Compulsory reporting for approved providers of residential aged care services

Page last updated: 31 July 2017

To help protect aged care residents, the law (the Aged Care Act 1997) has compulsory reporting provisions. This means that approved providers of residential aged care services are responsible for ensuring that suspicions or allegations of reportable assaults occurring at their services are reported within 24 hours to;

  • local police and
  • the department.

The law also requires service providers to report that a resident is absent without explanation (also known as a missing resident).

These requirements ensure that those affected receive timely help and support, and that operational and organisational strategies are put in place to prevent the situation from occurring again. Such strategies help maintain a safe and secure environment for residents.

Making a report to the department

Aged care workers are often the first to suspect or become aware that a resident has allegedly been assaulted, or a resident is missing.

To report a suspicion or allegation of a reportable assault or a missing resident approved providers should:

Compulsory reporting forms 

Reportable assault form

Unexplained absence form



Compulsory reporting line: 1800 081 549

More information

This information is intended to help approved providers and personnel understand their reporting responsibilities for reportable assaults and unexplained absences.

This notice provides advice for approved providers about information the department may collect to perform its functions, how that information may be used and how it can be accessed.