About the Victorian Senior Practitioner

Information about the Victorian Senior Practitioner, responsibilities and special powers.

The Victorian Senior Practitioner has the power to issue prohibitions and directions under the Disability Act 2006.

The Victorian Senior Practitioner responsibilities:

  • Responsible under the Disability Act, 2006 (Disability Act) for ensuring that the rights of people who are subject to regulated restrictive practices and compulsory treatment are protected and appropriate standards are complied with.
  • Responsible for the authorisation of chemical and environmental restraint and the approval for use of seclusion, mechanical and physical restraint and the approval of treatment plans for people who are subject to compulsory treatment orders.
  • Through the process of authorisation and approval of regulated restrictive practices and compulsory treatment, the Victorian Senior Practitioner can assist service providers reduce their use of restrictive practices and compulsory treatment.
  • Has special powers under section 27 of the Disability Act in respect of the use of restrictive practices and compulsory treatment by disability services and registered NDIS providers.
  • In addition to the powers under section 27, the Victorian Senior Practitioner may give written directions to registered NDIS providers, disability service providers, a specified registered NDIS provider or disability service provider or specified class of registered NDIS providers or disability service providers regarding the use of restrictive practices or a specified restrictive practice under sections 132ZY, 147A, 201I and 201O.

Meet Mandy Donley

Mandy Donley is our Victorian Senior Practitioner. She is a credentialled mental health nurse, with almost 40 years of experience, and in 2018 became the inaugural ACT Senior Practitioner. Mandy’s primary areas of focus are the reduction and elimination of chemical restraint, and strengthening client voice in all the work we do. She has published several journal articles in the areas of the education needs of disability staff, restrictive practices, and compulsory treatment. Mandy Donley will continue research in these areas to ensure better safeguards for people with disabilities in Victoria.

Mandy Donley
Mandy Donley - Victorian Senior Practitioner

Our vision

  • To create an inclusive and safe community that supports people to achieve dignity without restraints.
  • Our work is guided by the underlying principles from The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 and United Nations Convention on Rights for People with Disabilities.
  • These principles include: human rights and citizenship; quality of life and wellbeing; community inclusion; and promotion of individualised positive behaviour support.

Our responsibilities for NDIS participants

  • The approval of Authorised Program Officers (APOs).
  • Authorising the use of regulated restrictive practices in NDIS behaviour support plans.
  • Providing additional approval of seclusion, mechanical and physical restraints and other types of restrictive practices as directed.
  • Prohibiting practices or sub-sets of practices and prohibiting use for certain cohorts of people - for example, people with a psycho-social disability.

Our responsibilities for state funded participants

  • Authorised Program Officers appointed by disability service providers are approved by the Secretary.
  • Authorised Program Officers approve the inclusion of a regulated restrictive practice in a behaviour support plan if it is in accordance with the Disability Act. 
  • Authorised Program Officers must lodge the plan with the Victorian Senior Practitioner.

Prohibitions of the use of restrictive practices

Section 27 of the Disability Act 2006 outlines the special powers of the Senior Practitioner.

Section 27(5B) provides that the Senior Practitioner may prohibit the use of restrictive practices or a specified form of restrictive practice on:

  • People with disability
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants
  • Specific groups of people with disability or NDIS participants.

The prohibition may apply to:

  • Disability service providers
  • Registered NDIS providers
  • Specific types of disability service providers or NDIS providers.

Section 8 of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Restrictive Practices and Behaviour Support) Rules 2018 provides that if a State or Territory prohibits the use of a restrictive practice, the registration of the registered NDIS provider is subject to the condition that the provider must not use the restrictive practice on an NDIS participant.

Prohibition by the Victorian Senior Practitioner is a prohibition for the use of a restrictive practice in Victoria by registered NDIS providers. See the Victorian Senior Practitioner’s Directions and Prohibitions for more information.

More information

For more information, see the Victorian Senior Practitioner and Victorian Senior Practitioner Annual Reports.


Phone: (03) 9096 8427
Email: Victorian Senior Practitioner