Incident management and reportable incidents (NDIS Providers)

Managing incidents effectively is an essential part of providing quality and safe disability supports and services.

All NDIS providers have obligations under the NDIS Code of Conduct, including:

  • Provide supports and services in a safe and competent manner, with care and skill.
  • Promptly take steps to raise and act on concerns about matters that may impact the quality and safety of supports and services provided to people with disability.
  • Take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against, and exploitation, neglect and abuse of, people with disability.
  • Take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct.

The effective management of incidents supports NDIS providers to meet the above obligations.

NDIS providers that are registered with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission must, as a condition of registration, have an incident management system to record and manage incidents that occur in connection with providing supports and services to people with disability.

Registered NDIS providers must also notify the NDIS Commission of all reportable incidents (including alleged reportable incidents) that occur in connection with the NDIS supports or services they deliver.

What is an incident management system?

An incident management system is a set of processes and procedures used to manage incidents. Effective incident management practices can reduce preventable deaths, serious injuries and other serious incidents. All NDIS providers, registered and unregistered, can benefit from implementing an incident management system.

Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Incident Management and Reportable Incidents) Rules 2018 all registered NDIS providers must implement and maintain a system to record and manage incidents that happen in connection with providing supports or services to people with disability. Compliance with these rules is a condition of registration.

The incidents that must be recorded and managed are:

  • Acts, omissions, events or circumstances that occur in connection with providing NDIS supports or services to a person with disability and have, or could have, caused harm to the person with disability
  • Acts by a person with disability that occur in connection with providing NDIS supports or services to the person with disability and which have caused serious harm, or a risk of serious harm, to another person
  • Reportable incidents that are alleged to have occurred in connection with providing NDIS supports or services to a person with disability.

As a registered NDIS provider, you are responsible for, identifying, managing and resolving incidents. Your incident management system needs to include procedures for identifying, assessing, recording, managing, resolving and reporting incidents. You must ensure you respond appropriately and take steps to prevent such incidents from happening again. You are also required to keep the records on your incident management system (including records about reportable incidents) for a period of 7 years.

We have developed guidance to assist you in developing or improving your incident management system to meet the requirements for the size and scope of your organisation and the services and supports you deliver.

You need to be prepared to make your incident records available to us if required and to any approved quality auditor as part of the auditor’s assessment of your compliance with your conditions of registration.

Reportable incidents in the NDIS

As a registered NDIS provider, you must notify the NDIS Commission of all reportable incidents (including alleged reportable incidents) that occur (or are alleged to have occurred) in connection with the provision of NDIS supports or services you deliver, even where you have recorded and responded within your own incident management system. It is a condition of your registration that you comply with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Rules about notifying us of reportable incidents.

For an incident to be reportable, a certain act or event needs to have happened (or be alleged to have happened) in connection with the provision of supports or services. This includes:

  • the death of a person with disability
  • serious injury of a person with disability
  • abuse or neglect of a person with disability
  • unlawful sexual or physical contact with, or assault of, a person with disability
  • sexual misconduct, committed against, or in the presence of, a person with disability, including grooming of the person with disability for sexual activity
  • use of a restrictive practice in relation to a person with disability where the use is not in accordance with an authorisation (however described) of a state or territory in relation to the person, or if it is used according to that authorisation but not in accordance with a behaviour support plan for the person with disability

If there is no authorisation process (however described) of a state or territory in relation to the use of the restrictive practice, its use is not a reportable incident if the use is in accordance with a behaviour support plan.

When the Commission receives a reportable incident report, we can take a range of actions. This might include requiring you to undertake specified remedial steps, carry out an internal investigation about the incident, or engage an independent expert to investigate and report on the incident. If a reportable incident raises a serious compliance issue, we have powers to take regulatory action. We can conduct our own investigation and take appropriate enforcement or compliance action such as issuing an infringement notice, a compliance notice or asking a court to impose a civil penalty for a breach of the NDIS Act.

We take a responsive and proportionate approach to regulation, providing guidance to build the capacity of NDIS providers to prevent and respond to incidents where possible. We will work with NDIS providers to help them comply with the quality and safeguards requirements, including through education and training about their obligations.

When notifying us of a reportable incident, you must follow the set processes and provide the required information as set out on the ‘My Reportable Incidents’ page on the NDIS Commission Portal.

Timeframes for notifying the NDIS Commission about reportable incidents

When a reportable incident occurs, or is alleged to have occurred in connection with the NDIS supports or services you deliver, you must notify us using the NDIS Commission Portalwithin the required timeframes (set out below). The timeframes are calculated from when a registered NDIS provider became aware that the incident occurred, or was alleged to have occurred.

Reportable incident

Required timeframe

death of a person with disability

24 hours

serious injury of a person with disability

24 hours

abuse or neglect of a person with disability

24 hours

unlawful sexual or physical contact with, or assault of, a person with disability

24 hours

sexual misconduct committed against, or in the presence of, a person with disability, including grooming of the person for sexual activity

24 hours

the use of a restrictive practice in relation to a person with disability if the use is not in accordance with a required state or territory authorisation and/or not in accordance with a behaviour support plan.

Five business days

Reporting is required even when you have acted and responded to incidents in accordance with your own incident management system. Failure to report within the statutory timeframes is a contravention of the NDIS Act and could lead to infringement notices or other compliance actions.

How to notify the NDIS Commission about a reportable incident

Registered NDIS providers should use the NDIS Commission Portal 'My Reportable Incidents' page to notify and manage all reportable incidents.

For further information see How to notify the NDIS Commission about a reportable incident.

Resources to support incident reporting, management and prevention

These resources are designed to support NDIS providers to meet their obligations under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 and to develop effective incident management systems. They provide information on the benefits of effective incident management, reportable incident obligations and timeframes, and incident management system requirements.

Resources for NDIS providers:

Videos:

Resources for workers:

Resources for participants:

NDIS Commission Portal reportable incident resources: