Project status: Closed
The Senior Practitioner Act 2018 (the Act) regulates the use of a restrictive practice that limits the rights or freedom of movement of a person who is receiving services from an education, disability support or care and protection service provider.
The Act provides a framework for the reduction and elimination of the use of a restrictive practice. Restricting a person’s freedom of movement can only be used as a last resort to protect that person or others from harm, in the least restrictive way and for the shortest time possible.
In 2022, we consulted with the community about proposed changes to the Act. During this consultation, the community told us it wanted the ACT Government to develop a way to make sure some practices are not allowed under the Act.
In response, we proposed to define and list restrictive practices which cannot be used and asked if penalties should apply if a prohibited practice is used. This would be done by developing a regulation under the Act.
We asked what you think of this solution or if you had other ideas about how we could stop these restrictive practices being used.
We have developed a listening report of what we heard from you during this consultation. You can read it from our document library or at Listening report: Defining prohibited practices under the Senior Practitioner Act 2018.
You can also read the original discussion paper, Defining prohibited practices under the Senior Practitioner Act 2018.
Based from your feedback, we are drafting a regulation to be considered by the ACT Government mid-2023. It includes a list of prohibited practices and will be consistent with the NDIS list of 'Practices proposed to be prohibited'.
We also heard there is a strong desire for guidance and education in the community about restrictive practices. We are developing materials to respond to this and will run information sessions when the regulation is in place.
What are restrictive practices?
The Senior Practitioner Act 2018 (the Act) came into law on 1 September 2018. It provides a framework for the reduction and elimination of the use of restrictive practices by service providers in the ACT.
A restrictive practice means a practice that is used to restrict the rights or freedom of movement of a person. Restrictive practices are primarily used to protect the person or other people from harm. They can range from chemical to physical restraints and may only ever be used when necessary, for the shortest time possible and when in conjunction with a positive behaviour support plan.
The Act regulates the use of restrictive practices by persons or organisations who provide any of the following services to another person:
- disability support
- care and protection of children
- other services prescribed by regulation.
The Act affirms and strengthens the rights of vulnerable people by providing greater protection from the unnecessary use of restrictive practices.
Under the Act a provider can only use a restrictive practice:
- In line with a positive behaviour support plan. A registered panel approves positive behaviour support plans, and the Senior Practitioner registers them.
- If the provider believes it is necessary to stop harm to the person or other people.
For more information about the Senior Practitioner Act 2018 and restrictive practices visit the Community Services Directorate's Office of the Senior Practitioner website.
How we used your views
We have used your feedback to assist in the development of regulation under the Act providing a list of restrictive practices that must not be used and penalties that may apply should an individual or provider use them.