Framework for use of Australasian Health Facility Guidelines

Implementation and application of the Australasian Health Facility Guidelines (AHFG)

The Department for Health and Wellbeing, Infrastructure recommends that the Australasian Health Facility Guidelines (AHFG) are to be used in the design and planning of health facilities in South Australia as a guideline from the initial project definition stage of the DH Facility Planning Process for all capital projects with a cost, inclusive of all stages, greater than $500,000.

Note that all projects will be commencing with a project brief that is based on consideration of all relevant sections of the HFG and includes schedules of accommodation based on AHFG recommendations.


Variations to AHFG recommendations that are considered to have application beyond individual projects will be used to inform the ongoing national guideline review process.

South Australian specific requirements

For certain topics, specific South Australian documents (regulations, policies, guidance notes etc) must be considered in conjunction with the AHFG.

Role delineation

AHFG Part B – Health Facility Briefing and Planning refers to role delineation of health facilities. The Levels of Service referred to in Schedules of Accommodation in the Guidelines are currently based on the NSW Health ‘Guide to Role Delineation of Health Services’.

For SA Health Portfolio projects the equivalent service role delineation on which the design of the whole or parts of the facility is to be based will be defined in the project brief.


The AHFG Part C – Design for Access, Mobility, OHS and Security, Section 790 - Security Precautions, provide an outline of design practices that enhance the security of people, premises and property.

In addressing security issues in the design of public health facilities in SA, planners and design consultants are also referred to:

  • relevant sections of the Commonwealth Protective Security Manual (PSM) 2005
  • SA Government Protective Security Policy

The CEO of a public health facility will be responsible for ensuring that the level of security in the facility is compliant with the Commonwealth PSM 2005.  Any alarm monitoring, including CCTV, must be connected to the Police Security Services Control Centre.  Security guards and patrols on Critical Infrastructure and High Risk sites will include Police Security Protective Security Officers. All security risk assessments for Critical Infrastructure and High Risk sites will be advised through Police Security.


The Health Portfolio Disability Action Plan provides direction for the Department for Health and Wellbeing and the Local Health Networks in developing strategies and targets to eliminate practices that discriminate against people with disabilities who use their services or are employed by them.

In addition to the information provided in AHFG Part C – Design for Access, Mobility, OHS and Security, Section 730 - Human Engineering planners and designers are referred to the Australian Human Rights Commission web page Access to Premises.

Engineering services

AHFG Part E - Building Services and Environmental Design provides a preliminary overview of engineering services issues to be taken into consideration in the design of health facilities.

Technical performance specifications for engineering services are provided in additional reference documents published on the AHFG web site.

Environmentally sustainable development

In June 2003 the South Australian Government adopted the Greening of Government Operations (GoGO) Policy Framework.  

AHFG Part E, Section 1.7 – Sustainability, provides an overview of ESD issues for consideration in the planning and design of health facilities.

For the design of health facilities in South Australia project groups and consultants must also refer to the following documents which provide additional guidance:

  • Government of South Australia, Building Management, Ecologically Sustainable Development Guide Note - Planning, Design and Delivery.
  • Government of South Australia, Building Management, Ecologically Sustainable Development Guide Note - Sustainment of Existing Buildings.

Infrastructure is currently developing an Environment Policy and a Greening of Government Operations action plan for the promotion of ESD in health facilities.

A GreenStar Healthcare rating tool for hospitals has been developed by the Green Building Council of Australia. The tool will be piloted by the Department of Health before being endorsed for use on all Health Portfolio capital projects.

Further information on these initiatives will be posted on this website.

Residential aged care facilities

The AHFG do not specifically apply to aged care facilities (residential, nursing homes, hostels) but may be used voluntarily in the design of such facilities.

The prime reference for the design of aged care facilities where Government funding of services is involved, is the Aged Care Certification information, provided on the Commonwealth Department of Health and Wellbeing web site Certification page. This page provides links to fact sheets dealing with fire safety, privacy and space, and definitions of new and existing buildings.

The certification process is aimed at improving the building quality of Australian Government funded residential aged care homes consistent with the 10 Year Forward Plan for improved safety and building standards developed in consultation with the aged care sector.

Leased accommodation

Leased accommodation is a specialist function supervised centrally in DHW by the Property and Security Unit in Infrastructure - telephone (08) 8425 2404.

Infection control

The reference document for infection control issues, Part D (Infection Prevention and Control) of the AHFG has been updated.

Planners and designers should note that on-site Infection Control and Occupational Health Safety and Welfare (OHS&W) Committees should be consulted on infection control issues.

Further information on infection control may be obtained from the Department for Health and Wellbeing Infection Control Service:
Telephone: (08) 7425 7161
Fax: (08) 8226 2594