Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS)

An introduction to the SIRS

Everyone receiving aged care has the right to safe, dignified, and respectful quality services.

The Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) is an initiative by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (the Commission) to reduce the risk of harm to aged care consumers and to help keep older Australians safe.

The SIRS has been in place for residential aged care since April 2021 and was extended to in-home and community care services on December 1, 2022.

The scheme ensures that aged care providers like CatholicCare follow a set standard to investigate, manage and prevent issues identified as having the potential to seriously affect a consumer’s wellbeing.

I receive aged care services from CatholicCare, what does this mean for me?

All CatholicCare staff have a responsibility to record any risks or serious incidents that have the potential to or have already caused you harm. CatholicCare responds to these risks and incidents quickly to reduce the potential for any further harm or reoccurrence. These measures ensure you receive the support and care that meets your needs.

The SIRS defines CatholicCare’s reporting obligations for incidents involving you that are deemed reportable to the Commission.

What are reportable incidents?

There are eight types of incidents deemed reportable under the SIRS:

  1. Unreasonable use of force – like kicking, punching or rough handling
  2. Unlawful sexual contact or inappropriate sexual conduct – like stalking, making sexual advances or unwanted sexual touching
  3. Psychological or emotional abuse – like yelling, name calling or ignoring
  4. Stealing or financial coercion by a staff member – like stealing money or pressuring you to give money
  5. Neglect – like not giving you the care you need to stay well
  6. Inappropriate use of restrictive practices – like using physical force or medication to restrict your freedom or movement
  7. Unexplained absence from care / missing consumers – where a care recipient goes missing
  8. Unexpected death – like someone dying unexpectedly because they did not receive proper care and services.

Where can I learn more about the SIRS?

The Commission has produced a range of resources to help you to better understand the scheme.
You can access these resources by visiting:

If I have a concern or complaint about an incident, how can I raise it with CatholicCare?

If you have concerns about an issue or incident, you can make a complaint to CatholicCare by speaking to a staff member in person, calling us on 1300 523 985, or contacting us online

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