Risk assessment and management


​Approved providers and service personnel are responsible for ensuring the safety, health and wellbeing of the children under their care. This means doing everything possible to protect children from harm and hazards at all times.

Risk assessment and management is everyone’s business and developing a culture of risk management is vital to ensuring safe environments. In addition, there are a number of specific risk assessment requirements in the legislation. It is an offence under regulation 100 of the National Regulations to fail to conduct a risk assessment before an excursion. Similarly, under regulation 102B, it is an offence to fail to conduct a risk assessment before a service transports a child. Legislative changes from 1 October 2023 will require approved providers to ensure their services conduct a sleep and rest risk assessment at least once every 12 months. These are crucial activities that help prevent harm and hazards to children. Approved providers, nominated supervisors and family day care educators are all responsible for ensuring these risk assessments are completed.

Most harms can be prevented by ensuring risks are properly identified, recorded, assessed, mitigated and continuously monitored. Having clear and comprehensive policies and procedures is critical, but this alone is not sufficient.

Approved providers must proactively ensure that their staff understand what risk means and why it is important. They must always be vigilant to new risks and understand how to design effective control measures to minimise the likelihood of harm to children. Even minor changes to the service environment can lead to major risks and activities such as sleep and rest, transporting children and taking children on excursions are inherently risky and need particularly consideration.

Reflective qu​estions

Approved providers and educators should regularly reflect on their approach to risk management and ask themselves the following questions.

  • Am I confident at assessing risk?
  • Am I continuously scanning for new risks and adapting my practice to manage emerging risks?
  • Do I have all the risk assessments I need in place and are they regularly reviewed and updated?
  • What are my risk ‘blind spots’ and what can I do to address them?
  • How do we learn from incidents and ensure that policies, procedures, risk assessments and staff training are updated accordingly?​


  • Regulation 100-2 Risk assessment must be conducted before excursion
  • Regulations 102B-C Transport risk assessment must be conducted before service transports children
  • Regulation 116 Assessments of family day care residences and approved family day care venues
  • Regulation 162 Health information to be kept in enrolment record
  • Regulation 170 Policies and procedures to be followed
  • Element 2.1.2 Health practices and procedures
  • Element 2.2.2 Incident and emergency management
  • Element 7.1.2 Management systems


Australian Education and Care Quality A​uthority (ACECQA)

Department of ​​Education​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​‘Risk management is definitely a mindset. It’s something that’s there to guide us each and every day and it’s very important. We‘ve had the scenario where educators think we’re going over the top, and then when something happened, they’ve said to me, “Thank you. I understand why this is in place now”.’​​​

Watch the video below.​

Last updated 21 September 2023