Department of Health and Human Services

See also...

Victorian health incident management system (VHIMS)

The Victorian health incident management system (VHIMS) is a collaborative project between the department, Victorian health services and other key stakeholder groups. The 12-month statewide implementation of VHIMS was completed in February 2011.

The Victorian health incident management policy outlines health services and Department of Health roles and responsibilities in relation to incident management.

VHIMS: Improving quality through incident management

VHIMS addresses the importance of incident data collection and analysis at a local and statewide level. Data provided to the Department of Health will be used to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the type, frequency and severity of clinical incidents.

Importantly, data on contributing and preventative factors will be analysed and lessons learned will be shared, so that quality improvement initiatives can be targeted where required.

VHIMS resources

The Department of Health has developed a range of tools to assist health services and agencies to implement VHIMS.

The Department of Health has developed two VHIMS information sheets:

  A guide to completing incident reports

  A guide to effectively reviewing incident reports

They are companion guides designed to introduce your staff to the principles of writing and reviewing incident reports. Please use them to supplement your existing training materials.

New criminal offences to improve responses to child sexual abuse

Separate to the requirements under the Victorian health incident management policy guide, three new criminal offences have been introduced to improve responses within organisations and the community to child sexual abuse.

The offences form part of the Victorian Government’s response to the recommendations of Betrayal of Trust, the report of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Non-Government Organisations.

'Failure to disclose’ offence

A new offence came into effect on 27 October 2014 for adults who fail to disclose child sexual abuse to police. The new offence applies to all adults, not just professionals who work with children.

Any adult who holds a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed by an adult against a child in Victoria must report that belief to police, unless they have a reasonable excuse for not reporting.

For information about how the offence may affect the reporting obligations of funded organisations and Department of Health & Human Services staff, a fact sheet is available to download from the human services website.

‘Failure to protect’ offence

A new ‘failure to protect’ offence came into effect on 1 July 2015 which applies to people within organisations who knew of a risk of child sexual abuse by someone associated with the organisation and had the authority to reduce or remove the risk, but negligently failed to do so.

A fact sheet about the offence is available to download on the human services website. Alternatively, you can email