Reportable conduct

Organisation-related child protection

The Reportable Conduct Scheme aims to improve child protection within organisations in the ACT.

The scheme requires certain organisations who work with children to:

  • report allegations of child abuse and misconduct to the ACT Ombudsman
  • develop policies and procedures to prevent and respond to child abuse.

The Ombudsman provides support and practice guidelines to help organisations do this.

If organisations suspect criminal conduct, they must also report to the police.

What is reportable conduct?

Reportable conduct covers allegations or convictions of child abuse or misconduct toward children. Organisations must report allegations of reportable conduct by an employee or volunteer, including:

  • ill-treatment of a child (such as emotional abuse or use of force)
  • neglect
  • psychological harm
  • misconduct of a sexual nature
  • sexual or physical offences and convictions where a child is a victim or is present
  • inappropriate discipline or not protecting children from harm.

For more information see the ACT Ombudsman Practice Guide No. 2: Identifying Reportable Conduct.

Which organisations are in the scheme?

Organisations covered by the scheme are called designated entities and include:

  • all ACT directorates
  • health services
  • kinship and foster care organisations
  • residential care organisations
  • government and non-government schools
  • religious bodies
  • child care services
  • education and care service providers, including after school care.

Organisations providing services to children that are not covered under the scheme include:

  • sporting clubs
  • organisations which provide instruction in a particular activity (e.g. ballet, piano, swimming)
  • Scouts and Girl Guides
  • universities.

The scheme does not cover personal arrangements such as babysitting or private tuition.

How long will it take?

When we receive a new notification from an organisation about an allegation of reportable conduct (s 17G notification) we assess the initial response by the organisation, such as its reporting to other bodies, its risk assessment and investigation plan. This enables the organisation to take into account our feedback during its investigation. We aim to do this within 7 days in 80 per cent of cases.

When we receive a final report from an organisation following its investigation into reportable conduct allegations (s 17J report) we consider whether there was a proper investigation and appropriate action taken and whether we need further information from the organisation. This gives the organisation reasonable opportunity to act on our feedback or provide further information. We aim to complete this within 28 days in 80 per cent of cases.

More information

Reportable Conduct for Organisations provides an overview of organisation responsibilities

Reportable Conduct Resource Kit contains detailed information including guidelines, definitions, forms and brochures.

Information sessions about reportable conduct are run throughout the year. These sessions are for leaders and managers of organisations. Registration is required. To register please email your name, email address, organisation and positional title to act@ombudsman.gov.au. Below is the list of upcoming session times:

  • No sessions are currently scheduled