Senior Practitioner - reducing restrictive practices

Enacted on 1 September 2018, the Senior Practitioner Act 2018 (the Act) provides a formal framework for the reduction and elimination of restrictive practices by service providers in the ACT. It also provides the powers and functions of the Senior Practitioner.

The Act enshrines the principle that service providers should only use restrictive practices in very limited circumstances – as a last resort, in the least restrictive way and for the shortest period possible in the circumstances.

The intent of the legislation is not to enable the use of restrictive practices, it is to provide a formal framework for the reduction and elimination of restrictive practices in the ACT.

Mandy Donley was appointed as the ACT’s inaugural Senior Practitioner. The current Senior Practitioner is Tracey Harkness.

The leadership and oversight of the Senior Practitioner will help to improve the lives of all people who are vulnerable and potentially subject to restrictive practices. The Act will also enable the ACT to meet its commitments under the National Framework for Reducing and Eliminating the Use of Restrictive Practices in the Disability Sector and the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework.

The Act regulates the use of restrictive practices by persons or other entities who provide any of the following services to another person:

  • education;
  • disability;
  • care and protection of children.


ACT Senior Practitioner, Tracey Harkness.

Further information

Office of the Senior Practitioner (Community Services Directorate website)

ACT Senior Practitioner factsheet

Upcoming information sessions and other events