What is SIRS?

SIRS is a proposed approach to help aged care service providers:

  • reduce the risk of abuse and neglect in aged care
  • respond to and manage serious incidents that occur in residential aged care
  • support care recipients affected by a serious incident

SIRS will sit alongside other requirements such as:

In March 2019, the Australian Government released the KPMG report Strengthening Protections for Older Australians: Development of Models and Options for a Serious Incident Response Scheme.

Why is SIRS important?

All Australians have a right to live free from abuse and neglect. This is a human right, current law and a reasonable community expectation.

Older people also have specific rights when receiving government-subsidised aged care services.

What are the goals of SIRS?

SIRS aims to:

  • strengthen governance in aged care to reduce the risk of abuse and neglect
  • build providers’ skills so they can better respond to serious incidents
  • ensure people receiving aged care have the support they need

What are we doing now?

In the 2019–20 Budget, the Government provided $1.5 million to prepare for introducing SIRS, including:

  • public consultation on the details of SIRS
  • a study for a possible register of staff for the aged care sector
  • research into incidents between aged care residents (currently not reportable) to help redefine what serious incidents are

The public consultation closed on 11 October 2019. 

In January 2020, the Australian Government released the Report on the Outcome of Public Consultation.


Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) contact

Email us if you have any questions about SIRS for government-subsidised aged care.

SIRS [at] health.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
7 February 2020