Reportable Conduct Schemes

Overview of the Schemes


The use of reportable conduct schemes to oversight the actions of child related staff and volunteers has been used by some jurisdictions for many years. Such schemes have been in effect in New South Wales since 1999 and in the ACT and Victoria since 2017. The other jurisdictions are currently considering such schemes, given that key recommendation of the Royal Commission.
Western Australia and Tasmania have released information about their proposed schemes which have similar characteristic to the long-standing NSW Scheme.

Until recently, the NSW Scheme, was administered by the NSW Ombudsman. The NSW Office of Children’s Guardian now oversights the scheme. The ACT Ombudsman oversights the ACT Scheme and the Commission for Children and Young People oversights the Victorian Scheme.

These schemes are allegation based which require a report to be made, within the specified time period, when the complaint has been received. The notification periods vary, Victoria is 3 days, NSW is 7 days and the ACT is 30 days. 

Allegation based

Under an allegation-based scheme a report must be made to the regulator, when a complaint is received which meets the threshold. Importantly a preliminary assessment should not be conducted to determine whether the allegation is likely to be sustained.

The ACT, NSW and Victorian websites have useful fact sheets on these websites in areas including:

      • The role of the agency and the action it takes to receive, respond and monitor or oversight a notification
      • Reporting requirements by responsible entities (also referred to as designated entities)
      • How to identify whether the alleged conduct is reportable conduct?
      • The requirements to risk manage relevant aspects once a complaint has been received
      • Initiating, planning, conducting and finalising an investigation
      • The responsibilities of an employer
      • Making a finding of reportable conduct

Who the scheme applies to?

The schemes apply to employees, contractors and volunteers for the organisation.

Organisations required to comply with the schemes 

There are often variations in jurisdictions but as a guide the schemes apply to:

  • Government Departments
  • Education and child care sectors
  • Health Services
  • Kinship and foster care organisations
  • Residential care organisations
  • Religious Providers
  • Justice and detention services
  • Disability Services

Depending on the scheme sporting clubs and other child related associations may or may not be required to comply with the scheme.

For example. in the ACT a sporting club does not need to comply with the scheme, however if an allegation was made against a sporting coach of a

School team that plays weekend sport this would be reportable under the scheme.

Types of conduct reportable under the schemes

The types of conduct are:

  • A sexual offence
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Ill-treatment of a child
  • Neglect of a child
  • An assault against a child
  • Failure to protect and report sexual abuse
  • Behaviour that causes significant emotional or psychological harm to a child

The types of behaviours within these categories can vary and it is important to carefully review such fact sheets when determining if the alleged conduct is reportable.

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