-dated and developed in response to the on-going need to achieve high standards of knowledge and professionalism within the South African Health Shop retail trade.