How does the Reportable Conduct Scheme work? 

What is the Reportable Conduct Scheme?

The Reportable Conduct Scheme (the Scheme) makes Western Australian children safer. The Scheme compels heads of organisations that exercise care, supervision or authority over children to notify allegations of, or convictions for, child abuse by their employees to the Ombudsman and then investigate these allegations. The Ombudsman will monitor, oversee and review these investigations.

The Scheme implements key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and provides that child abuse in organisations will always be:

  • notified to an impartial and independent body;
  • investigated fully; and
  • dealt with to ensure children are protected from abuse within institutions.

What is Reportable Conduct?

Consistent with the national approach, conduct covered by the Scheme in the first year will include:

  • sexual offences;
  • sexual misconduct;
  • physical assault; and
  • other prescribed offences.

After 12 months of the operation of the Scheme, conduct will also include:

  • significant neglect of a child; and
  • any behaviour that causes significant emotional or psychological harm to a child.

What does an organisation need to do?

The heads of organisations covered by the Scheme will be required to:

  • notify the Ombudsman of allegations of, or convictions for, child abuse by their employees;
  • investigate the allegation; and
  • provide a report to the Ombudsman on the outcome of the investigation.

Organisations will also be required to have systems in place to enable them to better protect against, and respond to, reportable conduct.

Any questions?

The Ombudsman is working closely and cooperatively with stakeholders in key sectors and individual organisations included in the Scheme to provide education, advice and guidance to assist in building their capacity to meet their reporting obligations and comply with the Scheme. Comprehensive guidance materials to assist organisations will shortly be made available on the Ombudsman’s website.

If you have any questions about the Scheme, please contact us on 08 9220 7555 or email us at ReportableConduct@ombudsman.wa.gov.au