SA regulatory authority shares advice about common errors in incident notifications

SA regulatory authority shares advice about common errors in incident notifications

by Freya Lucas

October 02, 2020

South Australia’s early childhood education and care (ECEC) regulatory authority, the Education and Standards Board (ESB), has issued advice about improving the calibre of incident and complaints notifications received, to support providers to avoid notifications which are incomplete or insufficient in detail.


While the advice has been issued by the SA regulatory authority, much of the information will be valid for providers in other states. 


The ESB receives more than 200 notifications a month. While a high proportion do not require any further action, many notifications could be improved, an ESB spokesperson said.


“While we understand completing online notifications can be time-consuming, a detailed and accurate notification will actually save time, as it reduces the need for further communications” the advice read.


By taking time to properly prepare incident reports, with as much detail as possible, providers can support the regulator to conduct a thorough initial assessment, saving time in the long run. 


The following information was noted as being missing from notifications most often: 


  • Child’s full name, gender and date of birth
  • A clear account of what happened
  • Details of action taken/to be taken following the incident 
  • That parent(s)/carer(s) have been notified, together with names and contact details
  • Details of any person/s who witnessed the incident


Supporting information, such as the service incident report, risk assessments, photographs, behaviour guidance plans, medical management plans, and the outcome for the child/ren can also be uploaded on the portal at the time of your submission or afterwards.


The regulator also reminded South Australian services of the requirement to make a notification within the required time frame – within 24 hours, or within seven days, depending on the severity of the incident in question. 


Parents must also be notified about incidents as soon as is practicable, but no later than 24 hours from the time of the incident. 


For information about notifications applicable at a national level, please see here