Becoming a supported residential services proprietor

Key messages

  • An SRS proprietor must provide the support that residents need.
  • Proprietors must also meet legislative obligations, including accommodation and personal support standards.
  • To be a proprietor, a person must be approved to hold a Certificate of Registration from the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.
  • The department recommends that people undergo training and seek legal advice before becoming a proprietor.

Each supported residential service (SRS) has a proprietor, who is the legal owner and operator. Proprietors may be incorporated bodies (for example, a company) or individuals or partnerships.

SRS are privately operated businesses that provide personal support and accommodation in a shared living environment. This support usually includes assistance with showering, personal hygiene, toileting, dressing, meals and medication. It also involves physical and emotional support. Some SRS also provide nursing or allied health services.

As a proprietor you will provide these services and meet legal obligations.

When you operate a supported residential service (SRS), you need to commit to providing the support that residents need. You also need to comply with your statutory obligations under the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010 and the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Regulations 2012.

Beyond the practical part of the role, you need to understand the role’s responsibilities.

A proprietor is responsible for meeting the SRS Standards. This is not a ‘hands-off’ job that you can manage from a distance. You are responsible for supporting every aspect of the residents’ lives.

A proprietor’s leadership is important to the successful operation of an SRS. Proprietors need to ensure everything is done correctly, and model for staff and residents how everyone in the SRS communicates and behaves. If you employ a manager, you must ensure they do these things too.

Before you can start an SRS business, you must register the premises with the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing. The business owner (proprietor) must be approved to hold a Certificate of Registration, which allows the proprietor to operate an SRS business from those premises.

Go to Registration process to learn more about registration steps and find the application forms. A good approach is to:

  • read the information on this website
  • attend the department’s 'Obligations of running an SRS' training session
  • seek independent professional business advice.

SRS proprietors guide

Operating an SRS - a guide for proprietors will help you and your staff understand your responsibilities in the day-to-day operation of a SRS.

Obligations of running an SRS - free training session

Partnering with Aged & Community Care Providers Association (formerly Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) Victoria), we offer a free training session on running an SRS. This session is available to prospective and current proprietors and managers.

The session outlines a proprietor’s obligations under the SRS Act and Regulations.

These obligations include:

  • providing required information to prospective residents during a referral process
  • developing individual support plans for residents
  • compulsory reporting of serious incidents
  • record keeping
  • workplace policies and procedures.

Go to Training for session details and registration.

Independent professional business advice

When you provide an SRS, you are running a business. So, in addition to complying with the SRS Act and Regulations, a proprietor has to comply with other business legislation. This compliance may include (and is not limited to):

  • the employment of staff
  • occupational health and safety in the workplace
  • food safety and privacy.

Proprietors should seek appropriate professional advice on these issues to ensure the success of the business. If you are purchasing an existing SRS business, then also consider legal and financial advice on:

  • the risks and benefits of the purchase
  • contracts and lease information.
  • ongoing income, expenditure and cash flow.

Business Victoria provides information, workshops and help in setting up and operating businesses in Victoria. You may also want to contact the Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is the peak body for employers in Victoria.