Code of Practice Revision Discussion Papers

In consultation with artists, arts workers, Terri Janke and Company, Accessible Arts NSW and RMIT School of Art, NAVA has developed discussion papers since the Code consultations in 2020 and they are now available for your review and comment. 

For more information on the Code of Practice, see below or go to Revising the Code of Practice: A Collaborative Plan.

Illustration of stack of paper with 'so much paperwork' written on the top sheet. Illustration is a line drawing filled in with orange.

Discussion papers

The purpose of these papers is to initiate discussion and feedback that will inform the drafting process for the new Code. The discussion papers are in survey format with space for text responses. You can view all the text and questions before responding.

The discussion papers currently available are:

  • Commissioning new work
  • Festivals
  • Hiring space
  • Temporary public art

Feedback closes on 30 June 2021.

What is NAVA’s Code of Practice?

The Code of Practice for the Professional Australian Visual Arts, Craft and Design Sector (the Code) provides a set of best practice, ethical guidelines for the conduct of business between arts practitioners and arts sector employers in the Australian visual arts sector.

The Code is relevant to: 

  • visual artists, 
  • craft practitioners, and 
  • designers

As well as: 

  • galleries, 
  • agents, 
  • dealers, 
  • retailers, 
  • buyers, 
  • sponsors and partners, 
  • commissioners, and 
  • managers of residencies, studios and prizes.

The Code provides guidance on best practice contracts and equitable business practices.  

Why is NAVA revising the Code?

The Code was first published in 2001. While the Code has undergone a number of incremental revisions, so much has changed over the last two decades and this resource is now out-of-date and out-of-step with current legal, social, virtual and economics conditions. A series of 2019 consultations revealed there was great demand from artists and organisations for a full revision and expansion of the Code in order to provide a timely, trusted, accessible resource and best-practice reference for the contemporary arts sector. 

What is the methodology?

Stakeholder engagement is essential to designing a Code that will be practical and useful for the sector. NAVA is proposing to deliver this comprehensive, new Code of Practice via a ten-step process:

  1. Focus group to develop map for the new Code structure;   
  2. Industry consultation meetings online;
  3. A series of discussion papers are prepared in partnership with RMIT School of Art, Terri Janke and Company, and Accessible Arts. The papers are distributed to the industry for feedback. Each discussion paper has a specific focus area and will be staggered to allow time for consideration and conversation; 
  4. NAVA convenes a number of meetings with different groups to discuss issues raised in the consultations, develop accessible formats and tools for the new Code, as well as to synthesise and validate processes; 
  5. Further consultation and feedback based on review of the discussion papers;
  6. New sections for the Code are co-authored and shared with the industry for feedback;  
  7. Artists and designers are commissioned to develop visual material for the new Code;
  8. A plan is established for regular revisions and review of content in order to ensure longevity and continued relevance;
  9. Final edit of the Code together with design and layout;
  10. The new Code will be launched in 2022 via a campaign to build awareness for implementation and pro-active adoption of the new standards by artists, organisations, institutions and policymakers.