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Incident Reporting Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to a range of common questions from State authorities about incident reporting to the State Claims Agency. These frequently asked questions are reviewed and updated regularly.

Any unplanned or uncontrolled occurrence or sequence of occurrences that caused or had the potential to cause injury, ill-health, disease, and/or damage/loss to property/service should be reported. This includes incidents involving persons, property or the organisation as a whole. State authorities have a statutory requirement to report all incidents to the State Claims Agency.

Legal requirement

Organisational requirement/risk management benefits

  • Ensures incident response/follow-up
  • Facilitates incident investigation/review and analysis
  • Aids reflection on, analysis and extraction of lessons learned to prevent reoccurrence
  • Supports the claims resolution process should a claim arise in future
  • Enables incident investigation/review by the State Claims Agency
  • State authorities with access to NIMS should enter an incident directly onto the system
  • State authorities without access to NIMS should submit a copy of their National Incident Report Form to us via

Your organisation should have an established incident reporting procedure. This procedure will outline the steps to follow in relation to reporting incidents in your organisation and the requirements to report to any applicable third-parties such as the State Claims Agency, the Health and Safety Authority, the Mental Health Commission and others.

Our Enterprise Risk Management and Clinical Risk Units are available to advise on the development of incident reporting procedures.

An incident is an event or circumstance which could have, or did lead to unintended and/or unnecessary harm. Incidents include adverse events which result in harm; near-misses which could have resulted in harm, but did not cause harm, either by chance or timely intervention; and staff or service user complaints which are associated with harm (HSE 2020). Clinical incidents are those that relate to the provision of care to patients/service users. Clinical risk management involves the identification, assessment and mitigation of the risks which may result in clinical incidents.

Incidents should be reported on NIMS as soon as possible and should be managed in line with the HSE’s Incident Management Framework (2020) and the HSE’s National Service Plan (2022).