Nominated SupervisorWhat is a Nominated Supervisor?

Under the National Quality Framework (NQF) approved child care providers, including long day cares, family day cares and outside of school hours providers, must have a responsible person present at all times a service is educating and caring for kids.

A responsible person is defined in the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 as:

1. The approved provider; if the approved provider is an individual, in other cases a person with management or control of the service
2. The nominated supervisor of the service
3. A certified supervisor who has been placed in day-to-day charge of the service in the absence of the nominated supervisor.

This article looks in detail at the role of the nominated supervisor.

The requirement to have a nominated supervisor on site at all times children are being educated and cared for applies to both new and existing child care providers. For new services this means that from the outset services must have a nominated supervisor in charge of the day-to-day operation of the service.

As part of an application for service approval, an approved provider must identify a nominated supervisor for the service and evidence of that person's consent to fill the role.

An approved provider may obtain a supervisor certificate and be the nominated supervisor for their service or they can employ an educator with a supervisor certificate who can consent to do the job.

More information about how to obtain a supervisor certificate is available further down.
If a service employs two or more educators who hold supervisor certificates, any of them could consent to be the nominated supervisor but only one staff member can be appointed to the position.

Responsibilities of the nominated supervisor
As the nominated supervisor of a service a person has a range of responsibilities including:
  • Delivery of an appropriate range of educational programs which are based on children's developmental needs and interests.
  • Supervision and safety of children and ensuring they are safe from hazards and not subject to inappropriate discipline.
  • Entry to and exit from the premises including ensuring children do not leave the service and parents can enter the service at any time.
  • Supervision of food and beverages, including ensuring safe food handling practices, ensuring children have access range of high quality and nutritious food and beverages which take into consideration any dietary requirements.
  • Administration of medication in accordance with National Regulations
  • Ensuring staff do not consume alcohol or be under the influence of drugs (including prescription medication) which could affect their ability to care for children.
  • The sleep and rest needs of children and ensuring they receive an appropriate amount of sleep for their developmental needs.
  • Excursions and ensuring a risk assessment is conducted and that parental approval is sought before the excursion happens.
  • Ensuring staff levels are maintained in accordance with prescribed ratios and that staff have the required qualifications.
An approved provider must ensure a responsible person is present whenever the service is educating and caring for children. The nominated supervisor does NOT always need to be present but in the absence of the nominated supervisor another responsible person, such as a certified supervisor, must be present.

A certified supervisor placed in day-to-day charge of an approved service does not take on the obligations of the nominated supervisor. This means if breaches occur at a service while the approved provider or nominated supervisor is absent, ultimate responsibility still remains with the approved provider and in some cases the nominated supervisor.

As an approved provider you must display details about the service's nominated supervisor, including their name and prescribed class, somewhere highly visible. For family day care services this includes the main entrance to the family day care office, family day care residences and venues.

If the nominated supervisor of an approved service leaves the job then you must notify the Regulatory Authority at least seven days before a new person starts work as the nominated supervisor.

What is a supervisor certificate and how do I get one?
Only people who hold a supervisor certificate are eligible to be the nominated supervisor of an approved service.

People who hold a supervisor certificate may also be placed in temporary charge of an approved service in the absence of the nominated supervisor.

There is no cap on the number of certified supervisors per service and an approved provider should try and assess how many staff need to hold a certificate to ensure the responsible person requirement is met.

A supervisor certificate is a personal approval and is ongoing unless suspended, cancelled or surrendered. A supervisor certificate is not attached to a particular service, which means a person will not have to reapply for a supervisor certificate if they move to another state or territory.

Relief educators can apply for a supervisor certificate.

A supervisor certificate is not a qualification.

The Government has determined that it is unnecessary for some people to apply for a supervisor certificate due to their experience and qualifications. These people are classified as declared certified supervisors and people who meet the criteria will be contacted by their state or territory Regulatory Authority and issued a supervisor certificate by mid-2012.

The National Regulations permit certain other groups of people to be granted a supervisor certificate without making an application; these include principals of schools, people in charge of the campus of a school, teachers or directors providing an education and care service at the site of a school.

Everyone else needs to apply for a certificate.

Application process
Applications for supervisor certificates are assessed by the relevant state or territory Regulatory authority. Applicants must:
  • apply in the area where they usually live
  • provide the information set out in the National Regulations
  • pay the application fee of $30.
The Regulatory Authority may also request additional information.

To be granted a supervisor certificate applicants must:
  • be 18 years or older
  • satisfy the Regulatory Authority that they are a fit and proper person to be the supervisor of a service
  • meet the minimum requirements for qualifications, experience and management capability.
Determining fitness and propriety
In determining fitness and propriety, the Regulatory Authority will consider the applicant's:
  • history of involvement in education and care services
  • compliance with current and previous education and care services law, children's service law or education law
  • working with children check or, in areas where this check is not applicable, the applicant's criminal history record check.
  • The Regulatory Authority may also take into account any medical condition that could affect that person's capacity to be a supervisor.
  • Registered teachers and people who hold current working with children cards are taken to be fit and proper persons.
Determining qualifications, experience and management capabilities
The National Regulations set out the minimum requirements for qualifications, experience and management capability needed to gain a supervisor certificate by application.

The applicant must have:
  • adequate knowledge and understanding of the provision of education and care to children
  • the ability to effectively supervise and manage an education and care service
AND at least one of the following:
  • at least three years' experience working as an educator in an education and care service or children's service or school, or
  • an approved diploma-level education and care qualification, or
  • an approved early childhood teacher qualification.
A supervisor certificate may be issued to an applicant who does not meet the requirement for qualifications or length of experience. However, that person can only be the nominated supervisor of, or placed in day-to-day charge of, a service that primarily educates and cares for children who are over preschool age.

Supervisor certificates are subject to the condition that the supervisor must comply with the National Law.

How long does it take to get a certificate?
A Regulatory Authority will determine an application within 60 days of receiving it or any additional information requested. This period may be extended by 30 days with the agreement of the applicant.

The Regulatory Authority must advise the applicant in writing of the outcome of the application and provide reasons, applications which fail maybe reviewable later on.

If the application is successful and a supervisor certificate is granted, the Regulatory Authority must issue a certificate with the following information:
  • the supervisor's name, or the prescribed class and name of the Approved Service
  • the certified supervisor number
  • the date of approval
  • any conditions of the approval.
The Regulatory Authority will also provide this information to ACECQA for Inclusion in the register of Certified Supervisors.

Suspension or cancellation or a certificate
A Regulatory Authority may suspend or cancel a supervisor certificate if the Regulatory Authority believes that the supervisor is no longer fit and proper to fulfill the role, or if the certified supervisor does not comply with a condition of their certificate or the National Law.

However before suspending or cancelling a certificate the Regulatory Authority must notify the certified supervisor, provide reasons for the cancellation and allow the supervisor to respond before making a final decision.

Immediate action will be taken if a Regulatory Authority believes there is a risk to the safety, health or wellbeing of children under the supervisor's care.

For more information on nominated supervisors click here.

For more information on how to apply for a supervisor certificate click here.®
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