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Quality and Safeguards: You Don't Know What You Don't Know

For all new providers unsure of what you don't know in NDIS land, allow us to word you up on codes of conduct, worker screening, incident management, and more.

By Jessica Quilty

Updated 15 Apr 202426 Apr 2021

The national NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework now includes NDIS providers in Western Australia and all Residential Aged Care (RAC) Providers that support NDIS participants. Many newly transitioned providers are scratching their heads about what all this means in practice.  In our recent workshops, we have been polling the audience to see where people are at in their quality and safeguarding knowledge, and the most prevalent response is, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” If this sounds familiar, and you aren’t sure whether you are across the fundamentals, we’ve put together some questions below to help.

Worker screening

  • Have you clearly identified your risk assessed roles? Are you clear about who needs the check?
  • Are you familiar with your state or territory’s transitional arrangements, application process, and start policy?
  • Have you established a system to capture your recordkeeping requirements for workers engaged in risk assessed roles?
  • Are you clear about whether you are required to have any other additional checks, such as working with children or aged care?

 

Code of Conduct

  • Do all staff understand their obligations under the Code?
  • Have they undertaken the mandatory worker orientation module? 

 

Incident management

  • Do you feel confident that your system complies with the requirements of the incident management rules in your documented procedures and recordkeeping? 
  • Have the right people been registered to enable reporting?
  • Are you clear about which incidents your system must manage? 
  • Are you clear about which incidents must also be reported to the NDIS Commission? 
  • Do you understand your incident management training requirements? 

 

Complaints management

  • Do you feel confident that your system complies with the requirements of the incident management rules in your documented procedures and recordkeeping?
  • Do you understand the role of the NDIS Commission?
  • Do you understand your complaints management training requirements?

 

Behaviour Support and Restrictive Practices

  • Do you feel comfortable that your staff can clearly identify regulated restrictive practices and prohibited practices?
  • Do you understand your reporting requirements?
  • Have the right people been registered to enable reporting?
  • Have you established a system to capture the required data collection for monitoring?
  • Do you understand your state or territory’s authorisation requirements?
  • Do you understand your behaviour support training requirements?
  •  Do you understand who is responsible for which elements of providing behaviour support?

 

Registration and audit process

  • Do you understand what you must do by when? 
  • Do you understand how the audit process works?
  • Are you clear about how your registration groups affect the size and type of audit you will be required to undertake? 

 

If you aren’t completely confident that you are across all your requirements, a good place to start is the NDIS Commission’s Provider Information Pack and Rules. Or, if you want to run through the basics with a supportive group of likeminded people, DSC has two workshops dedicated to this. The ABCs of the NDIS is for new providers or workers entering the NDIS for the first time. NDIS Registration and Renewal is for WA providers that are renewing their registration with the NDIS Commission. 

There is no doubt about it: the NDIS quality and safeguarding system is a complicated beast. When providers are overwhelmed, it can be tempting to put off or try to outsource these compliance functions. However, taking the time to understand your requirements and the intended outcomes will enable you to invest in a functional fit-for-purpose quality system. This is inevitably the best way to reap the organisational benefits and avoid any compliance pains down the track. 

Authors

Jessica Quilty

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