ACT Senior Practitioner
From 1 September 2018, the Senior Practitioner Act 2018 (the Act) provides a formal framework for the reduction and elimination of restrictive practices by service providers in the ACT. It also provides the powers and functions of the Senior Practitioner.
The Act enshrines the principle that service providers should only use restrictive practices in very limited circumstances – as a last resort, in the least restrictive way and for the shortest period possible in the circumstances.
The intent of the legislation is not to enable the use of restrictive practices, it is to provide a formal framework for the reduction and elimination of restrictive practices in the ACT.
Mandy Donley was appointed as the ACT’s inaugural Senior Practitioner and commenced in the role on 5 July 2018. The leadership and oversight of the Senior Practitioner will help to improve the lives of all people who are vulnerable and potentially subject to restrictive practices. The Act will also enable the ACT to meet its commitments under the National Framework for Reducing and Eliminating the Use of Restrictive Practices in the Disability Sector and the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework
The Act regulates the use of restrictive practices by persons or other entities who provide any of the following services to another person:
- education (including education and care);
- care and protection of children.
For more information about the Act, including the functions and powers of the Senior Practitioner, please refer to the Fact Sheet.
The Senior Practitioner, in partnership with the ACT Human Rights Commission, is continuing to present a series of information sessions for disability, education and out-of-home care providers.
Information sessions are held regularly. Upcoming dates for April/May 2019 are:-
- Wednesday 10 April 2019
- Thursday 18 April 2019
- Tuesday 23 April 2019
- Thursday 2 May 2019
- Friday 10 May 2019
Attendees will have the opportunity to hear more about the role of the Senior Practitioner; the whole-of-government approach to reducing and eliminating restrictive practices and; reporting requirements.
These sessions are free of charge, but bookings are required via the Eventbrite website
The Senior Practitioner Seminar Series will be held in Canberra on a regular basis to showcase current Australian research and evidence-based practice for the reduction and elimination of restrictive practices in schools, disability services and out-of-home care settings.
The Series provides an invaluable opportunity for staff to build their knowledge and awareness of research, policy and practice on topics that support the Act.
The next Seminar Series event will be held on 31 May 2019. Details to follow.
The functions and powers of the Senior Practitioner will be supported by the collection and reporting of key data on the use of restrictive practices over time.
Under the Act, service providers must report all uses of a restrictive practice to the Senior Practitioner, whether there is a positive behaviour support plan in place for the person or not.
If a person has a chemical restraint (takes a medication to support the person’s behaviour), families or service providers can ask the prescribing doctor (or psychiatrist) to complete the following chemical restraint form [PDF 414KB] [Word 289KB]. This will assist with identifying chemical restraints, completing Positive Behaviour Support Plans and monthly reporting requirements.
If you are a service provider and would like to report the use of a restrictive practice, please contact the Senior Practitioner on telephone, (02) 6205 2811, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposed changes to the Senior Practitioner Act 2018
Community feedback has been being sought on a number of proposed amendments to the Senior Practitioner Act 2018. The consultation period closed on 18 December 2018.
The proposed amendments, summarised on the attached consultation paper, seek to address issues raised by stakeholders during the early implementation of the Act, as well as ensure alignment with the NDIS National Quality and Safeguarding Framework.
The feedback provided will assist in the development of an Amendment Bill
Updates and further information, including guidelines to operationalise the Senior Practitioner’s role, will be posted to this website over coming months.
In the meantime, all enquiries and feedback can be emailed to email@example.com