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When to report a serious incident

1 July 2022

Despite the best intentions and planning, incidents of a serious nature sometimes occur in early childhood education and care settings.

Services in South Australia are required to notify via their portal in the NQA IT System any incidents that seriously compromise the health, safety or wellbeing of children (s 174 (2) Education and Early Childhood Services (Regulation and Standards) Act 2011 (the Act).

A serious incident is defined in regulation 12 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations.

The following incidents must be reported to the Regulatory Authority within 24 hours:

  • Death of a child
  • Serious illness of a child where the child attended or ought reasonably to have attended a hospital
  • Injury or trauma where the child attended or ought reasonably to have attended a hospital, or a reasonable person would consider the child would require urgent medical attention
  • An emergency for which emergency services attended
  • When a child is missing or cannot be accounted for, or appears to have been removed by a person not authorised by a parent
  • When a child is mistakenly locked in or out of the premises or any part of the premises
  • A complaint that an incident as outlined above has occurred

When to notify a serious incident

You do not need to wait for confirmation from a parent that they have sought medical attention before making a serious incident notification.

To comply with s174 of the National Law, you must submit a serious incident notification through the NQA IT System within 24 hours.

If you are unsure whether an incident is serious, contact the Education Standards Board.

If some time passes before it becomes apparent that an incident is serious, you will need to complete a serious incident notification through your portal in the NQA IT System within 24 hours of becoming aware of the serious nature of the incident.

Services are also required to notify parents of the child within 24 hours of the incident occurring.