About the Reportable Conduct Scheme

Victoria has a Reportable Conduct Scheme to oversee allegations of child abuse and misconduct.

Summary of the Reportable Conduct Scheme

In summary, the scheme:

  • requires some organisations to respond to allegations of child abuse (and other child-related misconduct) made against their workers and volunteers, and to notify us of any allegations
  • enables us to independently oversee those responses
  • facilitates information sharing between organisations, their regulators, Victoria Police, the Department of Justice and Regulation’s Working With Children Check Unit and us.

For more details, see our information sheet About the Victorian Reportable Conduct Scheme

Why Victoria needs a Reportable Conduct Scheme

In 2012 and 2013, the Victorian Parliament’s Family and Community Development Committee inquired into the handling of child abuse allegations by religious and other non-government organisations.

The Committee’s report, Betrayal of Trust found that there was need for independent scrutiny of organisations’ systems and processes to prevent and respond to allegations of child abuse.

To address this need, the Committee recommended that the Victorian Government authorise an independent body to:

  • oversee and monitor the handling of allegations of child abuse by relevant government departments, religious and no-government organisations
  • undertake independent investigations
  • scrutinise and audit systems and processes for handling allegations
  • monitor and report on trends
  • build skills and knowledge within government departments, religious and non-government organisations to ensure they can competently handle allegations of suspected child abuse.

The Victorian Government announced its support for this recommendation in 2014, and in 2017, the Victorian Parliament amended the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 to create the basis for our oversight and monitoring role.

Our powers under the scheme

Under the scheme, we have the power to:

  • receive allegations and findings of reportable conduct
  • assess an organisation’s systems to prevent, notify, and investigate reportable conduct
  • provide oversight of workplace investigations
  • investigate allegations in some circumstances
  • refer findings to professional registration bodies and the Working with Children Check Unit
  • build the capacity of organisations to respond to allegations of abuse
  • report to Parliament on performance of the Scheme and trends.

The Scheme does not replace or interfere with police investigations. We work with Victoria Police to make sure allegations of criminal conduct are dealt with appropriately.

For more information read: Guidelines – Criminal Abuse of Children and Vulnerable People in Organisations: Reporting to Victoria Police

What type of conduct is reportable?

There are five types of ‘reportable conduct’:

  • sexual offences committed against, with or in the presence of a child
  • sexual misconduct committed against, with or in the presence of a child
  • physical violence against, with or in the presence of a child
  • any behaviour that causes significant emotional or psychological harm to a child
  • significant neglect of a child.

For more details, please see our information sheet What is reportable conduct?