On this page

Mandatory vaccination for Non-Government Organisation health care workers

An update has been made to the Public Health (COVID-19 Vaccination of Health Care Workers) Order 2021 (Public Health Order) that requires the vaccination of healthcare staff of non-government organisations (NGO) funded by specified NSW Health grants to provide services. This is to support the safety of our people and health consumers across NSW.

An exemption to Clause 4(1)(a) of the Public Health Order has been granted for these staff until 20 October 2021. This means that health care staff in NGOs providing services that are funded by specified NSW Health grants, must have their first vaccination on or before 20 October 2021 and their second vaccination by 30 November 2021. Staff will need to provide evidence to their employer that they have an appointment to receive their first does on or before 20 October 2021.

The mandatory requirement applies to health care staff providing services funded by:

  • a ninisterially approved grant under the NGO Grant Program or
  • a program grant, excluding those grants where the services do not directly involve the provision of health or clinical services.

Existing COVID-19 control measures such as physical distancing, hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment and associated work practices are designed to keep staff, health consumers and visitors to health services in NSW safe from COVID-19.

A requirement for vaccination is a significant additional control measure available to health service providers in NSW to manage the risk of COVID-19 transmission in health workplaces.

NSW Health and other health care providers all share a duty of care to staff and to our most vulnerable health consumers, who are at a heightened risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19.

In developing this update to the Public Health Order, NSW Health has discussed mandatory vaccination with unions, peak groups and health providers.

If relevant staff have not yet received their COVID-19 vaccinations, they need to book now:

  • There are over 3,000 NSW Health vaccination clinics, participating general practices and pharmacies across the State that are open for COVID-19 vaccination bookings.
  • Book by visiting the Australian Government vaccine clinic finder.

It is important that they arrange their COVID-19 vaccination appointment if required and provide evidence that they have an appointment booked prior to 20 October 2021.

If relevant staff have already received a COVID-19 vaccination (either one or both doses) they are required to provide evidence of vaccination status to their organisation.

Please refer to the Frequently asked questions for additional information or contact your grant manager if you have any questions or concerns.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for NSW Health funded NGOs

We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting NSW Health funded NGOs and thank you for your continued partnership in supporting the health and wellbeing of the public. The impact of COVID-19 on service delivery will vary, depending on the nature of the service your NGO provides.


Please be assured that continuity of NSW Health's funding to NGOs will not be impacted if you need to temporarily suspend some elements of your NSW Health funded services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please speak with your grant manager if your NGO is or will have difficulty meeting your agreement requirements with NSW Health. Your grant manager can work with you to support your development of contingency plans that may need to be put in place.

Please speak with your grant manager if you have recommendations for repurposing NSW Health funds to support the viability of your service in the context of COVID-19. Your grant manager can also consider requests to rollover unspent funding to financial year 2020-21, if activities under your agreement cannot take place in financial year 2019-20.

Service continuity

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 you may need to change the way you deliver services to ensure continuity for your clients.

For NGOs needing to amend their service delivery, we encourage you to refer to the points below. Please assess what will be the best possible arrangement in the context of the needs and safety of your clients and staff.

Your grant manager will be available to support your organisation through this planning work.

Clients and staff with underlying illnesses that make them more vulnerable to respiratory disease are at increased risk. NGOs need to assess the best possible approach for interactions with and assistance to these people.

If your service has a suspected case of COVID-19, you must contact the healthdirect hotline on 1800 022 222.

Checklist tool for your organisation

Questions and issues for your NGO to consider when preparing contingency plans in response to the impact of COVID-19 on your service delivery. This checklist is not definitive and will not cover all the issues that your NGO will need to consider. It is a guide only, intended as a practical tool to help get you started.

Latest health advice

NSW Health is continuously updating its website with the latest information on COVID-19, including suspected and confirmed cases. Your NGO should remain informed on these developments and the guidance for all members of the community. Please refer to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) for the most up-to-date health advice. Targeted information is available for:

Your service - resources, service impacts and logistical impacts

  • Should you cancel any services that present high risk? What will be the impacts for clients and how can these be managed?
  • Different modes of service delivery that you could use to reduce the risk of transmission and exposure? (e.g. tele or digital support)
  • Strategies to meet the social distancing requirements including physical changes to your service to limit over-crowding and close physical contact?
  • Strategies to increase routine cleaning, waste management practices etc. to improve infection control procedures?
  • Have you kept your contract manager in the loop on any changes being made and sought their input and advice?


  • Strategies to manage and acknowledge fear and anxiety experienced by clients
  • What precautions might you need to take for any clients who may be more vulnerable to respiratory disease? (e.g. people with underlying illnesses that make them more vulnerable to respiratory disease, including those with diabetes, chronic lung disease, kidney failure, people with suppressed immune systems and older people are at a higher risk of serious disease)
  • A plan for supporting clients during periods of self-isolation
  • What special requirements are needed in relation to the age, demographics and comorbidity of your clients?
  • How are you going to address the ability for clients to access treatment service, should service closure occur?
  • Do you have a communication ready about isolation and treatment access should an individual become infected or be at risk of infection (i.e. through travel or contact with a known case)?
  • How are you enabling and distributing up-to-date information about COVID-19? What is the best way to ensure that clients understand the precautionary measures required?
  • Does your service need to promote multilingual resources about COVID-19 to your clients


  • Strategies for any surge in staff absenteeism
  • Strategies for managing and acknowledge fear and anxiety experienced by staff
  • Are there critical roles or functions performed by specific staff that you need to protect?
  • What measures can you take to reinforce work health and safety requirements, promote staff well-being and prevent fatigue and illness?
  • Are there alternative work arrangements or special leave conditions you should put in place?
  • What additional measures do you need to take with regards to infection control at your service?
  • What level of personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed?
  • What training and education in infection control measures such as hand hygiene and use of PPE is needed?
  • What is the criticality of your service/s?
  • Are there any sub-contractors you need to speak with about their preparedness?
  • Is the Board up to date and providing oversight of your continuity planning?

Non-Government Organisations Communities of Practice

30 clinical communities of practice (COP) have been established across key clinical specialities to support the response to COVID-19.

The NGO-COP meets monthly to share ideas, strategies, local solutions and concerns with respect to COVID-19 pandemic preparedness.

To join the NGO-COP email MOH-NGOGrantProgram@health.nsw.gov.au.

Current as at: Friday 1 October 2021
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW