Management and prevention of incidents
The Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) sets requirements for providers of aged care services to manage and take reasonable action to prevent incidents. It focuses on older people's:
- quality of life.
Under the SIRS, providers must have an incident management system in place. An effective system will help to:
- identify, manage, and resolve incidents that happen during the delivery of care and services to older people
- prevent future incidents.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) runs the SIRS. Providers must use the My Aged Care provider portal to tell the ACQSC if a reportable incident occurs.
Reportable incidents are:
- unreasonable use of force
- unlawful sexual contact or inappropriate sexual conduct
- psychological or emotional abuse
- unexpected death
- stealing or financial coercion by a staff member
- inappropriate use of restrictive practices
- unexplained absence from care (missing consumers).
The SIRS came into effect in residential aged care on 1 April 2021. The ACQSC extended the scheme to aged care services delivered in home or community settings on 1 December 2022.
Changes to reporting for unlawful sexual contact or inappropriate sexual conduct
From 3 October 2022, providers must report all incidents (or alleged incidents) of unlawful sexual contact or inappropriate sexual conduct as Priority 1 reportable incidents. Providers must report a Priority 1 reportable incident in 24 hours of becoming aware of it to the ACQSC.
This change strengthens safeguards for older people receiving aged care services.
Aged care resources
More information, guidance, and resources are available on the ACQSC’s website.
The Quality of Care Principles 2014 set out the legislative requirements for SIRS and is available on the Federal Register of Legislation.