Safety and Quality > Our Work > Healthcare Associated Infection > National Infection Control Guidelines

In October 2010 the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare were released by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), to establish a nationally accepted approach to infection prevention and control. The guidelines provide an evidence base on which healthcare workers and healthcare facilities can develop detailed protocols and processes for infection prevention and control that are appropriate for their specific situation. The underpinning risk-management framework ensures the basic principles of infection prevention and control can be applied to a wide range of healthcare settings, including primary care and rural and remote centres.

Access the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare 2010.

Development of the Guidelines

As part of the National HAI Prevention Program NHMRC was asked to develop national guidelines that would provide a coordinated approach to the prevention and management of healthcare associated infection (HAI). The NHMRC appointed an expert group to guide the development process. The guidelines are based on the best available evidence. They build on exisiting guidelines and reviews, as well as systematic reviews of the evidence.

National workshops were held in 2009 and 2010 to assist implementation of the guidelines. Further resources to drive implementation are available below.

Tools and Resources to Implement the Guidelines

1. Standardised Infection Control and Prevention Signs

Approach 1:  This approach combines both the special precautions and the standard precautions into a single poster. Photographic images are used to support the special precautions

Approach 2: Approach 2 is the same as Approach 1, but using symbols instead of photographic images

Approach 3:  This approach presents the special precautions and standard precautions in separate posters. This approach allows more room for focusing on the precautions, including supporting imagery for the standard precautions

Approach 4: Approach 4 is the same as Approach 3, but using symbols instead of photographic images

2. Standardised Infection Prevention and Control Signage co-badged by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and State and Territory Departments of Health

New South Wales

Australian Capital Territory

Northern Territory


  • Not available

South Australia



Western Australia

3. Online Modules

Online interactive modules education modules for Infection Prevention and Control – a series of education modules have been developed to assist staff who undertake infection prevention as part of a clinical role, as well as for those who work in private or small hospitals. The online interactive education modules are based on the content  of the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control in Healthcare 2010, and are anticipated to assist in identifying risk management strategies to reduce HAI.

4. Ossie Toolkit

The Ossie Toolkit for the implementation of the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention of Infection in Health Care 2010 aims to provide practical tools, resources and information that can be used in a range of health care settings to help implement the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare. The toolkit has been based on recommendations from documents that have been developed to support guideline implementation in a range of contexts, as well as lessons from the growing body of research on the topic of implementation, and the advice of experienced infection control practitioners and professionals.

The toolkit is complemented by a Guidebook for Primary Care Settings. Templates and checklists to assist with forming business cases, action plans and assessments:

* these resources are copyright of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (© RNAO) and have been adapted and used with permission.