What Is an Approved Code of Practice?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 April 2020
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An approved code of practice is a type of guideline that is developed to aid individuals and companies in complying with the terms and conditions associated with specific laws and regulations that apply. While not limited to the recommendations found within the code, many businesses will choose to make use of the provisions within the code as a means of making sure they are in compliance with safety standards within the workplace, standards set by governmental agencies that oversee public health, and even standards that have to do with handling of materials during a production process. The idea behind an approved code of practice is to equip businesses with the knowledge necessary to remain within governmental regulations and minimize the potential of fines or other punitive actions.


Typically, regulatory agencies work with industry leaders and others to develop codes that aid in fulfilling any obligations required by law by providing practical suggestions on how to comply with the terms of those laws. For example, a national government may pass legislation that bans the use of certain chemicals in textile production. In order to aid textile manufacturers in adapting their production and use of raw materials to comply with the new law, a regulatory agency will work with those in the industry to compile suggestions on other chemicals to use in lieu of the banned substances. While not limited to only using those chemicals named in the approved code of practice, the suggestions can help companies avoid breaking the law and possibly being subject to fines or even being shut down by the government.

Depending on the nature of the laws and regulations involved, an approved code of practice may be developed that encompasses a wide range of people and business entities. Both employers and employees may be impacted by the guidelines found in the code, as well as property owners, people who are self-employed, and even vendors who enter into contractual agreements with different types of businesses. The degree of detail included in an approved code of practice will depend on the nature of the laws and regulations involved, and the business models of those who are affected by those laws.

Typically, an approved code of practice must be affirmed by a governmental entity before it is issued. Depending on how the national government is organized, confirmation of the code or practice may come from a Minister of Labor, the head of a labor board, or a department such as Public Safety, Transportation, or any other relevant agency that is charged with enforcing the law or regulation. Just as laws and regulations can change over time, it is not unusual for an approved code of practice to be adapted or even superseded by a new code or practice from time to time, as changes occur within an industry and in the workplace.


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