The Registration Taskforce’s 3 big ideas

Last Friday, the NDIS Provider and Worker Registration Taskforce held a webinar to share what they’ve heard after months of community consultation and floated three ideas for a way forward. Jess explores this first glimpse into the Taskforce’s thinking.

By Jessica Quilty

Updated 28 May 202427 May 20244 min read
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On Friday, we got our first look into the NDIS Registration Taskforce’s ideas on what proportionate NDIS registration could look like. There are few topics as controversial as registration, and the Taskforce recommendations are likely to have huge implications for NDIS regulation in the future.

The NDIS Provider and Worker Registration Taskforce was selected by Minister Bill Shorten to provide advice on the design and implementation of the new risk-proportionate regulatory model recommended by the NDIS Review. They have been busy consulting with the disability community through a number of forums including the following webinars (some with recordings):

The latest webinar was held last Friday on the 24th of May and addressed what the Taskforce has heard as part of the consultation process. The Taskforce, led by Natalie Wade, was clear that they had not arrived at their final decision but used the session to test three ideas.

First, the Taskforce explained in detail the issues they had heard including:

  • No matter which side of the argument, we all agree that the registration can’t remain the same.
  • Choice and control is essential.
  • We don’t want to lose innovation.
  • The current registration process is too expensive.
  • The current system is having a big impact on good providers who are moving out of the NDIS, whereas bad providers are going under the radar.
  • Workers want to be valued and respected and have good working conditions.
  • Workers don’t want lots of administration to do their job.
  • Allied Health Practitioners don’t want to have to register twice (E.g. AHPRA and NDIS) and most participants are happy if they are registered with either regulatory body.
  • People don’t want to declare themselves as NDIS participants every time they make a purchase.
  • People don’t want to have to go to special places to buy things. They want to be able to shop online, use the local supermarket, beautician, hardware store or handy man.
  • Everyone spoke to the Taskforce from the heart. They explained the problems and turned their eyes to solutions.

The Taskforce clarified its position (paraphrased):

  • The Taskforce supports visibility of the marketplace and sees it as critical to strengthening registration and regulation.
  • The Taskforce supports a graduated risk proportionate approach to regulation.
  • The Taskforce is not exploring the enrolment category that was proposed for the lowest risk services (such as consumables and technology) by the NDIS Review. 

The Taskforce floated three main ideas for feedback and gave a generous two-hour window for people to have their say.

1. Defining a disability service provider

"Theme 1: We want to know what you think about the idea to narrow the definition of a provider to just be organisations that offer disability supports services and requiring them to be registered." -Provider and Worker Registration Taskforce- What we have heard Webinar

Currently, anyone that receives NDIS funding to deliver an NDIS support is technically a disability service provider. The Taskforce thinks this is too broad. They are considering narrowing the definition to organisations that offer disability specific supports. So mainstream services like retail, domestic assistance and equipment providers where NDIS participants may use their funding to purchase products and services, could be exempt from registration under this model. But this means that anyone setting up an NDIS support business would need to be registered and meet standards. In scrapping the enrolment category proposed by the NDIS Review, the Taskforce said it thinks the regulator really needs to be focussed on disability support services.

They also talked about exploring mutual recognition of service providers that may be regulated by another body such as therapists accredited under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

2. Self-directed supports

"Theme 2: Those that self-direct their supports through direct employment, Services for One or similar arrangements have a simple form of registration that maintains their autonomy, creates visibility so support can be provided if needed and offers security of current arrangements." - Provider and Worker Registration Taskforce- What we have heard Webinar

The Taskforce floated the idea  that people who  self-direct their supports through direct employment and services-for-one have a simple form of light touch registration. They also talked about incorporating capacity building support (such as finance and budgeting) to help more people to self-manage.

3. Worker registration

"Theme 3: We want to know what you think about the idea that: There could be worker registration of all workers, in line with the definition of NDIS Provider which focuses on the provision of disability supports."- Provider and Worker Registration Taskforce- What we have heard Webinar

If implemented, workers who provide disability specific support (as per the provider definition) would need to be registered. This would be different to worker screening. The Taskforce envisages worker registration being developed with people with disability and workers, incorporating a risk proportionate approach. The cost and time associated would be different to that of provider registration.

It remains to be seen whether the Taskforce have effectively pulled a rabbit out their hat on such a polarising issue. The Taskforce was clear that these are just three ideas they are testing, and they continue to learn more each day. They have five more roundtables to continue to hear your ideas for next steps. Stay up to date on the DSS Website (or with us of course!)

The final report to Minister Shorten is due by the end of June, so stay tuned folks.


Jessica Quilty

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