The Child Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme – New South Wales

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Reportable Conduct Scheme
- New South Wales

New South Wales has comprehensive child safety legislation governed by the Children’s Guardian Act 2019 (Vic). These laws establish essential frameworks, including the Child Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme, that organisations must comply with to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children. 

The Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG) is a statutory body which oversees the Child Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme in New South Wales. A snapshot of the New South Wales child safety legislative landscape is below:

Safe space legal child safety and safeguarding
  • In 2020, the NSW Child Safe Standards framework commenced which are based on the National Principles for Child Safety.
  • As of 2022, under the Child Safe Scheme, NSW legislated their statewide framework as the state’s guiding standard for children’s safety and wellbeing. You can learn more about the New South Wales framework here.
  • There are currently 10 Child Safe Standards which are reflective of the National Principles for Child Safety
  • Oversight and implementation of the Child Safe Standards are regulated by the OCG, to ensure that organisations have policies, procedures and systems in place that comply with the Child Safe Standards
  • In 2023, the OCG, was granted increased enforcement powers to monitor and enforce compliance with the Child Safe Standards.
  • The Reportable Conduct Scheme was initially established in 1999 and was transferred to the administration of the OCG in 2020.  The Reportable Conduct Scheme plays a crucial role in addressing child abuse concerns.
  • The OCG oversees the scheme, ensuring independent scrutiny of institutional responses and investigations into child abuse allegations.
  • The OCG has the authority to initiate investigations, including own motion investigations, in specific circumstances.
  • The OCG has the capacity to share information concerning reportable allegations and investigations related to child safety concerns, promoting collaboration in ensuring the safety of children in New South Wales.
Children and young people are inherently vulnerable to abuse and harm.  Children have a right to feel safe and be safe in all environments.  Exposing children and young people to abuse and harm may cause long-term trauma and impact their growth and development.  Organisations must take active steps to comply with their duty of care to mitigate risk of harm.
Click the button below to your free Reportable Conduct Scheme Checklist to assist your organisation to comply with its Child Safety and Safeguarding obligations and make your organisation a Safe Space for children and vulnerable people.

How Safe Space Legal can help:

The team at Safe Space Legal brings extensive expertise in collaborating with organisations throughout New South Wales, ensuring their compliance with legal requirements when engaging with children and young people. Safe Space Legal provides a diverse range of services, including:


Conducting investigations in accordance with the New South Wales Reportable Conduct Scheme.

Procedure Implementation

Drafting and Amending child safety policies, procedures, codes of conduct, and complaints handling processes that align with the New South Wales Child Safe Standards.

Training and Education

Offering customised child safety training covering legal obligations, duty of care, the Reportable Conduct Scheme, investigations, and the Child Safe Standards.

Compliance Audits

Conducting audits aligned with the Child Safe Standards to identify practice and policy gaps, enhancing organisations’ safeguarding capacity.

Legal Support

Providing expert legal advice on safeguarding and child safety matters specific to New South Wales legislation.

Crisis Management

Performing root cause analysis of critical child safety incidents to strengthen safeguarding and compliance with legislative obligations in New South Wales.
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