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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 202422 Jan 2020

NDIS Commission updates

The NDIS Commission sent out an update in December explaining some of the changes to the NDIS Provider Registration rule. If you are not yet a registered provider you can still find this correspondence on their website. The letter explains:

  • The reduction in the regulatory burden for NDIS providers delivering low risk supports (bodies corporate delivering low risk supports no longer require certification due to organisational structure)
  • Reduction of certification surveillance audits from annual to 18 months (and a renaming to the friendlier mid-term audit)
  • Notification of certain changes and events to the Commission

There is also information about:

  • A code of conduct case study
  • Information on renewing your registration with the Commission
  • The searchable provider register
  • Information about worker screening – apparently some consultants (not us) have been telling peeps they need to undertake drug and alcohol screening to comply with NDIS registration
  • A reminder not to leave people in hot cars
  • Update on the NDIS Workforce Capability Framework
  • New resources coming – Parkinson’s NSW is developing an instructional ‘Governance and Executive Management NDIS Resource Pack’ that will contain strategic educational and management resources, including: information sheets, policies, checklists, tools, surveys, reports, training materials, and presentations in a variety of formats. Yay!
  • Q&A about Key Personnel.

The Commission also sent out some updates on Behaviour Support that you can read here.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (Provider Registration and Practice Standards) Rules 2018

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (Provider Registration and Practice Standards) Rules 2018 have now been updated with those amendments above so have a read through and update your legislation register.

The NDIS (Approved Quality Auditors Scheme) Amendment Guidelines

They were released before Christmas and we got excited but when we sat down to do the analysis they were no longer in force.  We will wait to hear what is happening with them before giving you the run-down of what is going to change in auditing.

The NDIS (Registered NDIS Provider Notice of Changes and Events) Guidelines 2019

These new guidelines were released right before Chrissie and outline the requirements for providers to notify the Commission of certain changes or events. The guidelines provide three case studies of changes and events that would be notifiable to the Commission to help in your interpretation. Example 1 describes a change to new outlets and geographical coverage, example 2 describes an event (the impact of a bushfire) and example 3 describes a change to registration groups (cessation of). The NDIS Commission has set up this webpage that gives further detail of the specific changes and events that need to be reported to the Commission.

Review of causes and contributors to deaths of people with Disability

Research is being undertaken on behalf of the NDIS Commission to review the causes and contributors to deaths of people with disability, identifying mortality trends and risks. The NDIS Commission has commissioned Professor Julian Trollor of the Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry University of NSW to undertake a major research project to obtain an Australia-wide perspective on the prevalence of, and factors contributing to, the deaths of people with disability. The Commission have also contracted the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) to undertake a complementary project to identify population mortality trends and risks concerning the deaths of people with disability.

The scope of work will include:

  • Establishing a national baseline against which the Commission can review the data they collect on the deaths of NDIS participants
  • Improving measures for monitoring NDIS provider responses to contributing risk factors
  • Developing new strategies that support NDIS providers to prevent avoidable deaths.

You can read the full announcement here.

New process for providing information to the Disability Royal Commission

The NDIS (Streamlined Governance) Act 2019 commenced on the 10th of December 2019. The amendments in Schedule 2 allow a Royal Commission to compel the NDIA and the NDIS Commission to produce documents and provide information for the purposes of a Royal Commission and  require that they disclose information in response to summonses, notices or other requirements of a Royal Commission. The NDIS Commission and NDIA advised providers that in complying with the Disability Royal Commission they will no longer consult or inform providers of future summons, notice or requirements that they receive from the Disability Royal Commission. You can read the full announcement here.

Victorian Disability Worker Regulation Scheme

The Victorian Disability Service Safeguards Act 2018 (the Act) establishes the Disability Worker Regulation Scheme. The Scheme is designed to protect people from harm and neglect by stopping people who pose a serious risk of harm from providing disability services. Voluntary registration seeks to ensure registered disability workers who support people with disability have suitable skills, experience and qualifications to provide safe services and quality support.

The Victorian Government is seeking input from stakeholders to inform the development of standards and regulations for both registered and unregistered workers, which commences on 1 July 2020. This consultation relates to the following two activities:

  • a Code of Conduct, prescribed offences and other regulations for unregistered disability workers setting expectations for the delivery of safe and ethical support and services
  • registration standards and guidelines for registered disability workers who choose to register with the Scheme.

Consultation papers and surveys have been developed to help the Victorian Government have a good understanding of stakeholder views on the potential impacts, benefits and risks of each recommendation.

They welcome contributions from people with disability and their families, friends and carers, disability service providers and employers, peak bodies, advocates and education providers. This consultation will close on 14 February 2020. Have your say here.

New stuff!

  • The NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators have a 2020 version. The only significant change we can really spot is to the verification module (removing the sole traders/ partnership clause).
  • Verification Module – Required Documentation has been updated.
  • There is a new Provider Information Pack with lots of new info.
  • Updated Registration Requirements by Supports and Services which clarifies the changes to your auditing pathway as per the registration rules. Note we have had some providers think they need to do a verification audit for some registration groups and certification for others. That is not the case, if you register for anything that requires certification, the whole audit will be a certification audit.
  • Updated Provider Application to Register Process Guide (Information for NDIS Providers Seeking to Register).
  • Updated Understanding Provider’s Obligations.
  • There is an updated Registration Renewal Process Guide. It kind of clarifies one confusing aspect of a service provider’s outlets and the conflicting information about whether it includes the number of groups homes or SDA properties. In the registration portal it specifically states that “Outlets are not a Participant’s residence, including if multiple people with disability reside within the same property (i.e group homes).” But then more recent information came out that maybe it is group homes which was very confusing. The new registration renewal guide states “Outlets include premises where a participant’s supports and services are provisioned and managed on a daily basis. This may include those premises where participants live in a group home setting (for example if the organisation operates their business from that premises, including holding and maintaining participants files from that address).” If you aren’t sure, check with the Commission.

Things are coming out thick and fast so stay tuned for more updates next month.

Authors

Jessica Quilty

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