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Quality and Safeguarding Updates

Get up to date with your quality and safeguarding updates here

By Jessica Quilty

Updated 15 Apr 202430 Jul 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of quality and safeguarding updates.

Worker screening

While it was intended that national NDIS worker screening would commence from 1 July 2020, the impacts of COVID-19 has meant it will be delayed. Accordingly, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Practice Standards—Worker Screening) Rules 2018 have been amended again to commence NDIS worker screening from 1 February 2021. Transitional arrangements continue to apply in the interim. A provider alert was also put out by the Commission earlier this month updating on the worker screening.

 

Self-Assessment resource guide for the Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) Capability Framework

The NDIS Commission has now published the highly anticipated Self-Assessment Resource Guide for the PBS Capability Framework.

  • The broad purpose of the guide is for behaviour support practitioners to assess their capabilities against the PBS Capability Framework.
  • The guide aims to build capability in the development of behaviour support, and encourage progressively higher standards in behaviour support services.
  • It also includes a toolkit of resources that behaviour support practitioners can use to complete a self-assessment of their capabilities against the PBS Capability Framework and develop a portfolio of Evidence to demonstrate their suitability.

The NDIS Commission says it is not mandatory for a behaviour support practitioner to do the self-assessment, or to use these resources, however these can assist with demonstrating practitioner suitability and capability to the Commission. This may also help providers registered for Specialist Behaviour Support demonstrate some of their credentialing and supervision practices as required in Module 2.

The NDIS Commission states it will contact behaviour support practitioners when they are required to have their suitability assessed.

 

Authorisation of restrictive practices in funded disability services policy

Western Australia (WA) has released its Authorisation of Restrictive Practices Policy which details the restrictive practices that need to be authorised, including the requirement for consent and an Authorisation Panel.  A pre-implementation phase will run from 8 June 2020 – 30 November 2020 and is an opportunity to ask questions and prepare for the operational requirements to meet the policy from 1 December 2020.

Service providers are encouraged to consider how to meet the following three essential requirements of the Policy:

  1. Ensure that a Behaviour Support Plan (BSP) is in place for all individuals with behaviour support needs, and that any restrictive practices are included in the BSP
  2. Ensure that consent has been obtained for the use of restrictive practices
  3. Determine how to convene or access Authorisation Panels to make authorisation decisions.

For more information refer to the Authorisation of Restrictive Practices in Funded Disability Services Policy and Explanatory Notes.

 

Inquiry into the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

The Joint Standing Committee is inquiring into the operation of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, with particular reference to:

  • The monitoring, investigation and enforcement powers available to the Commission, and how those powers are exercised in practice.
  • The effectiveness of the Commission in responding to concerns, complaints and reportable incidents – including allegations of abuse and neglect of NDIS participants.
  • The adequacy and effectiveness of the NDIS Code of Conduct and the NDIS Practice Standards.
  • The adequacy and effectiveness of provider registration and worker screening arrangements, including the level of transparency and public access to information regarding the decisions and actions taken by the Commission.
  • The effectiveness of communication and engagement between the Commission and state and territory authorities.
  • The human and financial resources available to the Commission, and whether these resources are adequate for the Commission to properly execute its functions.
  • Management of the transition period, including impacts on other commonwealth and state‑based oversight, safeguarding, and community engagement programs.
  • Any related matters.

Submissions close today Friday, 31 July 2020.

 

Independent review into circumstances relating to the death of Ann Marie Smith

On 20 and 21 July 2020, the Hon. Alan Robertson held meetings in Adelaide with those who provided a submission or an outline of what they wished to say to the independent review.

  • The meetings were broadcast via live stream where possible.
  • The broadcast was turned off, where necessary, in circumstances where the discussion was about individuals or information that could prejudice or interfere with ongoing enquiries, civil or criminal proceedings.
  • Transcripts of the publicly accessible sessions of these meetings are available here.
  • Video recordings of the public webcasts are also available:

Day 1 public webcast (20 July 2020)

Day 2 public webcast (21 July 2020)

 

Royal Commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability

The Disability Royal Commission has released its schedule to resume public hearings.  These include:

  • Experiences of people with disability during the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Psychotropic medication, behaviour support and behaviours of concern.
  • Barriers experienced by students with disability in accessing and obtaining a safe, quality and inclusive school education and consequent life course impacts.
  • Long term, including indefinite, detention and interactions with the criminal justice system experienced by people with disability.
  • The experiences of First Nations people with disability and their families in contact with child protection systems.
  • Training and education of health care professionals in relation to people with cognitive disability.
  • Systemic barriers in the pathways to employment for people with disability.

 Private sessions are also available for people to share their experience of violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation in a confidential setting with a Royal Commissioner.

To find out more visit https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/.

 

Implementing providers: facilitating the development of Behaviour Support Plans that include regulated restrictive practices

This fact sheet has been put out by the NDIS Commission to explain how implementing providers can demonstrate they have taken reasonable steps to facilitate the development of interim and comprehensive behaviour support plans related to the use of regulated restrictive practices.

Compliance activities (unauthorised restrictive practices webinar)

This webinar provides information relating to a notice that was issued on 6 July 2020 by the NDIS Commission to registered providers in New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia (SA). The notice requested information on the provider’s use of unauthorised restrictive practices where the use is not in accordance with:

  • an authorisation and there is an authorisation process in relation to the use of the restrictive practice; and/or
  • a behaviour support plan for the NDIS participant.

This is just an FYI, providers we work in NSW and SA that were affected were notified by the Commission of the webinar.

 

NSW interim authorisation extension

NSW currently has an interim approach to authorising restrictive practices, which started on 1 July 2018 and was due to end on 30 June 2020. An interim approach was implemented to allow for a public consultation process to design the way authorisation will occur in the longer term.

The key themes and findings from the consultation have been synthesised and are contained in a report that will soon be released to the sector. To allow for further consultation and planning with the sector around the transition to the new model, the current interim model in NSW will be extended until early 2021.

Further communication will occur in August 2020 with regards to the longer term model, find the full low down in the RPA newsletter.

 

COVID-19

The NDIS Commission continues to put out a number of resources in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new provider alert has just been issued by the NDIS Commission: Preparing for and managing a COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria and NSW

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Victoria and New South Wales, this is a reminder of the guidance available to assist you to prepare for, respond to, and manage an outbreak involving the people with disability you support and/or your workers. 

Key points:

  • Knowing how to respond if NDIS participants you support and/or your workers were exposed to or infected with COVID-19 is vital.
  • The Australian Government has announced temporary changes to funding arrangements for accessing PPE, and there is guidance, including a video, available on when and how to use it.
  • The Victorian and NSW public health units have dedicated information for providers and workers in the disability sector.
  • Encourage any members of your workforce who haven’t already done so, to complete the Australian Government Department of Health’s ‘Infection prevention and control’ training module.
  • If you, your workers or the people you support experience even mild symptoms, arrange a COVID-19 test immediately and self-isolate until you receive the results.”

Other recent additions include:

More information is available on the Commission’s website and you can keep up to date by subscribing to the Commission’s newsletters.

That’s it for this month stage tuned more quality and safeguarding news.

Authors

Jessica Quilty

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