Department of Human Services

Disability SA Bulletin 92 - update from the Office of the Senior Practitioner

January 2016 - Activities by the Office of the Senior Practitioner during 2015 and coming up in 2016.

The Office of the Senior Practitioner (OSP) is the Senior Practitioner, Professor Richard Bruggemann and Chief Project Officer, Sam Patterson.

We lead initiatives for reducing the use of restrictive practices in the South Australian disability services sector (the sector) that are consistent with:

  • the Disability Services Act (1993)
  • the National Framework for Reducing and Eliminating the Use of Restrictive Practices in the Disability Service Sector
  • the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion's Safeguarding People with Disability - Restrictive Practices Policy
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme developments.

2015 OSP activities

  • Facilitating three professional development sessions.
    These were targeted to raise awareness and build capacity in the sector, to assist in the reduction in the use of restrictive practices. The sessions included 'Personal Power' delivered by the SA Learning Centre, 'Protecting Liberty' delivered by the Senior Practitioner and the Public Advocate and 'Taking Positive Behaviour Support Plans Out of the Filing Cabinet and into the Frontline of Practice' delivered by Psychologist Monique Gillissen. All sessions were provided at no cost to providers.
  • Providing restrictive practices awareness raising sessions for TAFE SA students studying Certificate III in Disability.
  • Assembling a Restrictive Practices Governing Committee comprised of a service user member, government and non-government sector representatives. This committee is chaired by the Senior Practitioner and is a sector-led body to address the use of restrictive practices. Meetings will resume in 2016.
  • Contributing to the revision of the DCSI's 'Safeguarding People with Disability – Restrictive Practices Policy'. All DCSI-funded disability service providers are required to ensure definitions, procedures, guidelines and standards align with this policy and the three other policies within the safeguarding suite available on this site.
  • Finalising a protocol with the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS).
    The protocol describes the requirements for Community Visitors to identify and report to the OSP on the use of restrictive practices in the sector's supported accommodation services. The Senior Practitioner also conducts a training session with each new intake of Community Visitors.
  • Representing South Australia in developing the 'National Disability Insurance Scheme's Quality and Safeguards Framework'.
  • Launching our OSP web section on this site. 

2016 activities

The OSP will continue in 2016 to meet with individuals with disability, families and a range of disability service providers around South Australia.

Finalise the 'Guideline for the Recording and Reporting of the use of Restrictive Practices'

This guideline will describe the requirements for all DCSI-funded disability service providers to record their use of restrictive practices:

  • within their existing information management systems
  • where this is not currently occurring.

This data collection is intended to provide a method for providers to gather evidence to better identify where they can make service improvements to actively reduce the use of restrictive practices.

Monitoring of the recording of restrictive practices within disability service organisations will take place by the OSP, CVS and others as advised. The guideline will be launched with an information sharing session when finalised.

Contribute to revising the 'Disability Services Positive Behaviour Support Framework' 

The revision will provide guidance to government and non-government disability service providers to address restrictive practices by implementing positive environments and positive behaviour support practices. This project is being led by the Restrictive Practices Governing Committee.

More 2016 OSP activities

  • Developing a sector-wide code of practice.
  • Finalising a protocol with the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner and the Office of the Public Advocate.
  • Implementing additional professional development resources.

Email the OSP at for more information.

Contact: Sam Patterson

Phone: +618 8415 4362


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