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Your Guide To NDIS Incident Management [+ Policy Template]

Despite best laid plans for your NDIS supports, issues can always occur, making your incident management strategy crucial to stay in compliance and improve your business.

» DOWNLOAD NOW: Your Incident Management Policy Template with Complete Instructions

A good incident management strategy will significantly streamline the serious event of an incident happening and prevent you from jeopardizing your NDIS business. 

Here, we’ll take a look at how the NDIS defines a reportable incident and show you how to streamline the NDIS incident management process.

What Is a “Reportable” Incident?

what is ndis reportable incident

A reportable incident is defined under the NDIS incident management rules as the occurrence of an unwanted event that negatively impacts the overall well-being and safety of NDIS participants.

According to the rules, this includes serious incidents such as:

  • Serious injury
  • Abuse or neglect of a person with disability
  • The use of restrictive practices in particular circumstances
  • Death

These are the types of events no one wants to happen. 

But the unfortunate truth is that they can and do. That’s why it’s important to understand the NDIS incident management process from start to finish.

From the incident occurring to promptly following up with an NDIS incident report, it’s important to have effective processes in place to ensure these unfortunate events are dealt with in a timely and considerate manner.

How To Report an Incident Effectively

An Immediate Notification Form (available both in written form as well as online) needs to be completed within a 24 hour time period by NDIS providers following the occurrence of a reportable incident.

Find the original document below:

To ensure the form is filled out correctly, it’s important that employees of NDIS businesses are well-trained in recording key information pertaining to reportable incidents, such as:

  • What the worker saw and/or heard 
  • The details of any witnesses 
  • The details of what actually happened
  • Avoiding inclusion of any opinion, judgements or interpretations

Workers should pass this key information onto their supervisors. 

It then becomes the role of whoever is named within the NDIS provider’s incident management system as responsible to report the incident.

Filling Out the NDIS Incident Form

For each incident that occurs, it’s mandatory to inform the NDIA of the following:

  • Name of the NDIS Provider
  • Who is making the notification 
  • Persons involved 
  • A description of the reportable incident
  • A description of the harm caused to the person with a disability 
  • The actions taken in response to the incident

As you can imagine, keeping track of all of this information is not easy. CRM tools like Brevity are made specifically to help with keeping all incident information in one place.

The Different Categories of Reportable Incidents

There are several categories of reportable NDIS incidents: 

  • Acts
  • Omissions
  • Events 
  • Circumstances

Reportable incidents occur when providing services to NDIS participants or in relation to acts carried out by an NDIS participant. Here are some examples of reportable incidents.

Injuries To a Person with a Disability

Injuries such as broken bones, deep cuts, burns, significant bruising, and head trauma resulting in concussion or unconsciousness are all considered to be NDIS reportable incidents under the NDIS incident management rules.

The NDIS Commission must be notified upon the instance of a person with a disability being admitted to hospital due to significant injury. However, not all hospital admissions are reportable incidents, only ones that come as a result of serious injury.

Abuse & Neglect of a Person With a Disability

Circumstances whereby a person with a disability is either abused or neglected are considered NDIS reportable incidents. The abuse or neglect may originate from workers, others with a disability, or from anyone else.

Once it has been established that the incident occurred in connection with the provision of NDIS support services an incident report to the NDIS Commission is mandatory.

When it comes to the abuse or suspected abuse of a person with a disability, there are several different criteria which must be considered.

To be an NDIS reportable incident the abuse must be:

  • Physical – non-accidental actions that cause harm
  • Psychological or emotional – treatment that causes mental suffering 
  • Financial – improper use of money and assets (including NDIS funding) 
  • Systemic abuse – failing to provide services appropriate to a person’s age, gender, culture, and/or disability

Neglect of a person with a disability is also an NDIS reportable incident. 

Under the NDIS incident management rules, neglect is defined as the omission of care or failure to act by a NDIS provider or employee thereof. 

Neglect can take the form of:

  • Providing inadequate care
  • Not allowing access to medical care
  • Failing to properly supervise
  • Recklessness
  • Failing to protect (from abuse)

Unlawful Physical Assault 

This type of NDIS reportable incident is defined as using intentional physical force against a person with a disability with the intention to cause harm or fear.

Unlawful physical contact may take the form of:

  • Hitting
  • Slapping
  • Shoving
  • Throwing things
  • Threatening physical harm

It’s important to make an NDIS incident report whenever such incidents occur, or when a person with a disability discloses such information.

Never wait for a police report to be finalised.

Sexual Assault or Misconduct

According to research, people with a disability are more likely to experience incidents of sexual assault than those without a disability. 

The wording used to describe different sexual assault offences varies from state to state.

However, the sexual assault (i.e. non-consenual sex or indecent assualt) is always an NDIS reportable incident. If you would like more information, you can consult the website of the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).

The term ‘sexual misconduct’ refers to behaviour in the form of:

  • Making sexually explicit comments 
  • Behaving in an overtly sexual manner
  • Sexual grooming

All of these are serious offenses and can lead to legal repercussions, including the complete shutdown of an NDIS business, if not reported within 24 hours.

Unauthorised Restrictions

The unauthorised restriction of the rights or freedom of movement of a person with a disability is prohibited under the NDIS Guidelines. This can include the use of restraints or keeping someone secluded and isolated.

Some restrictions may be authorised as part of a behaviour management plan. When the use of a restriction causes serious injury, an NDIS incident report must be made.

Death of a Person with a Disability

It goes without saying that this is the most upsetting outcome for NDIS participants and service providers alike. If a connection between the provision of NDIS support services and the death of a participant is confirmed, then NDIS incident management protocols stipulate that the NDIS Commission must be immediately informed.

Whether or not the person with a disability died of natural or unnatural causes does not alter the fact that the death becomes a reportable incident.

» DOWNLOAD NOW: Your Incident Management Policy Template with Complete Instructions

There is no responsibility on NDIS providers to ascertain the actual cause of death before completing an NDIS incident report.

Implement an Incident Management System Today

brevity laptop

It is crucial to have robust systems in place to record, manage and store essential information in the event of an NDIS reportable incident occurring.

Failing to adequately inform the Commission of a reportable incident within the stated time frame stands in contravention of the NDIS Act.

This could lead to your NDIS business receiving infringement notices or facing other regulatory actions. Software like Brevity Care empowers you to easily manage incident reports and ensure compliance.

Try it out with a free demo today »

Originally published Aug 14 2021

Frequently asked questions

What is a NDIS reportable incident?

An NDIS reportable incident is defined as the occurrence of an unwanted event that negatively impacts the overall well-being and safety of NDIS participants.

How many categories of reportable incidents are there?

There are 4 main categories of reportable incidents: Acts, Omissions, Events, and Circumstances. These are then broken down into individual reportable incidents such as physical assault, death, and more.

How many incidents are reportable to the NDIS Commission?

Reportable incidents are constantly updated by the NDIS commission. Currently there are more than 4000 incidents. You should focus on the potential incidents that pertain to the supports you provide.