Reporting of critical incidents and deaths

Disability providers need to report all critical incidents within 24 hours, and residential providers also need to report all deaths. Learn about the reporting process and what form to use for critical incident and death notifications.

On this page:

Use these forms when reporting all critical incidents and deaths

Why is Whaikaha collecting this information?

Whaikaha collects and reviews information about the critical incidents and deaths of disabled people receiving Whaikaha contracted services to help support continuous improvement and better outcomes for disabled people. The information you provide will be used to help us do that.  

The information that is reported to Whaikaha will be collected, stored, and used in accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act external URL and other relevant Acts of Law.  

Please use the updated forms

The incident and death reporting forms were updated in January 2023 to reflect the shift to Whaikaha and as part of our continuous improvement process.

We hope they are easier to use and provide more useful information to support improvement. A key change is that the forms ask for the perspectives of the disabled people and whānau involved in the incident or death.    

Critical incident notification

Disability providers are required under their contracts with Whaikaha to report all critical incidents to Whaikaha as soon as practical within 24 hours of the incident.

What is a critical incident?

Critical incident categories are:

  • Death of a disabled person (when due to an incident, neglect, or is unexpected or suspicious) 
  • Serious injury of a disabled person
  • Hospitalisation of a disabled person
  • Abuse or assault of a disabled person
  • Abuse or assault by a disabled person to a non-disabled person
  • Neglect of a disabled person
  • Restraint or seclusion
  • Police or emergency services involved
  • Unauthorised leave of a disabled person under a court order
  • Missing person
  • Incident related to external investigation or media

Download a detailed definition of the critical incident categories and definitions. (DOCX 142KB) 

Critical incident notification process

Disability providers are to follow these steps when reporting a critical incident to Whaikaha: 

  1. Complete the Whaikaha Critical Incident Reporting Form (DOCX 111KB)
  2. Email your completed form to If your service and the incident site are certified by HealthCert also send this form to If the incident involves someone receiving services under the ID(CC&R) Act external URL also send the form to
  3. Whaikaha will review the incident and determine if further investigation is required.

If in doubt, please submit a report. Reporting critical incidents is better than under-reporting.  

Death notification process

Disability providers are to follow these steps when reporting a death to Whaikaha: 

  1. Report the death of a disabled person receiving Whaikaha funded support to NASC/EGL site/FCS within 48 hours.
  2. Complete a Critical Incident Reporting Form if needed within 24 hours. Complete a critical incident form for any death relating to an incident, is unexpected or suspicious, regardless of the type of disability support provided. If the death was due to natural causes or disease progression a critical incident form is not required.
  3. Additional requirement for community residential services: Also complete an Initial Death Review (IDR) Form (DOCX 99KB) within 15 working days.  Disability providers delivering community residential services (including services under the Intellectual Disability Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation Act external URL ) are required under their contracts with Whaikaha to notify Whaikaha of all deaths of disabled people in their service.  To meet this notification requirement Whaikaha asks providers to email the completed Initial Death Review form to Whaikaha within 15 working days following the death. The form is required for all deaths, including those due to natural causes.
  4. Email your completed Critical Incident Reporting forms and Initial Death Review forms to
  5. Whaikaha will review the death and determine if further investigation is required.


We are constantly improving our data collection and forms to collect better information to support providers and disabled people. If you have any suggestions to improve the process or the forms, please provide your feedback to