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Department of Human Services

Disability SA Bulletin 110 - Reporting requirements for state-funded clients

July 2018 - Reporting requirements for state-funded clients

Although the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (Commission) began in South Australia as of 1 July 2018, state-based reporting requirements still apply for state clients:

  • who are not yet receiving services through the NDIS
  • while they continue to receive state-funded services.

Safeguarding people with disability from abuse, harm and neglect is every disability service provider’s responsibility and is an important part of everyday practice. Your Master Agreement and Deed Poll outline your role and responsibilities with regard to the successful prevention of abuse, harm and neglect to the people who receive your services.

Complaint and incident management notification and reporting requirements

As a Registered Disability Services Provider Panel (DSPP) provider, you must continue to report serious complaints, incidents, care concerns and critical client incidents to the Department of Human Services (DHS), Incident Management Unit for consideration and resolution, for state-funded clients who are yet to fully transition to the NDIS.

A ‘critical client incident’ is an event (or alleged event) that occurs as a result of, or during the delivery of, services directly provided by a service provider and has caused or is likely to cause significant negative impact to the health, safety or wellbeing of a client or service recipient. Critical client incidents will usually require a crisis response, incident management, coordination and consideration of a range of risks and sensitivities.

A ‘serious care concern’ is a breach in care standards where the alleged actions of a staff member, volunteer, contractor or person on placement, or general organisational practices, have placed people with disability at significant risk or immediate danger of serious harm or have already caused a person with disability serious harm.

You must notify the Department of the death of any state-funded client as soon as reasonably practical. You are also required to fulfil any critical client incident reporting requirements that may be required in relation to the death of a state client.

Issues regarding the immediate safety and wellbeing of clients involved in incidents or complaints remain the responsibility of  the service provider. Reporting an incident or complaint does not alter your responsibility in this regard. It should be noted that it is not expected that clients would address critical client incidents or serious care concerns with their service provider.

Reports must be made as soon as practicable (or within close of business on the next business day) to the Director Incident Management or Manager Feedback and Incident Review.

Additional reporting obligations

Providers are responsible for ensuring the following additional reporting requirements are met for state-funded clients where required:

  • where a critical client incident or serious care concern may constitute a criminal offence or if police attendance is necessary to ensure the safety of those involved in the incident or restore order, the incident must immediately be reported to the South Australia Police (SAPOL).
  • all mandatory reporting requirements are met under the Children’s Protection Act 1993 (SA), including those identified in the Child-Safe Environments Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect: Guidelines for Mandated Notifiers, and any other such requirements
  • SAPOL or the State Coroner are immediately notified of the death of a client in accordance with the Coroners Act 2003 after a provider becomes aware that it is, or may be, a reportable death. This notification is not necessary if the person believes on reasonable grounds that the death has already been reported.
  • comply with the investigation processes and procedures of the Department for Child Protection where applicable.

All matters reported to the Incident Management Unit involving state clients receiving state-funded services will be reviewed and assessed to determine:

  • whether the complaint, incident, critical client incident or serious care concern involves a state client receiving state-funded services from a DSPP provider
  • whether  the matter is a complaint, incident, critical client incident or serious care concern
  • the risk level based upon the information that is available at the time and which gives consideration to the health, safety and wellbeing of the client
  • management required
  • referral of the matter to another appropriate authority, or
  • whether an investigation by DHS Incident Management Unit, Investigations is warranted.

All complainants will be advised that if they are unhappy with the outcome of their incident/complaint that they can report their concerns to a relevant external statutory complaints body, such as the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner or the South Australian Ombudsman.

Notifying the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

The Incident Management Unit will notify the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission of any complaints or reportable incidents affecting NDIS participants in connection with the provision of NDIS supports and services where these occur after 1 July 2018.

Contact: Trevor Lovegrove

Phone: 8207 0490


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Provided by:
SA Department for Human Services
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
18 Jan 2020
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