Community Living Australia — Delivering Flexible Personalised Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Restrictive Practices

What is a restrictive practice?

A restrictive practice is a practice, device or action that removes another person’s freedom or interferes with another person’s ability to make a decision.

What are the different types of restrictive practices?

There are a variety of types of restrictive practices. Some are allowed to be utilised providing the correct assessments and approvals are in place and that the right procedure is followed and some are never under any circumstances allowed to be used. 

Permitted (providing the right assessments and approvals are in place and the correct procedure is followed):

  • Detention 
  • Seclusion 
  • Environmental restraint 
  • Chemical restraint 
  • Physical restraint 
  • Mechanical restraint

Not permitted: 

  • Exclusion 
  • Aversive restraint 
  • Prone physical restraint 
  • Supine physical restraint 
  • Psycho-social restraint.

Is it ever okay to use a restrictive practice?

Yes, the least restrictive practice possible can be used as long as: 

  • There is documentation that all other options have been tried first 
  • A risk assessment has been done 
  • The correct approval and consent to use the restrictive practice has been obtained as outlined in a Positive Behaviour Support Plan (PBSP).

Can you use a restrictive practice if it is requested by a family member?

A restrictive practice can only be used when the correct approvals, consents and processes are in place, regardless of the demands of any family member or carer of a client. 

This is a legal requirement and all disability service providers under the NDIS are required to abide by the legislation. 

If a family member or carer thinks that a restrictive practice is necessary, they must work with Community Living Australia to obtain the required information and approvals prior to the restrictive practice being used.

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