The guidelines are produced by the National Health and Medical Research Council in collaboration with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare, and are accessible in two formats: a new IT platform (MAGICapp), or via a pdf (see 'Download' section below)

Publication Data

Reference number

Table of contents

Accessing and using the guidelines

The guidelines are available on an interactive ‘living guidelines’ platform. This allows for ‘point of care’ use and for the guidelines to be accessed in both online and offline formats across a range of devices through an application or web browser.

  1. Visit MAGICapp
  2. From the guidelines list, click on ‘Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019)’ to view the guidelines.
  3. Look for the NHMRC logo to indicate which guidelines we have authored. Please allow time for the guidelines to load.

Help: How to access and use the guidelines - see 'Download' section below 

If you have any issues accessing the guidelines, please contact


There are over 165,000 healthcare associated infections in Australian acute healthcare facilities every year. This makes healthcare associated infections the most common complication affecting patients in hospital. But this problem does not just affect patients and workers in hospitals — healthcare associated infections can occur in any healthcare setting, including office-based practices (e.g. general practice clinics, dental clinics, community health facilities), the setting in which paramedics work and long-term care facilities. 

Effective infection prevention and control is central to providing high quality healthcare for patients and a safe working environment for those who work in healthcare settings. The guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations that outline the critical aspects of infection prevention and control, focusing on core principles and priority areas for action. 

The guidelines are for use by all working in healthcare – including healthcare workers, management and support staff. They provide a risk-management framework to ensure the basic principles of infection prevention and control can be applied to a wide range of healthcare settings. The level of risk may differ in different types of healthcare facilities; risk assessments are encouraged as part of the decision making and use of guideline recommendations. 

When implementing these recommendations all healthcare facilities need to consider the risk of transmission of infection and implement according to their specific setting and circumstances.

The Process Report is available at Appendix 3 of the guideline.

Process to maintain the 'living guideline' 

This is NHMRC’s first ‘living’ guideline. Living guidelines allow NHMRC to easily adapt or update the Guideline if the body of evidence changes. This ‘living guideline’, housed on the MAGICapp platform, has the express purpose of being able to be used on any tablet, phone or computer. A PDF has been developed to assist any users who cannot access the MAGICapp version. 

To ensure currency of evidence and best clinical practice, NHMRC welcomes feedback on the Australian Guideline for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare.

Stakeholders can contact the Infection Prevention and Control team with suggested edits, new evidence and any other information that may be relevant to future versions of the Guideline. NHMRC has a staged approach to dealing with these suggestions including how the MAGIC app guideline will be updated. 

Minor updates

  • Minor updates may include correcting references or typographical errors. These minor updates will be undertaken by NHMRC. 
  • Minor updates will be communicated through an Updates table in both the MAGICapp (as an appendix) and on the NHMRC website where people are accessing the PDF version of the Guidelines. Users of the Guideline can quickly see where changes have been made. 

Major updates

  • Major updates may be required if newly available evidence is deemed significant by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare, or the Council of NHMRC . 
  • NHMRC will discuss new evidence with the Commission in the first instance.
  • If the evidence review results in only a small edit/revision and the recommendations are not affected, a targeted consultation may suffice. 
  • If both agencies agree that a major update is warranted and/or if any of the recommendations require significant revision, a formal revision will be activated and an expert committee established to advise on the revision, in accordance with the NHMRC Act (1992). The revised/edited guideline will require public consultation. NHMRC will lead this process, with Commission input.
  • Major edits will be advised through NHMRC’s regular communication activities including website updates, Tracker notices and/or emails to key stakeholders. 

Recent updates 

As amendments occur, the Table of Recent Updates below will be revised to ensure users are aware of all changes to the Guidelines.

Amended Type Amended Detail Date Updated 
  • Updated the position of the members of the Infection Control Guidelines Advisory Committee. 
  • Updated Table A2.5 - the required precautions and added additional comments on Bronchiolitis, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Rhinovirus. 
  • Minor grammatical update.
June 2019
  • Updated Table A2.5 – required precautions for Herpes Zoster (localised shingles).
August 2019
  • Glossary update – single-use and single-use devices.
  • Antimicrobial-coated sutures. 
  • Minor grammatical update.
October 2019
  • Updated Table A2.5 - required precautions for Rhinovirus.  
November 2019
  • Updated Table A2.5 - required precautions for Herpes Zoster (localised shingles).
  • Revised - Section 3.1.6 Aseptic Technique & Section Example – Aseptic Non-Touch Technique (ANTT®).
  • Glossary Update – Aseptic Technique Definition 
December 2019


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