Investigation process

We regulate services across NSW to promote high-quality early childhood education and care.

As a regulatory authority, the department conducts investigations to ensure compliance with the National Law and Regulations. An investigation is a process of seeking information relevant to an alleged, apparent or potential breach of the National Law.

When a complaint or notification about a service is received it is assessed by the triage team, with more serious matters being referred for formal investigation. An investigation begins with initial contact with relevant parties involved in the complaint or incident. From then, the service involved will be visited and the investigation plan is developed. Evidence obtained is assessed, identifying whether a breach of the National Law has been substantiated.

The stages of an investigation

An investigation is conducted in stages to ensure appropriate inquiries are made and evidence is gathered.

Phase 1 – initial information

  • The investigation is assigned to an investigator
  • The investigator assesses information to determine required action

Phase 2 – plan investigation

  • An investigation plan is developed to inform direction and ensure consistency of the investigation

Phase 3 – conduct investigation

  • The investigator conducts field inquiries, obtains and examines records, interviews witnesses and affected parties

Phase 4 – finalise investigation and prepare report/brief of evidence

  • The investigator prepares a report of the investigation including evidence identified, findings, and recommendations as appropriate
  • The final report is then reviewed by the senior investigator and manager, compliance and investigations
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