An incident is an undesirable event or an unusual incident that may have affected the safety of a participant or the group of participants whilst on a program.

Should an accident occur, it is important to report the incident on an Incident Report Form/Book, as soon as practical after the incident.

The Incident Report Form/Book must be given to the coordinator or program manager who will take the required action.

Alert the management of an organisation to problems so that assistance can be given to reduce the likelihood of the incident happening again.

This procedure will:

  • Provide means of quickly identifying unmet needs for extra support or training;
  • Provide a picture of developing patterns of incidents;
  • Provide both positive and negative information on leader performance;
  • Provide a safe guard for both participants and leaders by helping identify training needs or changes in procedures; and
  • Provide a record of the incident in case later reference is needed, e.g. for a court case.

The Incident Report Form should contain information about:

  • What happened;
  • Where it happened;
  • When it happened;
  • How it happened;
  • Who was involved;
  • How serious it was; and
  • What was done and by whom to assist in the incident.

The report should include enough details so that the management of an organisation will have a clear idea about the incident.

A leader should not be concerned about completing too many Incident Report Forms. If a leader considers that an incident should be reported, it is best to fill in a report.

If an incident is not reported, the safety and care of the participant involved as well as the safety of the leader and other participants may be jeopardised. This may prevent appropriate action being taken for dealing with undesirable behaviours or events, so that further incidents can be avoided.

Examples of incidents that require reporting:


  • errors in medication;
  • epileptic seizures of a serious nature;
  • health problems;
  • threatening disturbances at night including nuisance phone calls and strangers at the site; or
  • verbal and attempted physical abuse by participants.


  • those that affect an individual’s care, safety and wellbeing e.g. serious medical problems or self-mutilation;
  • related to unauthorised leave, e.g. A runaway; or
  • involves serious behaviour disturbances of participants, e.g. fighting between participants.


  • death by natural or non-natural causes e.g. suicide, drowning;
  • serious injury to participants, e.g. injury in a fire;
  • serious offence alleged to have been committed by participant involving the police;
  • injury involving hospitalisation or death e.g. as a result of a heart attack;
  • serious threat to a person e.g. participant threatening with a knife, or violent outbursts;
  • events with health and safety implications, e.g. fire hazards such as the storage of chemicals or an attempted breaking and entering;
  • abduction of a participant; or
  • events that may be of significant interest to the media.

Note: All incidents must be reported to the coordinator and organisation management immediately. They will take the necessary follow-up action.