Do you know the difference between a Nominated Supervisor & Responsible Person?

Do you know the difference between a Nominated Supervisor & Responsible Person? To ensure the health, safety & wellbeing, learning & development of all children is maintained, Services must ensure they have a strong chain of leadership & accountability between...

Do you know the difference between a Nominated Supervisor & Responsible Person?

To ensure the health, safety & wellbeing, learning & development of all children is maintained, Services must ensure they have a strong chain of leadership & accountability between Approved Providers, Nominated Supervisors, Responsible Persons & other members of Management.

In order to cultivate a strong leadership team, it is imperative that all members understand the unique differences of the Nominated Supervisor & Responsible Person.

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Nominated Supervisor: A person with responsibility for the day to day management of an approved service. The Nominated Supervisor has a range of responsibilities under the Law and Regulations that govern the operation of education and care services.

Responsible Person: A person who is physically at the Service and has EITHER:

  • the role of the Approved Provider or
  • the role of Nominated Supervisor or 
  • is a duly appointed person.

The Responsible Person has consented to be placed in day to day charge of the service but does not take on the responsibilities of the Nominated Supervisor rather they ensure the consistency and continuity in practices.

How to choose a Nominated Supervisor (NS)

An Approved Provider must not operate a service unless there is a Nominated Supervisor appointed for that service. The Nominated Supervisor does not have to be in attendance at the service at all times, but in their absence, a Responsible Person is to be placed in charge, ensuring there is always someone on the service premises who has been assessed as fit and proper by the Service

ACECQA (2017) Responsible Person Requirements for Approved Providers

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A Service must have at least one Nominated Supervisor who is responsible for the day-to-day management of an approved Service. The NS has a range of responsibilities under the National law & regulations.

When appointing a Nominated Supervisor (NS), it is imperative you consider the following:

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So, what does it mean:

 has taken reasonable steps to ensure that the person has adequate knowledge and understanding of the provision of education and care to children and an ability to effectively supervise and manage an education and care service.

This needs to be interpreted by each Service in their differing contexts. We should always ensure quality in Education and Care and this means ensuring we advocate for ‘best practice’.

Essentially this means a SOLID understanding of the National Quality Framework:

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Under the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010, it is an offence to operate an approved centre-based education and care service unless a Responsible Person is present.

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The Responsible Person (RP) is able to be placed in day-to-day charge of the Service in the absence of the Nominated Supervisor or Approved Provider. Usually this would be an Assistant Director or Manager, or a senior member of the team.

The ‘Responsible Person’ replaced the old Certified Supervisor term in 2018 with the release of the updated Guide to the National Quality Framework. Previously, Educators applying to become an RP had to complete a Fit & Proper Declaration and submit evidence of their knowledge in order to receive a Certificate authorising them to be a Certified Supervisor for the Service. Since this has changed, the onus is on the Service & Approved Provider to ensure they have documentation and evidence to support their decision when appointing a RP.

How to choose a Responsible Person?

As the ownness is now on Services to ensure they have appointed someone into this role it is imperative the RP is set up for success. Please see some of our suggestions when training and appointing a Responsible Person at your Service (please note these suggestions are not mandatory or in any way referenced in the regs or framework UNLESS otherwise specified – this is quality/best practice).

Create a Responsible Person Induction Schedule

You could include areas of training this educator will need in order to ensure the service runs smoothly in the absence of the Nominated Supervisor or other members of management.

Here is an example of how you might develop an Induction Schedule for your responsible person:

If you would like a complete induction schedule developed uniquely for your Service please contact Firefly HR

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*Child Protection above is relevant to NSW regulations. Please check your states regulations with regards to qualifications and course codes.

Other areas you could include in your induction schedule might include:

  • First aid, management of staffing team, dealing with grievances (families & staff team), computer software (CCMS), ratio requirements, first aid qualification requirements, other qualification requirements (depends on your jurisdiction) audits & WH&S procedures

Development of a Responsible Person Policy

Having a policy which clearly outlines the role of the Responsible Person & the procedures this person must follow will ensure consistency, efficiency & quality practices. It will also mean if you have more than one Responsible Person, each of these Educators will be setting the same expectations daily for children, families, & educators.

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Creation of a Responsible Person Position Description

As detailed in the National Quality Standards in Quality Area 7: Governance & Leadership:

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Ensure the Position Description clearly outlines the Responsible Persons role, responsibilities and expectations.

Key responsibilities should be outlined in relation to:

  • Children
  • Environments
  • Families
  • Educators
  • Programming
  • Overall Service
  • Administration
Need help writting a position description please contact Firefly HR who can provide a generic description or tailor make one for your unique Service.


Reflection questions:

  • How do you manage handovers?

If there is one Responsible Person in the morning and another in the afternoon, how is information shared between the two Educators to ensure the smooth running of the Service and quality care of children?

If there is a handover during Vacation Care, is there time allocated for these discussions, has a document been devised which outlines any notes for families, medical conditions to note, first aid?

  • How do you ensure the name of the Responsible Person on duty is on display for families to view when entering the Service?

(services located on school grounds) With COVID restrictions meaning some families are not able to go onto school grounds –how do you now ensure families are aware of who is the Responsible Person on duty without entering the school grounds?

  • Is the Responsible Person able to give constructive on the floor feedback and mentoring to other team members? Are they able to give direction to ensure safety and supervision procedures are followed?
  • Is the Responsible Person aware of their role as a Mandatory Reporter and what to do if a concern were to arise?
  • Does the Responsible Person know what to do in an Emergency Situation, ensuring safety of all children and staff?


  • ACECQA (2017) Responsible Person Requirements for Approved Providers
  • Guide to the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations, 2015
  • National Quality Standards
  • National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
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Acknowledgement of Country

At Firefly HR, we acknowledge the traditional owners of the land we work & connect with you from today. As a base, Firefly HR connects from the land of the Garigal or Caregal people, and would like to acknowledge all 29 clan groups of the Eora Nation.

At Firefly HR, we connect – although online, and meet by story sharing, learning, taking on non verbal queues, deconstruct and reconstruct information, and move in non linear directions at times. We use symbols without realising, and link with our own land and community.

This is all interconnected. We are utilising Aboriginal pedagogy with these processes and in our daily work.

We acknowledge the land that we are on today has been the core of all spirituality, language, knowledge, and sacred sites. This knowledge is what us and others need to embrace to ensure a future for our children and our children’s children.

We need to hear, respectfully, and listen.

As a guiding principle to the National Quality Framework that Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are valued, we are working on building the foundations here and believe a strong, meaningful acknowledgement of country is important.