NDIS participants are safeguarded by the provider’s incident management system
Incidents are acknowledged, responded to, appropriately managed and learned from.
NDIS providers must meet the following quality indicators:
The provider maintains an incident management system that is relevant and proportional to the size and scale of the provider, as well as the scope and complexity of the services being delivered. The system complies with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Incident Management and Reportable Incidents) Rules 2018
NDIS participants are provided with information related to incident management, including how incidents that involve the participant have been managed
There is demonstrated continuous improvement of the provider’s incident management system through:
Regular reviews of policies and procedures
Reviews of the causes, handling and outcomes of incidents
Input from participants and staff
The use of feedback
All staff are aware of, trained in, and comply with incident management procedures.
What is an Incident?
Firstly, let’s define the term incident.
Under the NDIS, an incident is an act, omission, event or circumstance that meets certain criteria. An incident may be:
An act, omission, event or circumstance that occurred in connection to the provision of care to an NDIS participant that did, or could have, resulted in harm to the participant
An act performed by an NDIS participant in connection with the provision of care that caused serious harm, or the risk of serious harm, to another person
A reportable incident that occurred, or was alleged to have occurred, in connection to the provision of care to an NDIS participant.
The phrase ‘in connection with’ is purposely broad in order to cover incidents that:
Occur during the provision of supports of services
Occur due to the provision, alteration or withdrawal of care
Occur out of the provision of care, but not necessarily during the provision of care.
Where Might Incidents Occur?
The NDIS participant’s home
A residential care setting
The premises of the provider
In the community, where the provider is supporting the participant to access the community.
These incidents must be reported to the NDIS Commission within 24 hours of key personnel from the provider becoming aware of the event or alleged event (within five business days for restrictive practices) (NDIS 2020a).
The NDIS and the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS)
If you are providing NDIS supports in a government-funded residential aged care facility, you must also comply with the requirements of the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS). Ensure that you are aware of your duties and responsibilities under both schemes (ACQSC 2021).
If a reportable incident occurs that affects someone who is both an NDIS participant and a recipient of government-funded residential aged care services, you must notify both the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission of the event (ACQSC 2021).
However, note that the definition of a ‘reportable incident’, as well as the required timeframes for making a notification and the information required, may differ between the NDIS and the SIRS (ACQSC 2021).
For more information on the SIRS, view the following resources:
Name and details of the person making the notification
Name and details of the people involved in the reportable incident (including the NDIS participant)
Name and details of any subjects of the allegation
Description of the reportable incident
Time, date and place of the incident (if known)
Description of the impact or harm caused to the NDIS participant (except for cases of death)
Immediate actions that were taken in response to the incident, including:
Actions related to the health, safety and wellbeing of the NDIS participant
Any medical treatment that was provided
Whether the incident was reported to police or other authorities.
What is an Incident Management System?
The term incident management system describes a group of processes and procedures that are used to manage incidents. If implemented effectively, an incident management system may reduce the risk of preventable death or injury (NDIS 2020).
NDIS providers are responsible for establishing and maintaining an incident management system that addresses any incidents that occur during the provision of services and supports (NDIS 2020a).
An appropriate incident management system should include procedures for:
The Incident Management Process
A staff member identifies an incident or is informed of an allegation of an incident.
The staff member immediately acts to ensure the affected person’s safety and wellbeing.
The staff member follows incident management system processes, including:
Reporting the incident to relevant personnel
Protecting any evidence
Notifying the affected person’s family or support personnel
Contacting relevant authorities (e.g. police)
Relevant personnel conduct an assessment of the incident.
Relevant personnel decide whether the incident is reportable.
If the incident is reportable:
The NDIS Commission is notified and the reportable incident process is followed
The provider investigates the incident or undertakes other actions as directed by the NDIS Commission
The provider takes action in response to the incident
The NDIS Commission is kept updated on the situation. Any requests or directions from the Commission are followed
If the incident is not reportable:
The provider takes action in response to the incident.
Corrective Actions in Response to Reportable Incidents
While some actions will not require further action to be taken, some situations may require corrective steps such as:
Staff training or education
Service environment modification
The development or amendment of policies and procedures