In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)

In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)
ACT Public Hospitals

Canberra Hospital

5124 0000


Calvary Hospital

6201 6111

Mental Health

Call Mental Health Triage on

1800 629 354

(free call except from mobiles or public phones) or

6205 1065

Poisons Hotline

For a poison emergency in Australia call

131126

Drug and Alcohol Help Line

The Drug and Alcohol Help Line is available 24-hours, 7 days a week on

5124 9977

Health Protection Service

For after hours urgent public health matters including environmental health, radiation safety, food poisoning and communicable disease management phone:

(02) 6205 1700

healthdirect

24 hour health advice

1800 022 222

ACT State Emergency Service

Emergency help
during flood or storms

132 500

Office of the Senior Practitioner


ACT Senior Practitioner

ACT Senior Practitioner Fact Sheet
Positive Behaviour Support Plans Fact Sheet

Easy Read - The Senior Practitioner [PDF 442KB] [Word 397KB]
Easy Read - What is Restrictive Practice [PDF 491KB] [Word 264KB]

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 External link and the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding FrameworkExternal link

The Act regulates the use of restrictive practices by persons or other entities who provide any of the following services to another person:

For more information about the Act, including the functions and powers of the Senior Practitioner, please refer to the Fact Sheet.

Restrictive Practice e-learning

The Senior Practitioner Act 2018 is legislation that directly affects providers of Disability services, Education and Care and Protection of children.  This e-Learning module will provide information on the Act including understanding of the role of the Senior Practitioner and how the Act contributes to the whole of government approach to reducing and eliminating restrictive practices.

Launch button
Information Sessions

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 2020 are:-

  • TBA

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 websiteExternal Link

Seminar Series

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 as an online event on Friday 25 September 2020.

More information on ACT Senior Practitioner Seminar Series

Reporting on Restrictive Practices

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.

Interim reporting tools are available for providers to report on routine restrictive practices (within a registered positive behaviour support plan) and emergency restrictive practices (outside a registered plan). Draft guidelines on how to use these tools to report restrictive practices are now available.

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 actseniorpractitioner@act.gov.au

Chemical restraint

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.

Menstrual suppression by medication for the management of behaviours of concern is considered to be a chemical restraint.
Chelsea's story PDF 367KB [Word 257KB]

Menstrual Suppression is the temporary or permanent cessation of menstruation by the use of pharmacologically active substances or surgical intervention. This can include hormonal implants and Intrauterine devices (IUD).

For more information about supporting women with disability to manage menstruation, please refer to the following:

Information and resources for carers supporting women with intellectual disabilities to manage their menstruation

Menstrual issues for women with intellectual disability

Fertility and menstrual management in women with an intellectual disability

Plan Authorisation

Service providers are required to prepare a PBS Plan for a person and give the plan to a PBS Panel for approval. It is important to note that only PBS Plans that include a restrictive practice need to be approved by a PBS Panel and registered by the Senior Practitioner.

The role of the Panel is to assess whether the PBS Plan meets legislative requirements, and to ensure that any restrictive practice included in the plan is necessary to prevent harm to the person or others.

New panel arrangements due to impacts of Novel COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

As many people may be working from home due to the impacts of Novel COVID – 19 (coronavirus), we have made the decision that positive behaviour support panels will need to take place remotely online for the foreseeable future. This is in the interest of everyone’s health and safety.

All panels for the foreseeable future will take place via Webex. Webex is an online video conferencing software that can be used on computers as well as Apple and Android devices. It is also possible to phone into a Webex meeting.

Prior to the date you are presenting to the panel you will be sent an invitation to attend the panel meeting. This invitation will also be sent to the panel members as well as those email addresses we have on form A. You may forward this invitation to all parties of interest including parents and the individuals themselves.

These invitations will contain a unique meeting number and password that you will need to use to login to the meeting.

Apps and software for Webex can be downloaded online or from the Apple or Android stores. It is highly advised to use an Apple or Android device (such as an iPhone, iPad, or Android tablet or smartphone) over a computer to minimise the chances of technical issues.

If you have any questions you can email ACTSeniorPractitoner@act.gov.au .

Upcoming Panel dates

DateLocation
19 June 2020 Webex
24 June 2020 Webex
08 July 2020 Webex
22 July 2020 Webex
05 August 2020 Webex
19 August 2020 Webex
02 September 2020 Webex
16 September 2020 Webex
30 September 2020 Webex
14 October 2020 Webex
28 October 2020 Webex
11 November 2020 Webex
25 November 2020 Webex
09 Dec 2020 Webex

PBS Panel Resources

Annual Report

In accordance with section 50 of the Act, the Senior Practitioner has presented a copy of its first annual report to the Director-General for inclusion in the Community Services Directorate Annual Report.

This report illustrates the broad range of activities undertaken in the 2018-19 financial year to implement the Act.

Penalties and offences under the Act

From 1 July 2020, the Senior Practitioner Act 2018 creates penalties for an inappropriate use of a restrictive practice.

Wherever possible, in accordance with the Act, the Senior Practitioner will endeavour to work with providers to address issues of non-compliance through education, engagement and capacity building.

However, criminal prosecution may be sought for alleged breaches under the Act, as appropriate.

The attached fact sheet provides information for providers to understand how the Act will be enforced, including the offences and penalties that may apply.

Part 8 - Penalties and offences under the Act Fact sheet [PDF 269KB] [Word 249KB]

Part 8 - Penalties and Offences Fact Sheet Plain English [PDF 267KB]

Restraint Free ACT video

The Senior Practitioner Act 2018 affords protections to all members of our community who receive services from a  provider regardless of age gender or CALD background.  This video, the first in a series, seeks to raise awareness in the CALD community of what Restrictive Practices are.

It doesn’t matter what language you speak, we all deserve a Restraint Free ACTExternal Link.

Next steps

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 actseniorpractitioner@act.gov.au