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Important Update re: Child Protection Legislation/Regulation – Implications for Insured

October 5th, 2021 Posted by Blog, Uncategorized No Comment yet

This update relates to continuing reviews of current child protection legislations and regulations. New compliance requirements are now in effect and more are coming.

Three Commonwealth Royal Commissions (Child Sexual Abuse, Aged Care and Disability) and numerous other State and Federal inquires have exposed the harrowing realities and deficiencies with current practice in how our nation supports our most vulnerable.

A reflection of these findings is found in the exponential growth in claims being experience by the Insurance sector.

Now, just as with OHS/WPHS, the operating landscape has changed forever and will continue to do so.  A zero tolerance approach to harm being perpetrated on the vulnerable now exists across the care sector.

Organisations are increasingly required to comply with a growing array of Principles, Standards, legislation and regulation designed to improve the safety of vulnerable children and adults. The following provides links and cursory information on the latest changes.


List of Child Protection Legislations

A full and accurate list of relevant child protection legislation can be found via the Australian Institute of Family Studies website:

Australian child protection legislation | Child Family Community Australia (


Criminal Laws

Criminal laws for Failure to Report & Failure to Protect Legislation are now in place VIC, NSW, ACT, QLD, TAS and NT.  Other States have their own responses. Organisations need to be aware that it is now a criminal offence in most jurisdictions for any person, this includes staff not just management, to fail to report a suspected or known incident of child sexual assault or to fail to protect a victim of suspected sexual abuse.


Mandatory Reporting

The various mandatory requirements for all Australian jurisdictions can be found via the Australian Institute of Family Studies website:

Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect | Child Family Community Australia (


Update-Implementation Child Safe Principles AS AT  July 2021

New South Wales (NSW)

NSW is in the process of implementing a regulatory framework that supports implementation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s (Royal Commission) Child Safe Standards. If the Bill successfully passes through NSW Parliament, legislation will be embedding the requirements, as well as giving the Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG) NSW powers to monitor implementation of the Child Safe Standards and investigate complaints about an organisation’s implementation of the Child Safe Standards. The OCG has released advice that it considers organisations in NSW that are implementing the National Principles will be simultaneously implementing the Child Safe Standards.

More information the Children’s Guardian Amendment (Child Safe Scheme) Bill 2021 [NSW] is available here: Children’s Guardian Amendment (Child Safe Scheme) Bill 2021

And the OCG’s guide to the Child Safe Standards is available here: A Guide to the Child Safe Standards


Victoria (VIC)

All organisations that provide services or facilities for children are required to comply with the VIC Child Safe Standards. The VIC Commission for Children and Young People is the oversight body for the Child Safe standards, and has powers to oversee and enforce organisations’ compliance with the Child Safe Standards. VIC reviewed its Child Safe Standards in 2019 and 2020. Recommendations from the review included amending the VIC Child Safe Standards to align with the National Principles. More information on VIC’s Child Safe Standards is available on the Commission for Children and Young People website: Being a Child Safe Organisation

Information on the review of the VIC Child Safe Standards is available via the following DHHS publication: Review of the Victoria Child Safe Standards


Queensland (QLD)

QLD has existing mandatory requirements for institutions that provide services to children to apply best practice and mitigate risks of harm. Under the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (QLD), institutions are required to develop and implement a child and youth risk management strategy which promotes the wellbeing of a child. QLD is also in the process of considering and developing options for implementation and oversight of the Child Safe Standards. More information is available in QLD’s Third Annual Progress report in response to the Royal Commission: Queensland Government Response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse


Western Australia (WA)

WA does not currently have a legislated approach to implementation of the Child Safe Standards and/or the National Principles. However, the WA Department of Communities is working across government agencies, the community services sector, peak bodies and other jurisdictions to drive implementation of the National Principles through existing regulatory mechanisms and funding agreements. The WA Department of the Premier and Cabinet is leading policy work to develop and independent oversight system, which includes monitoring and enforcement of the National Principles. More information is available at: National Principles for Child Safe Organisations


South Australia (SA)

Through its Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (SA) and Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 (SA), SA requires organisations providing services to children and young people to provide child safe environments. The SA Department of Human Services monitors this scheme. The SA Government have advised the National Principles have replaced the former SA Principles of Good Practice (the previous minimum requirements organisations were required to meet in order demonstrate that appropriate steps had been taken to ensure safe environments for children and young people) and from 1 July 2021, all organisations developing child safe policies and procedures must, align with the National Principles and reflect the SA legislative context. More information is available on the SA Department of Human Services website: National Principles for child safe organisations


Tasmania (TAS)

TAS is in the process of developing a child safe legislative framework based on the recommendations contained in Volume 6 Making Institutions Child Safe report of the Royal Commission. Consultations on the draft Child Safe Organisations Bill 2020 (TAS) were held from December 2020 to February 2021. TAS is in the process of considering feedback received through the consultation process and updating the draft Bill. More information is available via the Tasmania Government Department of Justice website: Child Safe Organisations Bill 2020 – Have your say


Northern Territory (NT)

The NT does not currently have a legislated approach to child safety in organisations, however it is progressing work to adopt national child safe standards. More information is available in the NT 2020 Generational Change Impact Report: 2020 Generational Change Impact Report


Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

The ACT is progressing work to introduce a Child Safe Standards scheme, which will adopt the National Principles and be overseen by the ACT Human Rights Commission. More information is available via the ACT Government response to the Rpyal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Making institutions child safe

Aged Care Clients – Implications of Covid 19 Vaccination Orders

August 16th, 2021 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Written by Anthony Black, Senior Risk Consultant & National Care Practice Leader


From 17 September 2021, COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for all residential aged care workers.

Residential aged care workers will be required to have received a minimum first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by this time.

It will be a condition of working in a residential aged care facility through shared state, territory and Commonwealth authorities and compliance measures.


Workers required to be vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for full time, part-time and casual residential aged care workers, volunteers engaged by the facility, and students on placement.

This includes:

  • anyone employed or engaged by a residential aged care facility who works on-site in a facility, such as:
    • Direct care workforce (nurses; personal care workers; allied health professionals, and allied health assistants)
    • Administration staff (reception; management; administration)
    • Ancillary staff (food preparation; cleaning; laundry; garden; maintenance)
    • Lifestyle / social care (music/art therapy); Transport drivers collecting residents from RACFs for outings
  • Volunteers engaged by the RACF
  • Students on placement; and
  • Medical practitioners, such as general practitioners and consulting specialists, who attend and provide care to residents.

Other workers not employed directly by a facility, and who only provide in-reach services, are not required to get a COVID-19 vaccination.


Significant Penalties for Non-compliance

States are incorporating these requirements under respective Covid directions. WA is the first State to release its public orders. Penalties for non-compliance include up to $20000 for individuals and $100000 for organisations.

Providers are required to report updates on staff compliance each week.


Vaccination Challenges

Originally part of 1a of the Federal Government’s Vaccination Program, it was anticipated all staff would be fully vaccinated by end of March. This strategy included vaccinating staff on site (along with residents). However, this strategy has not played out and staff are now required to use local vaccinations services to obtain their vaccination. This has delayed uptake. Health Department Figures show just 34% of staff have received first immunisation. In Disability Care, this even lower.


Risks and exposures

  • Governance- Provider boards and executives must ensure compliance with directives; organisations suffer significant penalties for non-compliance
  • Clinical Risk – Aged care residents are at continuing significant risk from Covid. Vaccination management and uptake must form part of the clinical governance framework
  • Workforce- Providers must assist with the accessibility of vaccination for residents and should be considering options to support staff to encourage uptake of the vaccination. Contingencies should be in place should adequate staff not be available from the mid-September deadline.
  • Further outbreaks – all insureds must have a Covid plan in place.


For more information please email Anthony Black (

Ansvar appoints Hetty Johnston AM to lead Safeguarding Risk Management Strategy

July 13th, 2021 Posted by Blog No Comment yet


Ansvar appoints Hetty Johnston AM to lead Safeguarding Risk Management Strategy


Hetty Johnston AM

A highly regarded expert and advocate for child protection and safeguarding, Hetty Johnston founded the Braveheart’s Foundation, Australia’s leading child protection organisation, and has been instrumental in inspiring positive change on key issues including education, health, and child safety.

Hetty’s role at Ansvar will involve working with our Risk Team to support employees, brokers and clients in understanding the complexity of Physical and Sexual Abuse (PSA) risks, and safeguarding against abuse, particularly in organisations that care for those most vulnerable in our community.

“I’m really excited to be working with the Ansvar team, and am confident we can achieve a lot together. Ansvar is committed to making a difference, and combined with my passion and experience, we can help organisations create a safer environment for those who are vulnerable within our community.” – Hetty Johnston



As we know, safeguarding doesn’t just happen within organisations — it requires focus on critical risk factors, increased awareness of the right strategies to adopt, solid governance, and risk management. We take a closer look at Safeguarding to prevent PSA in Ansvar Risk Alert #9, and our most recent PSA Insurance Coverage Underwriting Update available to download below.

Anthony Black, Ansvar National Care Practice Leader, comments;

“It’s not just the right thing to do — it’s a prerequisite for any organisation providing care for others. We at Ansvar know that safeguarding requires critical consideration. This is why we’ve developed specific risk management solutions backed by of one of Australia’s most renowned experts, Hetty Johnston.’’


Safeguarding Advice: Resources & Toolkits

To provide further support, we are developing safeguarding advice, resources and tools, which will be supported by webinars and other educational forums, led by Hetty and the wider Risk Team. We will keep you updated as this work rolls out.


Have a question or two?

Please reach out to your local Ansvar Representative for more information.

We look forward to making a difference in our community, together.

For more information on Ansvar’s Enterprise Risk Management services, click here.

Aged Care webinar – A path out of the Pandemic

June 5th, 2020 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Aged Care Webinar – A Path out of the Pandemic: Understanding the key governance, legal and risk implications for aged care providers.

This webinar will discuss key governance, legal and risk implications that aged care providers should focus on and integrate into their strategy as we move out of the initial COVID-19 response and into the next phase.

Our presenters will explore key risks for this new phase and provide a practical recovery management framework that providers can consider to assist position their organisation.

This session will also help providers anticipate some key areas of focus for the ACQSC and provide insights into how to prepare for this.

Joining us will be Anthony Black, Senior Risk Consultant from Ansvar Risk Management Services, and Russell Kennedy aged care principals Anita Courtney and Solomon MillerVictor Harcourt will facilitate the session and we will also have a team answering your questions during the webinar.

Our panellists will cover:

  • Key legal and governance risks in the next phase of COVID-19
  • Practical steps for recovery – a framework to support good governance and compliance through a risk-based approach to Strategy, Operations, Workforce

Opportunity to submit your questions – Q&A

You have the opportunity to submit questions before the webinar. Please submit any questions to


Webinar Details

We are utilising Zoom to run this webinar. Zoom is free to download and can be viewed from your PC/mobile device.

The live webinar is free to attend and attendees will be sent a link to log into the live webinar room 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.

DATE: Friday 12 June 2020

TIME: 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm AEST

COST: This webinar is free to attend but bookings are essential as places are limited.

To register for this online webinar click the button below:

Dignity of risk forums - nationwide dates

“Powerful” Dignity of Risk forums announced nationwide

July 15th, 2019 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Following on from recent success in Sydney, Ansvar is delighted to announce nationwide Dignity of Risk forums that will take place in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth throughout July and August. (more…)

Anthony Black

“It’s time to think differently”: Ansvar’s Anthony Black on long-term strategic planning for your organisation

June 20th, 2019 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Article by Lauren Broomham, Editor, The Source. Featured in The Daily Commission eNewsletter 15 June 2019
Anthony Black

We had plenty of interest in Ansvar Risk Consultant Anthony Black’s tips (30 May 2019 76th edition) on what boards can do to prepare for the new Aged Care Quality Standards starting 1 July 2019 – so a follow-up on some of the issues raised in his points. (more…)

Aged Care

“Traditional risk management does not cut it”: Ansvar Risk Consultant urges boards to be proactive – and prepare for future challenges

June 6th, 2019 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Article by Lauren Broomham, Editor, The Source. Featured in The Daily Commission eNewsletter 30 May 2019, Edition 76.


Ansvar’s Anthony Black’s tips on what boards can do to prepare for the new Aged Care Quality Standards starting 1 July 2019 – just over a month away.

Anthony says boards need to play both a short game and a long game.

In the short-term, the Risk Consultant says boards need to have clear understanding of the immediate organisational risk associated with compliance against the standards.

This means making risk-based decisions now that will help to get their organisation ready – and having strategies in place to bridge gaps where compliance is most at risk.

“Boards cannot be over everything, however they should be scrutinising key areas of weakness and ensuring appropriate governance and resources are assigned to address them,” he said.

“My question to Directors would be ‘do you know the top 3-5 causative factors that could lead to your organisation being non-compliant and what is being done about them?’”

Developing a long-term risk strategy

In the long-term, Anthony says organisations must be revisiting their strategic plans – and providers shouldn’t be blind to the new risks coming.

“Boards should be considering three major influences within their strategic plan, which will be key to success over the next five years: Consumer led services / Governance capabilities – particularly governing for vulnerable people / Clinical governance.”

“The long game shouldn’t just be about compliance, it must be about responding to and proactively guiding your organisation to provide best outcomes for customers/residents,” he adds. “Having a stronger focus on these three areas is crucial to this.”

Key to both will be your Risk Management Frameworks, Anthony emphasises.

“Traditional risk management does not cut it. Boards should be actively reviewing their framework and ensuring it will support the organisation through a strategically important time ahead.”

Board members need “right experience” under new Standards

Interestingly, Anthony also notes that embedded in the new Standards under Standard 8 is the requirement that organisations must show ‘Evidence that members of the governing body have the right experience to govern an organisation providing care and service to vulnerable consumers’ – an issue we have previously raised as part of our series on achieving ‘transformational change’ for the sector.

Anthony agrees this is a very reasonable requirement – and one that the community expects.

“Experience with care and social services, clinical care and consumer engagement are skill sets that will add great value to the board. Boards should evaluate their current skill sets, have learning and capability plans in place and be recruiting to bridge their specific skill gaps,” he said.

“Given the rural and remote nature of some providers, this will be challenging and more creative options (such as Board advisors, teleconnection systems to link to expertise from a distance) will require consideration and planning.”


All important points for directors to consider moving forward.

Christian Muddle, Ansvar National Technical Claims Manager

Aged Care Providers fronting Royal Commission – See Ansvar first!

May 30th, 2019 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Ansvar National Technical Claims Manager, Christian Muddle, has a simple message for Aged Care providers that are due to give evidence at the Aged Care Royal Commission: (more…)

Dignity of Risk Sydney forum

“Some awful things will happen”: Sydney Dignity of Risk forum warns boards to step up now

May 28th, 2019 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Article by Lauren Broomham, Editor, The Source. Featured in The Daily Commission eNewsletter 28 May 2019, Edition 632
Dignity of Risk Sydney forum

Board members, executives and Directors of Care have been urged to be proactive about embedding a culture around dignity of risk at a forum by Ansvar Insurance which I attended last week in Barangaroo. (more…)

Prof. Joe Ibrahim

Ansvar announce new Dignity of Risk forum for Aged Care providers

May 15th, 2019 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

As part of Ansvar’s commitment to providing leadership in the Aged Care sector, we are delighted to announce our Dignity of Risk forums, with the first forum launching in Sydney on Thursday the 23rd May. We are planning on rolling the forum out to each major city over the coming weeks with dates and venues yet to be decided.

The forum will be led by Anthony Black, Ansvar’s Senior Risk Consultant who has extensive experience in clinical governance and will be supported by our guest speaker Professor Joe Ibrahim, a Professor at Monash University and a practicing senior specialist in geriatric medicine with over 30 years of experience. Lyle Steffensen, Marsh Care Solutions National Practice Leader, will also be a key speaker discussing the concept of Dignity of Risk, its value to residents and embedding it in organisations culture.

Boards and Executive play important roles in leading Dignity of Risk, ensuring it is embedded in culture and it results in outcomes that lead to a fulfilling life for residents and we highly encourage Aged care Boards and Executives to attend. Watch our video to hear our forum key speakers discuss Dignity of Risk and give you a sense of the expert content that will be shared at our forum.

Aged Care organisations are expected to meet obligations to take a balanced approach to manage risk and respect consumer (resident) rights. If a consumer makes a choice that is possibly harmful to them then the organisation is expected to help the consumer understand the risk and how it could be managed. It is a concept enshrined in the Aged Care Act (1997) and in Aged Care Standards.

Dignity of Risk describes the right of all individuals to choose to take risks when engaging in life experiences. It is a concept that recognises that living a fulfilling existence comes with inherent risk, and that the practice of overly restricting an individual’s choices in order to eliminate risk may actually be detrimental to their wellbeing (Kurrle, 2014).

This forum explores Dignity of Risk; its purpose and value, organisational obligations to embed it in culture and care and the roles Boards and Executive teams should play in supporting and monitoring it. Attendees will also have a unique opportunity to view the award-winning Dignity of Risk animated movie, which Prof. Joe Ibrahim is the author and producer.

Forum Overview

Title: Balancing Dignity of Risk and Duty of Care
Expert Aged Care Speakers:
– Anthony Black, Senior Risk Consultant, Ansvar
– Prof. Joe Ibrahim Head, Health Law and Ageing Research Unit at the Dept of Forensic Medicine, Monash University
– Lyle Steffensen, National Practice Leader, Marsh Care Solutions
Who should attend: Brokers and Aged Care Directors and Executives
Date: Thursday 23rd May
Time: 5pm Registration for a 5:30pm Start – 7:30pm. Refreshments will be available after the forum.
Venue: Marsh Pty, One International Towers, Sydney, 100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo, NSW 2000.

Register: Click HERE to register
Download: Forum information page available here


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