On 1 December 2022, the Serious Incident Response Scheme was extended from residential aged care to home care and flexible care delivered in a home or community setting.
This includes providers of Home Care Package, Short-Term Restorative Care at home, Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care (NATSIFAC), Multi-Purpose Services Program and Transition Care Program services.
For more information, go to the National aged care reforms page.
If you have a Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) enquiry, you can:
- Call us for free on 1800 081 549 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm AEST seven days a week
- email us at email@example.com.
On this page:
- Guidelines for home services providers
- Who does the SIRS apply to?
- What is a reportable incident?
- How do I report an incident?
- Resources for SIRS home services
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
The Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) is an initiative to help prevent and reduce the risk and occurrence of incidents of abuse and neglect of older Australians receiving Commonwealth-subsidised aged care and services. It commenced in residential aged care on 1 April 2021 and was extended to home services on 1 December 2022. More general information can be found under An introduction to the SIRS.
This page provides information about the SIRS for providers of home care and flexible care delivered in a home or community setting.
Visit our SIRS in residential care page for further information about the SIRS for providers of residential care.
Guidelines for home services providers
Provider responsibilities in relation to the SIRS are described in more detail in the Serious Incident Response Scheme: Guidelines for home services providers.
Links to the enabling legislation can be found on our National aged care reforms page.
SIRS decision support tool
Use the SIRS decision support tool to quickly and easily determine the difference between Priority 1 and Priority 2 reportable incidents.
The tool asks you a series of simple questions about an incident to help you decide whether it must be reported to the Commission.
Go to the SIRS decision support tool
Who does the SIRS apply to?
The extension of SIRS to home services applies to Commonwealth-subsidised aged care delivered in the home or community. This includes care and services delivered through:
- home care packages (home care)
- the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
- flexible care delivered in a home or community setting, including:
- Multi-Purpose Services (MPS)
- Short Term Restorative Care (STRC)
- the Transition Care Program (TCP)
- the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP).
What is a reportable incident?
Reportable incidents under the SIRS for home services include:
- unreasonable use of force*
- unlawful sexual contact or inappropriate sexual conduct*
- psychological or emotional abuse*
- unexpected death
- stealing from, or financial coercion of, a consumer by a staff member*
- inappropriate use of a restrictive practices
- missing consumers (unexplained absence).
The incident types with an asterisk (*) are defined consistently within the SIRS across both the residential care and home services settings.
For further information about reportable incidents including examples of each incident type, refer to the:
- Serious Incident Response Scheme: Guidelines for residential aged care
- 8 SIRS for home services reportable incidents fact sheets.
How do I report an incident?
Reportable incidents must be lodged by providers using the SIRS Notice tile on the My Aged Care Service and Support portal.
Roles and responsibilities around submitting notifications need to be clear and understood. Providers must also ensure staff who are responsible for notifying reportable incidents to the Commission understand how to access and use the portal to submit reports on time.
For information on using the My Aged Care Service and Support Portal visit the Department of Health and Aged Care website.
Resources for SIRS home services
All of the Commission’s incident management resources are directly relevant to the SIRS. The incident management fact sheet is a useful starting point.
The Serious Incident Response Scheme: Guidelines for home services providers is a comprehensive resource for providers.
Additional resources include:
- Reporting responsibilities for providers and their staff
- 3 SIRS for home services webinars recordings:
- Introduction to the SIRS: Incident management systems – 26 September 2022
- SIRS reportable incidents – 3 November 2022
- Reporting under the SIRS – 16 November 2022
A suite of resources is available on the SIRS provider resources page.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
We have prepared answers to the most frequent questions we are receiving from home services providers. You can find them on our FAQs page.