Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS)
The Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) is helping to reduce abuse and neglect in Australian Government-subsidised residential aged care. The SIRS builds providers’ skills so they can better manage, respond to, and prevent incidents and better support care recipients.
The SIRS for residential aged care
The SIRS commenced on 1 April 2021 and is administered by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (the Commission). The SIRS sets new arrangements for residential aged care providers with a focus on the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of aged care consumers. These arrangements include flexible care in a residential setting, to manage and take reasonable steps to prevent incidents.
The SIRS includes both incident management and reportable incident obligations to strengthen aged care systems and build providers' skills. This enables providers to respond to incidents and provide aged care recipients with the support they need.
Extending the SIRS to in-home aged care services
As part of the 2021-22 Budget, the Australian Government announced it will allocate an initial $14 million to expand the SIRS. This investment is in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
The Government has committed to expanding the SIRS beyond residential care to include in‑home aged care services. This will give greater protections to more than one million senior Australians receiving in-home aged care services.
We consulted during July and August 2021 on the design of the SIRS for in-home aged care services. We sought feedback through four stakeholder workshops and through a public online survey undertaken on our Consultation Hub.
To prepare for the start of SIRS in home care, we strongly encourage all providers to review their Incident Management System, to ensure it is appropriately implemented and effective.
An IMS is critical to identifying, managing and resolving incidents that can occur during the delivery of care and services to consumers. Importantly, it can also help prevent incidents in the future.
We will be communicating to the sector and providing more information on SIRS in home care settings once a start date is finalised.
For more information on the SIRS and how it relates to other aged care requirements, visit the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission's website.
You can also read the:
- Report on the Outcome of Public Consultation on SIRS for in-home aged care
- Improving aged care quality protections: Options for a Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) in home and community aged care
- Report on the Outcome of Public Consultation on the SIRS, which looks at the consultation process completed on the SIRS for residential aged care
- Prevalence Study for a Serious Incident Response Scheme, which looks at incidents of abuse between aged care residents
- Strengthening Protections for Older Australians: Development of Models and Options for a Serious Incident Response Scheme report
Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) contact
Email the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (the Commission) if you have any questions about SIRS for government-subsidised aged care.