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NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Updates

Get up to date with the latest quality and safeguarding developments here!

By Jessica Quilty

Updated 15 Apr 202411 Dec 2019

Things are evolving so rapidly in this space so here are a few little quality and safeguarding updates that might be of interest to you!

Audit updates

The NDIS  (Provider Registration and Practice Standards) Amendment (2019 Measures No. 1) Rules 2019 was released that amends the NDIS Provider Registration Rules 2019. The biggest change being that the requirement for all bodies corporate to be assessed using certification has been repealed. If you missed it, you can get the lowdown here.

The changes seek to address the disproportionate regulatory burden on some NDIS providers (particularly sole traders delivering lower risk supports).

The NDIS Commission has since summarised the rule changes on their website including:

  • a consistent approach to audits for providers delivering lower risk supports irrespective of legal entity type
  • further operationalise a proportionate quality audit process
  • enabling a specific practice standard to not apply to a particular provider, upon recommendation of an auditor where not relevant to the provider’s service provision
  • imposing a condition of registration on providers subject to a certification assessment requiring a mid-term assessment within 18 months of registration approval
  • extending the types of changes and events about which a registered provider must notify the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner.

The NDIS Commission has set up this webpage that gives further details of the specific changes and events that need to be reported to the Commission from 1 January 2020.

NDIS Workforce Capability Framework

The NDIS Commission is leading the development of a national NDIS Workforce Capability Framework to support consistency in practice and delivery of quality disability services across Australia.

The Capability Framework will translate the NDIS Principles, Practice Standards and Code of Conduct into clear and observable behaviours that service providers and workers should demonstrate when delivering services to people with disability. 

The Capability Framework will include:

  • core capabilities that all service providers and workers will be expected to have
  • complementary capabilities required by workers who assist participants with tasks that require specific knowledge or expertise
  • technical capabilities for those who deliver higher-intensity services that require specialised knowledge or expertise.

Bendelta, an organisation that specialises in workforce capability development, will undertake this work from November 2019. This is expected to take approximately 12 months. Bendelta will be engaging with a range of key stakeholders including people with disability and their families, service providers, the workforce, technical experts, state and territory governments and peak agencies. You can find out more about the project here.

Video recordings: using the NDIS Commission Portal (behaviour support)

Two webinars have been uploaded on the nuances of navigating the NDIS Commission Portal. The first webinar is directed at behaviour support practitioners:

Behaviour support plans that contain a regulated restrictive practice must be lodged with the NDIS Commission. This webinar provides tips for ensuring successful lodgement of behaviour support plans using the NDIS Commission Portal, including:

  • How to find providers in the NDIS Commission Portal on the first go
  • How to make the service locations appear
  • Meanings of the different behaviour support plan statuses
  • What to do when you can’t ‘send draft’.

Behaviour support practitioners might also find this user guide helpful.

The second webinar is directed at implementing providers: Implementing providers who use regulated restrictive practices during the delivery of their supports are required to report on this use to the NDIS Commission. This webinar covers topics to help implementing providers navigate the reporting process successfully, including:

  • How to find the behaviour support plan you are implementing in the NDIS Commission Portal
  • What the different statuses of a behaviour support plan mean
  • How to enter monthly reports.

Implementing providers might also find this user guide helpful.

Reportable incidents

Providers are required to submit a final report when the NDIS Commission requires additional information on a Reportable Incident, a quick reference guide has just been released.

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission’s annual report

The Commission’s first annual report was released in October. Full article here. It provides key corporate information and documents the Commission’s financial and non-financial performance for the reporting period. The Commission states that Accessible Word and Easy Read versions will be available on the webpage in November 2019 but we are still waiting to see that so keep your eyes peeled.

Disability Royal Commission

The NDIA and NDIS Commission sent out a joint letter to providers stating that the Disability Royal Commission has asked the NDIA and the NDIS Commission to provide certain information about providers that have registered in the NDIS.

States and territories 

Some of the states and territories have been busy  developing resources and making amendments to support providers with transition to the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework. Victoria have released a heap of Factsheets that outline the changes for providers in things like worker screening, incident management and behaviour support.  There are also some big changes for SDA providers. On 1 July 2019, new provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 came into effect, incorporating SDA rental arrangements. Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) regulates the new provisions. For more information, view the legislation update on the CAV website.

Over in NSW, the RPA portal is a great source of information for providers regarding restrictive practice requirements including videos, resources and a training environment.

QLD has developed some fact sheets for providers regarding worker screening and restrictive practice requirements. 

The NT has developed a worker screening information paper and a restrictive practice authorisation framework .

Well that’s it for the Q&S newsletter for the year, we hope you get the chance to recharge the batteries over Christmas. We reckon 2020 is shaping up to be an energetic, reforming year for quality and safeguarding and we need all passionate people on deck!

Authors

Jessica Quilty

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