Incident management and reportable incidents (NDIS Providers)

NDIS providers that are registered with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission require an incident management system to record and manage incidents that occur in connection with providing supports and services to people with disability.

What is an Incident Management System?

Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Incident Management and Reportable Incidents) Rules 2018 an Incident Management System must cover:

  • 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 have or are alleged to have occurred in connection with providing NDIS supports or services to a person with disability.

As a registered provider, you are responsible for preventing, responding to, and managing these incidents. Your incident management system needs to include procedures for identifying, assessing, recording, managing, resolving and reporting incidents. You must record all these incidents (not just reportable incidents) and ensure you respond appropriately and take steps to prevent such incidents from happening again.

The NDIS Commission has developed guidance to assist you in developing or improving your incident management systems 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 the NDIS Commission if required and to any approved quality auditor as part of the auditor’s assessment of your compliance.

Reportable incidents in the NDIS

All NDIS providers – registered or unregistered – are responsible for the delivery of quality and safe NDIS supports and services.

Registered NDIS providers are required to record and manage all incidents that happen in the delivery of NDIS supports and services in their internal incident management systems, and notify the NDIS Commission of reportable incidents.

Registered NDIS providers must notify the NDIS Commission of all reportable incidents (including allegations), even where the provider has recorded and responded within their own incident management system.

For an incident to be reportable a certain act or event needs to have happened (or alleged to have happened) in connection with the provision of supports or services by the registered NDIS provider. 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
  • Unauthorised use of restrictive practices in relation to a person with disability.

If a reportable incident raises a serious compliance issue, the NDIS Commission has powers to take regulatory action. Action might include requiring the provider to undertake specified remedial action, carry out an internal investigation about the incident, or engage an independent expert to investigate and report on the incident. The NDIS Commission can also conduct its own investigation and take appropriate enforcement action such as issuing a compliance notice or asking a court to impose a civil penalty.

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

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

The NDIS Commission has developed a guidance about reportable incidents and NDIS Commission expectations.

How to notify the NDIS Commission of a Reportable Incident from 1 July 2019

There are key steps for registered NDIS providers to notify the NDIS Commission about reportable incidents. These are outlined below.

From 1 July 2019 registered NDIS Providers in ACT, SA, NSW, NT, QLD, TAS and VIC should use the NDIS Commission Portal ‘My Reportable Incidents’ page to notify and manage all reportable incidents.

STEP 1. Notify the NDIS Commission

  • The Immediate Notification Form must be submitted via the NDIS Commission Portal within 24 hours of key personnel becoming aware of a reportable incident or allegation.
  • The Immediate Notification Form includes a number of sections and questions, concerning details of the reportable incident, actions taken in response to the incident and the individuals involved in the incident.
  • An exception to this rule is notifying the NDIS Commission of the use of a restrictive practice that is unauthorised or not in accordance with a behavior support plan. In these instances, the provider must notify the NDIS Commission within five business days of being made aware of the incident. If however, the incident has resulted in harm to a person with disability, it must be reported within 24 hours.
  • To notify the NDIS Commission of an incident the authorised ‘Notifier’ or ‘Approver’ needs to login to the NDIS Commission Portal and select ‘My Reportable Incidents’ tile at the top of the screen. From here, you will be able to complete an Immediate Notification Form.
  • The NDIS Commission suggests the ‘Authorised Reportable Incidents Approver’ is the person you want to have the authority to review and be responsible for submission to the NDIS Commission. This could be the person specified in your incident management system who is responsible for reporting incidents to the NDIS Commission. The authorised ‘Approver’ will have the ability to submit new Reportable Incidents and view previous Reportable Incidents submitted by their organisation.
  • The NDIS Commission suggests the ‘Authorised Reportable Incidents Notifier’ is a supporting team member who can assist the ‘Authorised Reportable Incidents Approver’ to collate and report the required information. The authorised ‘Notifier’ will have the ability to create new Reportable Incident notifications to be saved as a draft for review and submission by the authorised ‘Approver’. The authorised ‘Notifier’ will need to inform the authorised ‘Approver’ that the Incident is awaiting their review and submission. The ‘Notifier’ can also view past Reportable Incidents they have created through the page.

STEP 2: Submit a 5 Day Form

  • The 5 Day form must be submitted via the ‘My Reportable Incidents’ portal within five business days of key personnel becoming aware of a reportable Incident. This provides additional information and actions taken by the NDIS registered provider.
  • The five-day form is also to be used for incidents involving the unauthorised use of a restrictive practice, other than those resulting in immediate harm of a person with disability.

STEP 3. Submit a final report, if required

  • You may be required to provide a final report at the request of the NDIS Commission. When this is the case, the NDIS Commission will provide this form to you via email.

There are key considerations for registered NDIS providers. In all cases, providers must assess:

  • The impact on the NDIS participant.
  • Whether the incident could have been prevented.
  • How the incident was managed and resolved.
  • What, if any, changes will prevent further similar events occurring.
  • Whether other persons or bodies need to be notified.

Where appropriate, the NDIS Commission may require a provider to take remedial measures. The NDIS Commission may work with the provider to implement these measures, and monitor progress. Remedial measures may include, but are not limited to, additional staff training and development or improved services to support NDIS participants and updating policies and procedures.

For further information including hints and tips, please refer to the Reportable Incidents Frequently Asked Questions.

What to do if you cannot report with the NDIS Commission Portal

On occasion providers may experience difficulty accessing, using or submitting via the NDIS Commission portal ‘My Reportable Incidents’ page. This may occur when:

  • The registered NDIS provider does not have access to PRODA
  • The registered NDIS provider does not have access to the NDIS Commission Portal
  • There is a technical IT issue the user cannot resolve with the quick reference guides or with the available support and it is outside of business hours
  • The NDIS commission portal is unavailable due to system updates and maintenance
  • In these circumstances, providers must take all reasonable steps to resolve the issues within the required timeframe by calling the NDIS Commission for support.

Outside of business hours and if all reasonable steps have been taken, a provider should advise the NDIS Commission of these issues as soon as possible via email to reportableincidents@ndiscommission.gov.au with an email that includes:

  • The steps taken to complete the authorised notification form and the presenting issue
  • The name of the impacted person
  • Describe the immediate response and step taken to ensure the impacted person was safe
  • Brief description of the reportable incident
  • Whether other authorities, such as the police, were notified

You will receive an automated response from the NDIS Commission acknowledging receipt. As soon as practical, you will need to progress completion of the 24-hour form. If you continue having difficulties please refer to the website for detailed guidance or contact the Commission on 1800 035 544.

If the NDIS Commission portal or “My Reportable Incidents” page is unavailable for a period the NDIS Commission Reportable Incidents team may: