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Ensuring the safety and well-being of participants is paramount for NDIS service providers, making incident reporting a vital aspect of their responsibilities. Handling incidents effectively – which includes preparing clear and detailed incident reports – is not just a regulatory obligation but also a key element in maintaining quality standards, protecting participants and safeguarding your NDIS business against issues down the track.

What is an NDIS reportable incident?

According to the NDIS Commission’s incident management rules, a reportable incident is the occurrence of an unwanted event that negatively impacts the overall well-being and safety of NDIS participants. While these events are undoubtedly undesirable, it’s crucial to understand how to navigate them should they occur. Types of reportable incidents include injury, abuse, restrictions and death. Further information to assist in determining the type of incident that has occurred is as follows:

Serious injury

Events that result in significant harm, including broken bones, deep cuts, burns, bruising and head trauma.

Abuse and neglect

Any form of mistreatment, whether physical, psychological, emotional, financial or systemic.

Unlawful physical assault

Intentional physical force, such as hitting, slapping, shoving, throwing things or threatening physical harm.

Sexual assault or misconduct

Non-consensual sexual acts or indecent assault, as well as inappropriate behaviour or grooming.

Unauthorised restrictions

Prohibition of rights or freedom of movement, including the unauthorised use of restraints or isolation.

What are the reporting responsibilities of the NDIS?

The framework for managing and reporting incidents under the NDIS is designed to protect the rights and safety of its participants. Registered NDIS providers are obligated to report certain incidents and maintain an effective incident management system, as outlined in the NDIS Practice Standards, as a condition of registration. This system should outline procedures for identifying, managing and resolving incidents. Whether you are registered or unregistered, it is essential to have an effective incident management system, as all NDIS providers must comply with the Code of Conduct.

Timeframes for reporting

Most reportable incidents must be notified to the NDIS Commission within 24 hours, followed by a detailed report within five business days. The unauthorised use of restrictive practices must be reported within five business days, with a final report potentially required within 60 business days.

Records and documentation

Providers must maintain clear records of incidents, including impact assessments, preventive measures and notifications to relevant authorities. An effective incident management system is not only a regulatory requirement but a proactive step towards preventing future incidents and fostering continuous improvement.

How do I write an NDIS report?

Writing an NDIS incident report involves a systematic approach. It’s important to use objective language and quantifiable data and communicate concisely. NDIS incident report templates are a helpful tool to guide support workers in writing their incident reports, as they outline the relevant information to include.

What do NDIS incident report templates include?

A comprehensive NDIS incident report template will include:

  • The details of who is completing the report
  • Relevant participant information
  • A description of the incident
  • The impact on the participant
  • The date, time and place that the incident occurred
  • Witness contact information
  • Any actions taken (including whether the incident was reported to the police)

What else may be required as part of an NDIS incident report?

Additional categories of the incident report may cover:

  • Outlining ongoing support you have planned in response to the incident
  • Articulating the reasons why the incident was considered reportable
  • Providing information about any investigations conducted into the incident
  • Undertaking an updated risk assessment and indicating measures to prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future

Additional considerations for your business’ NDIS incident report system

While incident reports can be written within progress notes, the above specific information must be included and stored in an easily accessible location. External reporting may be necessary for certain incidents, emphasising the need for a detailed incident report process within the organisation. Be sure to create a comprehensive incident report policy that adheres to the relevant NDIS standards.

Ensuring quality care with a robust incident management system

Incident reports are an unfortunate but necessary element of NDIS service delivery and participant care, meaning that it’s important for NDIS businesses to be able to create and populate them efficiently and to a high standard. Utilising NDIS software that includes a range of incident-specific report templates will streamline the reporting process, empowering support workers to consistently produce clear, well-structured and detailed reports. This approach will enhance safety standards, elevate the quality of care your NDIS business provides, and facilitate precise record-keeping. Embracing the power of effective incident reporting ensures that NDIS businesses are able to uphold their commitment to participant safety and regulatory compliance.

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