Department of Health

Reviews of decisions of the Child Safe Standards Regulator (Health)

A guide for the health sector.

Under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (the Act), the Secretary to the Department of Health is the prescribed ‘sector regulator’ of the Child Safe Standards (the Standards) for ‘relevant entities’ in the health sector.

The Child Safe Standards Regulator (Health) administers the Standards on behalf of the Secretary. It is referred to in this document as ‘the Regulator’.

In regulating the Standards, the Regulator may make decisions that affect you and that you may disagree with. When this occurs, you may apply to us for an internal review of certain decisions, as allowed under the Act.

Following an internal review, you may be able to apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), who will further review our internal review decision.

This guide explains the:

  • types of decisions that can be reviewed
  • process for seeking an internal review.

What is an internal review?

An internal review is a ‘merits review’ process conducted within the Regulator.

The review is done by a person who:

  • is not the original decision maker
  • who holds an executive position.

The person conducting the review will effectively re-make what they think is the correct or preferable decision based on:

  • your application
  • the law, facts and evidence (including any new or additional evidence)
  • what happened in the original decision-making process.

The Regulator is committed to the principles of procedural fairness. It will ensure that the review is dealt with independently and fairly.

As with all regulatory decisions, the person conducting the review will follow the Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector Employees and the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.

There is no cost to apply for an internal review.

Reviewable decisions

Not all decisions made under the Act about the Standards can be internally reviewed.

Table 1 summarises:

  • the types of decisions by the Regulator that can be internally reviewed
  • who can apply for review
  • the Regulator’s timeframes for accepting review applications.

Table 1: Reviewable decisions

Section

Reviewable decision

Who may seek a review

Timeframes for lodging applications

Section 41I(1)(a)

Decision to issue a notice to produce under section 30

Relevant entity, person or body

14 days from the date the notice is given

Section 41I(1)(a)

Decision to issue a notice to comply under section 31

Relevant entity, person or body

14 days from the date the notice is given

Section 41I(1)(b)

Decision to issue an official warning under section 36A

Relevant entity, person or body

14 days from the date of issue to the relevant party

Section 41I(1)(c)

Decision to publish information under section 36I

Relevant entity, person or body

14 days from the date of notice to the relevant party

Note: Timeframes are calculated by calendar days. More time may be granted to account for public holidays.

How to apply for a review

Complete the internal review application form. 

You will need to include:

  • your reasons for requesting an internal review
  • any extra information or evidence that is relevant to the review
  • the outcome you want from the review.

Email the completed application form and all relevant attachments to ChildSafeStandards@health.vic.gov.au.

You must lodge your completed application within the timeframes set out in Table 1.

The Regulator will only accept applications out of time in exceptional circumstances. If you want to make an application for review out of time, include your reasons in the application form.

The Regulator will tell you if the original decision will be suspended until the internal review is complete.

Internal review process

  1. Step 1: The Regulator receives your application

    Once you have applied for a review (by emailing the completed form and relevant attachments to ChildSafeStandards@health.vic.gov.au), the Regulator will acknowledge it has received your application.

    The Regulator will assess the information you included in the application to confirm:

    • it is a decision that can be reviewed
    • the application was made by a party who may lawfully seek a review
    • the application has been made within time.

    The Regulator will then tell you:

    • whether the decision is eligible for review
    • expected timelines
    • information about how to share any more evidence or written submissions.
  2. The person appointed to conduct the review will:

    • hold an executive position within the Department of Health, and
    • not be the same person who made the original decision.
  3. If the Regulator needs more information, we will tell you the date when you need to provide it.

    Any new information or evidence must be clear, legible and relevant to the matter under review.

  4. The Regulator may contact you to ask questions or seek clarification of any matters. We will also keep you informed of the progress of the review.

    You may contact the Regulator by phone during business hours or by email to discuss the review. See Contact us for our contact details.

    You may request to meet in person with the Regulator to explain why you think the original decision should be changed. The Regulator will consider your request but a meeting is not always possible. The decision to meet in person will be at the discretion of the Regulator.

  5. After considering all relevant information and any new facts or evidence provided by you, the person conducting the review will make one of the following decisions:

    • affirm the original decision
    • vary the original decision
    • revoke the original decision
    • revoke the original decision and substitute it with another decision.

    The Regulator will tell you the internal review outcome and the reasons for the decision.

Applying for further review at VCAT

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you may be able to apply to VCAT for further review of some internal review decisions.

In these cases, the Act requires the internal review be finished before you can apply to VCAT for review.

The Regulator will not conduct another review of the internal review decision.

Table 2 shows:

  • which decisions can be reviewed by VCAT
  • who can apply
  • the timeframes under the Act for applying to VCAT.

Table 2: VCAT reviewable decisions

Section

Reviewable decision

Who may seek a review

Deadline to lodge application with VCAT

Section 41J(1)

Review of an internal review decision under section 41I(1)(a) to issue a notice to comply under section 31

A relevant entity

28 days after the later of:

• the date of the internal review decision

• the date on which a statement of reasons is given under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998

• the date the Regulator advises that a statement of reasons will not be given.

Section 41J(1)

Review of an internal review decision under section 41I(1)(c) to publish information under section 36I

A relevant entity

28 days after the later of:

• the date of the internal review decision

• the date on which a statement of reasons is given under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998

• the date the Regulator advises that a statement of reasons will not be given.

You cannot seek a VCAT review of an internal review decision by the Regulator about:

  • a notice to produce under section 30
  • an official warning under section 36A.

For more information on seeking an external review at VCAT, see VCAT’s website .

Withdrawing an internal review application

You may seek to withdraw your application for an internal review at any time by writing to us.

For example, you may want to stop the internal review if you have complied with a notice under review in the meantime.

Acceptance of a request to withdraw a review application will be at the discretion of the Regulator.

Contact us

For more information or to talk through issues of concern:

If you need an interpreter, please call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50 and ask them to contact us on 1300 650 172.

Reviewed 31 December 2022

Health.vic

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