DSC’s Annual NDIS Conference 2024

Sydney & Online, March 26-27


NDIS 101

Quality & Safeguarding

Running an NDIS Business

Support Work

What are Regulated Restrictive Practices?

Team DSC

A restrictive practice means any practice or intervention that has the effect of restricting the rights or freedom of movement of a person with disability. Under the NDIS (Restrictive Practices and Behaviour Support) Rules 2018 certain restrictive practices are subject to regulation. The following restrictive practices are regulated under the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission):

  • Seclusion, which is the sole confinement of a person with disability in a room or a physical space at any hour of the day or night where voluntary exit is prevented, or not facilitated, or it is implied that voluntary exit is not permitted.

  • Chemical restraint, which is the use of medication or chemical substance for the primary purpose of influencing a person’s behaviour. It does not include the use of medication prescribed by a medical practitioner for the treatment of, or to enable treatment of, a diagnosed mental disorder, a physical illness or a physical condition.

  • Mechanical restraint, which is the use of a device to prevent, restrict, or subdue a person’s movement for the primary purpose of influencing a person’s behaviour but does not include the use of devices for therapeutic or non‑behavioural purposes.

  • Physical restraint, which is the use or action of physical force to prevent, restrict or subdue movement of a person’s body, or part of their body, for the primary purpose of influencing their behaviour. Physical restraint does not include the use of a hands‑on technique in a reflexive way to guide or redirect a person away from potential harm/injury, consistent with what could reasonably be considered the exercise of care towards a person.   

  • Environmental restraint, which restrict a person’s free access to all parts of their environment, including items or activities.

Only registered NDIS providers can implement restrictive practices (and they must be audited against Module 2A). This can only occur in accordance with a Positive Behaviour Support Plan developed by a Specialist Behaviour Support Practitioners, when it is authorised and reported to the NDIS Commission. If you are unsure of obligations contact the NDIS Commission for guidance.

Artwork by Melissa Pym.