NDIS Incident Management – mandatory reporting in disability care


Research by the Disability Royal Commission reveals 50% of adults with a disability have experienced violence. Other research shows more than 40% of adults with a disability have experienced sexual harassment. Mechanisms that prevent reporting include a lack of adequate reporting systems or poor accessibility for the disabled to those systems. These statistics are appalling and disabled people deserve a better quality of care. 

What is NDIS Incident Management?

Mandatory reporting is a legislative requirement under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (the Act) to help reduce the incidents of abuse and neglect of people in disability care. 

Providers of disability care services are required to have an incident management system in place, such as Rely, to help care providers, healthcare professionals, police officers and teachers to report serious incidents.

What incidents must be reported to the NDIS?

Reportable Incidents are specific types of serious incidents that have, or are alleged to have, occurred in connection with the provision of supports and services by registered NDIS providers. 

Under the Act, there are six reportable incidents:

1.       The death of a person with disability

2.     Serious injury of a person with disability

3.     Abuse or neglect of a person with disability

4.     Unlawful sexual or physical contact with, or assault of, a person with disability

5.     Sexual misconduct committed against, or in the presence of, a person with disability, including grooming of the person

6.     The use of a restrictive practice in relation to a person with disability that is unauthorised use or not in accordance with a behaviour support plan

How do I report incidents?

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission have a clear protocol on how NDIS providers must report incidents, which you can view here. This page also clearly outlines the timeframes to notify the NDIS Commission.

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 can we create safer care environments?

The highest priority is always to respond to the immediate needs of people affected by the incident and ensure their health, safety and wellbeing.  However, once an incident has been addressed, consider the broader implications.

Build a physically and psychologically safe culture

  • Ensure all employees understand your organisation’s Code of Conduct, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission guideline and OHS policies and procedures about treating disabled people with the respect and care they deserve.
  • Education leaders on how to provide a psychologically safe environment where people feel safe to speak up. This means leaders must listen to concerns from disabled people, carers, family members and employees. Psychological safety must be a constant, it can’t be switched on in response to an incident, then switched off. 
  • Leaders and managers can’t be everywhere, all the time, to witness or take reports of incidents and near misses, especially when you have a dispersed workforce, such us with home care, where employees work around the clock. A system like Rely helps leaders to listen 24/7 because people can report incidents and near misses anywhere, anytime from desktop, mobile and tablet devices. That information is secure and presented as an issue for case management.

Analyse the incident

  • Use intelligent data analytics to identify the root cause of incidents so you can reduce the risk of the same issue happening again.
  • Aggregate data in one secure location and use dashboards and trend analysis to identify hotspots within your organisation. For example, do incidents occur more frequently at one location, during a particular shift or with a certain group?

Implement actions

  • Use workflows and tools to facilitate thorough investigations and take remedial action.

Close the loop

  • Use insights gained via the investigation to deliver incident management staff training and preventative training in line with roles and responsibilities of workers and management.
  • Review current policies and procedures to ensure that they reflect the NDIS reporting requirements, and to roles and responsibilities.
  • Analyse trends and take proactive, preventative action to protect other elderly people in your care from abuse or neglect.

Take a closer look

Book a demo today to see how Rely will simplify and streamline how you manage serious incidents.

Additional resources

Book a demo

See how Rely helps you manage incidents, comply with NDIS Quality & Safeguarding Commission requirements and safe, inclusive and respectful environments for disabled people in your care.

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