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Who's in charge?

4 June 2019

It’s not always clear to approved providers or educators what the difference is between a nominated supervisor and a responsible person. Both roles have clear definitions in the National Law and different legal responsibilities. So let’s clear up any confusion.

What is a nominated supervisor?

Approved education and care services must not operate unless they have at least one nominated supervisor who has been determined as suitable to manage a service and meet the requirements in law. Approved providers may also be nominated supervisors.

Nominated supervisors are responsible for the day-to-day management of the service. It is important that nominated supervisors understand they have a range of responsibilities under the Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations.  

Nominated supervisors must:

  • be 18 years of age or older
  • have adequate knowledge and understanding of education and care provisions  
  • consent in writing to the nomination
  • have completed child-protection training
  • have their details on display at the service’s main entrance.

The Education Standards Board must be notified of any changes to the nominated supervisor. This includes a new appointment, removal or change of name or contact details.

What is a ‘responsible person’?

Approved providers and nominated supervisors can appoint a person to be in day-to-day charge of a service in the absence of a nominated supervisor. This allows for a responsible person to be available at all times. This does not place any additional legal responsibilities on the person who takes on the role. The responsibilities of educator under the National Law still apply for them.

Responsible persons must: 

  • be 18 years of age or older
  • have adequate knowledge and understanding of education and care provisions
  • have the ability to effectively supervise and manage the service
  • consent in writing to the nomination
  • have completed child-protection training
  • have their details on display at the service.

Family day care: educators need support

Family day care services must ensure that the approved provider (or person with management and control), a nominated supervisor or a responsible person is available to provide support to educators who are providing education and care to children.

ACECQA, the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority, has a range of information that can assist approved providers, nominated supervisors and responsible persons understand the considerations and requirements of these vital roles.