The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has published Professions and the Trade Practices Act. This publication provides an overview of the common Trade Practices Act issues which may impact on the activities of professionals in practice and on the operation of professional associations.
In the introduction to the report, the ACCC argues that:
Where associations are responsible for the imposition and enforcement of professional or ethical standards and rules, the opportunity for anti-competitive conduct or effects can arise. While self-regulation mechanisms ensure that the high level of skills required to carry out professional services is not compromised, offering benefits for both the profession and consumers, it is important that they do not unduly restrict existing or potential members. Individual practitioners should also be mindful of not engaging in anti-competitive conduct, and policies and codes need to comply with the consumer protection rules.
5 May 2010