Reportable Conduct Scheme

The Reportable Conduct Scheme seeks to improve organisations’ responses to allegations of child abuse and neglect by their workers and volunteers.

 

 

What is the Reportable Conduct Scheme?

The Reportable Conduct Scheme seeks to improve organisations’ responses to allegations of child abuse and neglect by their workers and volunteers. The scheme is established by the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005.

It has been designed to ensure that the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) will be aware of every allegation of certain types of employee misconduct involving children in relevant organisations that identified in the schedules below.

The Commission will also share information where appropriate, including with the Working with Children Check Unit relevant regulators and Victoria Police, to prevent and protect children from abuse.

For more information, see:

What is reportable conduct?

There is an allegation of 'reportable conduct' where a person has a reasonable belief that there has been:

  • a sexual offence (even prior to criminal proceedings commencing)
  • sexual misconduct
  • physical violence committed against, with or in the presence of a child
  • behaviour causing significant emotional or psychological harm
  • significant neglect of a child
  • misconduct involving any of the above.

The scope of 'reportable conduct' is wide and is not limited to criminal conduct.This means that reportable conduct includes:

  • sexual abuse
  • grooming
  • sexting
  • inappropriate physical contact
  • sexualised behaviour with a child.

Reportable conduct includes information about something that is alleged to have occurred outside the course of the person's employment or engagement with the Department.

When will my organisation be affected?

The Reportable Conduct Scheme is being introduced as a phased approach between 1 July 2017 and 1 January 2019.

An organisation may provide services or activities that put it in more than one phase of the Reportable Conduct Scheme. If your organisation falls into more than one phase, your organisation as a whole is within the scheme from the earliest phase.

This means that once part of your organisation is within the scheme, all of your organisation is within the scheme, and you must notify the Commission and investigate reportable allegations across your whole organisation.

Find out when your organisation will be affected:

Phase 1: 1 July 2017 (Schedule 3)

  • an organisation that operates a registered government or non-government school (including a school-run early childhood service)
  • an organisation that is registered in respect of an accredited senior secondary course or registered senior secondary qualification
  • an organisation that is approved to:
    • provide certain courses to students from overseas
    • operate an overseas student exchange program
  • an organisation that is:
    • a disability service provider that provides residential services for children with a disability
    • a mental health service provider with inpatient beds
  • an organisation that receives State Government funding and:
    • is a drug or alcohol treatment service with in-patient beds
    • is a housing service or other assistance to homeless persons with overnight beds for children and young people
    • provides child protection services
  • an organisation that is an out-of-home care service
  • Victorian Government departments.

Phase 2: 1 January 2018 (Schedule 4)

  • religious bodies
  • an organisation that:
    • operates a residential facility for a boarding school
    • provides overnight camps for children as part of its primary activity (except certain youth organisations)
    • is a hospital
    • is a public health service
  • an organisation that provides disability services, including but not limited to, registered disability service providers.

Phase 3: 1 January 2019 (Schedule 5)

  • approved education and care services (e.g. kindergartens, after school hours care services)
  • children’s services (e.g. occasional care providers)
  • certain prescribed art centres, libraries, museums, zoos, parks and gardens.

What does it mean for my organisation?

Once your organisation is covered under the Reportable Conduct Scheme, the head of your organisation must

  • have in place systems to prevent child abuse and if alleged ensure the allegation can be bought to the attention of the appropriate person for investigation and response
  • notify the Commission for Children and Young People of the allegation
  • keep the Commission updated on your organisation’s response to an allegation.

How does this relate to the Child Safe Standards?

If you are already following the guidelines from the Child Safe Standards, your organisation is well-equipped to comply with the Reportable Conduct Scheme.

If you operate an education and care service under the Education and Care Services National Law 2010 or the Children’s Services Act 1996, you are still required to make the appropriate notifications the Department of Education and Training and if necessary, Victoria Police.

If you are required to make a mandatory report including child protection, you are also required to make this notification.

What is the Commission’s Regulatory Approach?

The Commission is focused on providing information, guidance and support to organisations to help them meet their obligations under the Reportable Conduct Scheme.

In the initial stages of the Reportable Conduct Scheme, the Commission expects that organisations will use their best endeavours to meet the requirements of the scheme.

During this time, the Commission’s approach will focus on working with organisations to ensure they understand their obligations to report and investigate reportable allegations.

Where can I get more information?

If you are unsure about how the Reportable Conduct Scheme applies to your organisation, contact the Commission: