The inaugural Code of Practice March 2016 promoted best practice leading to higher standards in the collections industry and was updated by a 2nd Edition from 1 January 2020. The Code operated until 30 June 2023.

ACDBA members work with consumers in financial difficulties to recover debts in relation to accounts owned by and on behalf of original creditors (known as Contingency Collections) or alternatively having purchased accounts from original credit providers on their own behalf (known as Purchase Debt Ledger Collections).

Developed in consultation with key stakeholders including government, regulators, consumer groups and ACDBA members the objective of the Code was to improve the collections environment for both consumers and the industry by:

  • ensuring best practice and good, open and transparent governance in the application and administration of the Code;
  • providing a benchmark for professional behaviour and conduct in connection with ethical and compliant collection activities; and
  • supporting the principles of the Code and identifying the actions that must be taken where a breach of the Code occurs.

The Code complemented laws and regulatory guidance applicable to Australian collectors and with some obligations set higher standards for members to maintain.

By subscribing to the Code, ACDBA members made an important public commitment to their customers as to the value they place on acting ethically and responsibly, embracing strong corporate governance and standards when collecting and buying Consumer Debt including adopting fair and respectful collection practices and maintaining protection of customer privacy.

Administration of the Code was the responsibility of an independent committee known as the Code Monitoring Committee (CMC). The CMC had an Independent Chair, a member representing Consumers and a member representing Subscribers and was governed by the Code Monitoring Committee Charter (Charter) published with the Code. The CMC published an Annual Report available for download below.

The Code had a very low complaints experience with a total of only 17 complaints during its operation and no finding of any Code breach arising from those complaints.  

The Code successfully encouraged Subscribers to review and maintain their operations to meet the code obligations. These standards are now embedded into industry policies & practices and together with increased regulatory, legislative and industry guidance have effectively made the need for the Code redundant as other existing extensive regulatory processes including the Australian Financial Complaints Authority are effectively dealing with consumer complaints. 

The Code ceased to have operative effect for collections transactions of Subscribers on 30 June 2023. Following cessation of the Code, customers have 12 months to lodge any complaint relating to collection activities occurring prior to 30 June 2023 (refer Charter Section C.6.2(a)vi.)

A customer must allow the Subscriber an opportunity to resolve any complaint in relation to collections activity under the Code up until 30 June 2023 through its Internal Dispute Resolution and External Dispute Resolution processes before lodging a Code Complaint.  

All Code Complaints about an alleged breach should be addressed to:

Compliance Manager | ACDBA Code of Practice
C/- Australian Collectors & Debt Buyers Association
PO Box 295 WARATAH NSW 2298
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 02 4925 2099

ACDBA Code of Practice Revised 2nd Edition June 2023
ACDBA Code of Practice 2nd Edition January 2020
ACDBA Code of Practice March 2016
ACDBA Complaints Handling Process Information Sheet
CMC Annual Report for year ended 30 June 2023