Reportable allegations and convictions

Section 25A(1) of the Ombudsman Act defines 'reportable conduct' as:

  • any sexual offence or sexual misconduct committed against, with or in the presence of a child - including a child pornography offence
  • any assault, ill-treatment or neglect of a child
  • any behaviour that causes psychological harm to a child – even if the child consented to the behaviour.

Section 25A(1) of the Act also states that reportable conduct does not extend to:

(a) conduct that is reasonable for the purposes of the discipline, management or care of children, having regard to the age, maturity, health or other characteristics of the children and to any relevant codes of conduct or professional standards

(b) 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 employment procedures

(c) conduct of a class or kind exempted from being reportable conduct by the Ombudsman under section 25CA.

Some examples of conduct that would not constitute reportable conduct include touching a child to attract their attention, guide them or comfort them, a school teacher raising their voice to attract attention or restore order in the classroom, or conduct that is established to be accidental.

Our publication 'Child protection in the workplace: responding to allegations against employees' provides further guidance about this definition.

If you believe on reasonable grounds that a child or young person is at risk of harm, you may also notify the Community Services (CS) so that appropriate care and protection arrangements can be made for the child. For more information please contact CS or refer to the keepthemsafe website.

Even though CS, the police or a joint investigation response team may be investigating an allegation against an employee of an agency, the head of the agency is still required to notify us of the allegation.

 


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