New website upgrades! What’s new

Quality & Compliance Obligations

Stay on the right side of compliance with these resources and links to help you be aware of your obligations.

By Rob Woolley

Updated 15 Apr 202425 Jan 2022
Illustration with a security log in on a tablet, a padlock and courthouse

This resource is designed to support providers in meeting some of the key quality and safeguarding requirements during the peak period of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. This resource is intended to be helpful but is not exhaustive. Providers should continue to monitor advice from relevant Commonwealth, State, and Territory health and regulatory bodies.

Notification of COVID-19 Changes and Events

It is a condition of registration that registered providers notify the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) of certain changes and events, especially those which substantially affect the ability to provide the supports and services a provider is registered to provide. In addition to the standard reporting of changes and events, the NDIS Commission has a specific form to report changes related to COVID-19. These are outlined in the below checklist.

  • Events which extensively limit your ability to comply with the NDIS Practice Standards
  • Events which seriously impair your ability to effectively conduct operations and deliver ongoing supports or services to NDIS participants
  • A decision to not accept new participants (on a temporary or permanent basis)
  • A significant adverse change in wait times for the supports or services you are registered to provide
  • A significant shortfall in available workers to provide the supports or services you are registered to provide
  • The cessation of supports or services (on a temporary or permanent basis)
  • A worker's confirmed COVID-19 infection
  • A participant’s confirmed COVID-19 infection
  • A significant increase or decrease in the number of participants being supported as a result of staff losses or participant cancellations due to infection
  • A decrease in staff that is unexpected and/or if you are unable to provide continuity of services or supports to your current NDIS participants

 

Reports can be submitted online through the Notification of Event Form – COVID 19 (applies to registered providers only).

Notification of COVID to Work Health and Safety Regulations

Providers have an obligation as employers under Workplace Health and Safety laws to provide a safe workplace for their staff and for others who interact with the organisation or workplace. The WHS regulator in each state and territory are responsible for investigating workplace incidents and illnesses, and in the case of work related Covid infections there are specific reporting requirements. As requirements are regularly changing, refer to the relevant agency’s website for the most up to date information. 

Jurisdiction: ACT
Regulator: WorkSafe ACT
Reporting requirements: Notify if there is evidence Covid was contacted at the workplace and if the infected person is hospitalised  
Notification: 6207 3000 during business hours
0419 120 028 after hours
Then complete the notification form within 48 hours: www.worksafe.act.gov.au/health-and-safety-portal/notify-worksafe

Jurisdiction: NSW
Regulator: SafeWork NSW    
Reporting requirements: Notify by completing the online form - if the worker contracted Covid at work or were in the workplace while infectious - no requirement to notify if working at home
Notification: www.safework.nsw.gov.au/notify-safework
If unsure contact 13 10 50

Jurisdiction: NT
Regulator: NT WorkSafe       
Reporting requirements:  Notify if a person dies or is hospitalised (as an in-patient) and the infection arises out of the conduct of the business
Notification: 1800 019 115
https://www.worksafe.nt.gov.au/notify-nt-worksafe

Jurisdiction: QLD
Regulator: QLD WorkSafe
Reporting requirements: Notify if it is suspected that the person has contracted COVID in the workplace          
Notification: Either 1300 362 128, online or email incident notification form to [email protected] or fax it to 07 3874 7730
www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/safety-and-prevention/incidents-and-notifications/notify-us-of-an-incident/notify-workplace-health-and-safety-queensland-or-electrical-safety-office

Jurisdiction: SA
Regulator: SafeWork SA
Reporting requirements: Notify only if infection can reliably be attributed to a workplace exposure and either the person died or is required to be treated as an in-patient in hospital
Notification: 1300 365 255 for non-life-threatening injuries/issues or complete the notifiable incident form or email details
www.safework.sa.gov.au/notify/workplace-incident-notifications

Jurisdiction: TAS
Regulator: WorkSafe Tasmania
Reporting requirements: Notify if confirmed that a person has contracted Covid through carrying out work and the person died or is required to be treated as an in-patient in hospital, or the reason the person contracted Covid is reliably attributable to carrying out work that involves providing treatment or care to a person; or involves contact with human blood or body substances (and work is a significant contributing factor)
Notification: 1300 366 322
Outside Tasmania call (03) 6166 4600
or complete the online form
www.worksafe.tas.gov.au/topics/Health-and-Safety/notify-worksafe

Jurisdiction: VIC
Regulator: WorkSafe VIC
Reporting requirements: No requirement to notify
Notification:
www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/report-incident

Jurisdiction: WA
Regulator: WorkSafe WA
Reporting requirements: Notify where it is the cause (or suspected cause) of a death at a workplace
Notification: 1800 678 198 or online form (call if serious)
www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe/notify-us

Behaviour Support and Restrictive Practices

The NDIS Commission and Department of Health have provided some guidelines for providers navigating the potential use of regulated restrictive practices in the current pandemic environment. Where providers are unsure of their requirements, they should contact the NDIS Commission for direct advice at [email protected]

 

It is important to note that the unauthorised use of a restrictive practice is reportable to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission through the portal within 5 days.

 

Emergency and Disaster Management

From 24 January 2022, all registered providers required to meet the Core module will also need to meet a new Practice Standard: Emergency and Disaster Management. This is not directly related to COVID-19 but is relevant to any emergency management processes you are currently developing or executing.

The new standard and associated updates require registered providers to ensure following:

Measures are in place to enable continuity of supports that are critical to the safety, health and wellbeing of each participant before, during and after an emergency or disaster.

The measures include planning for each of the following:

a) preparing for, and responding to, the emergency or disaster

b) making changes to participant supports

c) adapting, and rapidly responding, to changes to participant supports and to other interruptions

d) communicating changes to participant supports to workers and to participants and their support networks.

The governing body develops emergency and disaster management plans (the plans), consults with participants and their support networks about the plans and puts the plans in place.

The plans explain and guide how the governing body will respond to, and oversee the response to, an emergency or disaster.

Mechanisms are in place for the governing body to actively test the plans, and adjust them, in the context of a particular kind of emergency or disaster.

The plans have periodic review points to enable the governing body to respond to the changing nature of an emergency or disaster.

The governing body regularly reviews the plans and consults with participants and their support networks about the reviews of the plans.

The governing body communicates the plans to workers, participants and their support networks.

Each worker is trained in the implementation of the plans.

Workers with capabilities that are relevant to assisting in the response to an emergency or disaster (such as contingency planning or infection prevention or control) are identified.

Plans are in place to identify, source and induct a workforce in the event that workforce disruptions occur in an emergency or disaster.

Infection prevention and control training, including refresher training, is undertaken by all workers involved in providing supports to participants.

 

Useful Links:

NDIS Commission factsheets and resources: NDIS Commission coronavirus (COVID-19) information

National Disability Services (NDS) COVID-19 Hub: NDS Guide of Snap Lockdowns

Australian Government COVID-19 updates: Visit the Australian Government website for the latest news, updates and advice on COVID-19.

COVIDSafe resources: Resources to help you promote your organisation as a COVIDSafe environment.

Department of Health updates: Daily updates on COVID-19.

COVIDSafe app: This app can help health officials contact people exposed to COVID-19.

Coronavirus Australia app: The official government Coronavirus Australia app.

 

Local State and Territory Health Departments

Jurisdiction ACT
Website Australian Capital Territory Department of Health

Jurisdiction NSW
Website New South Wales Department of Health

Jurisdiction NT
Website Northern Territory Department of Health

Jurisdiction QLD
Website Queensland Department of Health

Jurisdiction SA
Website South Australian Department of Health

Jurisdiction TAS
Website Tasmanian Department of Health

Jurisdiction VIC
Website Victorian Department of Health

Jurisdiction WA
Website Western Australian Department of Health

 

Authors

Rob Woolley

Explore DSC

Subscribe to the newsletter you’ll actually want to read

Learn from the humans obsessed with Australia’s NDIS. 50,000 readers strong.

Explore DSC Learning