The Reportable Conduct Scheme is focused on both preventing and responding to abuse of children by workers in organisations. This includes paid employees, volunteers and contractors delivering services to children.
Information about reportable conduct, the investigation process and your rights and responsibilities is available here if an allegation has been made against you.
What is a reportable allegation?
Reportable allegation is defined legally under the Children's Guardian Act 2019.
It relates to relevant organisations listed under the act.
It means that there has been an allegation that an employee, which can also be a volunteer or contractor, has engaged in inappropriate conduct. This is defined as 'reportable conduct' and can have happened either at the place of employment or outside of work.
What is reportable conduct?
'Reportable conduct' is defined as:
- a sexual offence committed against, with, or in the presence of a child
- sexual misconduct with, towards, or in the presence of a child
- ill-treatment of a child
- neglect of a child
- an assault against a child
- behaviour that causes significant emotional or psychological harm to a child
- an offence under section 43B or 316A of the Crimes Act 1900.
Reportable conduct does not extend to:
- conduct that is reasonable for the purposes of the discipline, management or care of a child, having regard to the age, maturity, health or other characteristics of the child and to any relevant codes of conduct or professional standards
- the use of physical force that, in all the circumstances, is trivial or negligible, but only if the matter is to be investigated and the result of the investigation recorded under workplace procedures
- conduct of a class or kind exempted from being reportable conduct by the Children’s Guardian under section 30 of the Children’s Guardian Act 2019 or was previously exempted by the Ombudsman and is subject to the transitional arrangements.
Role of the Office of the Children's Guardian
The Office of the Children’s Guardian provides oversight, guidance and education to the head of a relevant entity when they investigate reportable allegations made against an employee, volunteer or a contractor (where the role requires that person to hold a Working with Children Check clearance).
Our role is to make sure entities consider all relevant factors and that their decisions are properly supported and documented.
Following a notification to the Office of the Children’s Guardian, we will:
- monitor and guide the progress of the organisation’s investigation into the reportable allegation or conviction
- assess whether the organisation conducted a fair, effective and timely investigation
- determine that appropriate action has been taken by the organisation as part of its response to (and following) the allegation or conviction
- monitor the relevant entity's systems and provide advice for preventing, detecting and dealing with reportable conduct and reportable convictions.
A notification of a reportable allegation to the Office of the Children's Guardian does not interfere with reporting obligations to NSW Police, the Department of Communities and Justice, or any other relevant bodies.