Supported residential service registration process and requirements

Key messages

  • To become a proprietor of a supported residential service (SRS), the legal entity that intends to own and operate the SRS must first apply to the department's Human Service Regulator and be approved for registration of the premises.
  • Once we receive a complete application for registration, we assess the information and documentation against set criteria. This includes the building suitability, the applicant’s suitability, skills and knowledge and arrangements in place to operate the SRS.
  • We assess the prospective proprietor to determine their suitability to operate an SRS.
  • We will advise the applicant in writing of the outcome of the application within set timeframes.

On this page, the terms ‘we’ and ‘us’ refer to the department’s Human Services Regulator.

To become a proprietor of an SRS, the legal entity that intends to own and operate the SRS must first apply to us for registration of the premises. We must approve the registration before the proprietor starts the SRS business or takes over ownership of an existing SRS.

Pre-lodgement meeting

Before applying for registration, we undertake a pre-lodgement meeting with each applicant. The purpose of this meeting is to dedicate time for us to understand the circumstances and aims of the applicant, and to explain the application process.

At this meeting, we will provide applicants with details of documents and information that will need to be submitted with the online application form.

Application form

Once the applicant has confirmed they have all the required documents and information, we will give them access to the online form to lodge the application.

For more details, visit Supported residential services online application forms.

Assessing the application

Once we receive a complete application for registration, we assess the information and documentation provided. We will not assess incomplete applications or individual documents for applicants.

Suitability of premises

We assess the suitability of the premises for use as an SRS for applications for registration, extension and variation. The assessment involves reviewing planning permits, occupancy certificates and the site and the premises’ design and compliance with the National Construction Code 2015.

Essential safety measures

A building needs fire and health safety measures installed or constructed to ensure adequate fire safety and protection from health issues over the life of the building. We require applicants to provide a copy of the latest annual essential safety measures report. The essential safety measures fact sheet describes what must be included in this report.

Building surveyor’s report

For applications for registration and variation (in the case of prior approval of building works), the proprietor must provide a building surveyor report that confirms the premises comply with the National Construction Code 2015 and the SRS facility guidelines.

Applicant’s relevant skills and knowledge

We assess if the proprietor has the relevant skills and knowledge to operate or manage an SRS. We want to be sure you have the appropriate skills to deliver suitable standards of support to residents. We consider the following information:

    • The extent of experience and qualifications in operating or working in an SRS or similar industry. We expect key staff to have some experience in this area and at a level commensurate with the person’s role in the day-to-day operations of the SRS.
    • The extent of business experience and skills that could be applied to operating an SRS business. We expect proprietors and directors to have some experience in this area.
    • A demonstrated understanding of the legislation and the likely practical issues of operating an SRS.

Examination to demonstrate knowledge

A prospective proprietor must demonstrate the relevant knowledge needed to operate an SRS. To do so, they need to complete an online examination of their understanding of the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010 and the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Regulations 2012.

The exam also tests how applicants would deal with the practical issues of operating an SRS. We consider the examination result when determining whether the individual has the relevant skills and knowledge to operate an SRS.

We will contact the applicant to arrange this examination once we receive a complete application. We will provide the necessary information to access the online examination in the lead up to the scheduled examination.

People can complete the open-book examination online using a computer with internet access. The online examination may take approximately 90 minutes but the duration is dependent on the person’s industry experience.

Financial capability to run an SRS

We assess if the proprietor has the financial capacity to operate an SRS. A prospective proprietor must demonstrate they are likely to have, or will continue to have, the ‘financial capacity’ to operate the SRS. An SRS must have the financial resources to meet their legislative obligations.

An SRS that fails due to poor management or lack of financial resources has a widespread impact on residents, families and the proprietor.

We consider the answers provided by the applicant in the application and the following information:

  • profit/loss forecasts that show sustainability and cover all expense items expected for the business
  • a business plan that addresses appropriate strategies for ensuring continued sustainable occupancy rates
  • a manageable level of borrowing and repayment arrangements to ensure positive cash flow.

Relevant arrangements in place to run an SRS

We assess if the proprietor has relevant arrangements in place to operate an SRS.  We consider the following information:

  • a suitable lease that evidences the right to occupy premises and does not contain onerous or unworkable conditions, or evidence that the proprietor owns the premises
  • a proposed staff roster that complies with legislation for minimum staffing levels and qualifications, and ensures residents’ needs are met promptly
  • proposed documentation that complies with all relevant legislative requirements.

Suitability of the proprietor

We assess if the proprietor is a suitable person to carry on, exercise control over or manage an SRS. For this assessment, we consider the following information:

  • a criminal record check which is no more than six months old. We assess any recorded convictions on a case-by-case basis.
  • the proprietor’s financial statement, health statement, charges and convictions statement, and professional standards statement. We consider any issues arising from these statements on a case-by-case basis.


When we accept the application, the applicant must pay the relevant application fee by cheque made payable to the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing. We will advise when to make this payment. Applicants should not send in a cheque prior to being notified an application has been accepted.

For more information about SRS application fees, email


Under the SRS Act, we must give an applicant notice of a decision within 60 days after receiving a complete application for registration and, if further information is requested, within 28 days after receiving that information, whichever is the later.

We will advise you in writing of the outcome of your application. If you are a person whose interests are affected by this decision, you can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a review of this decision within 28 days of the date of the advice.


Essential safety measures – for SRS proprietors and applicants