The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has released details on the Insights Report: Own Motion Inquiry into Platform Providers Operating in the NDIS market.
The report is intended to provide insights into a growing market that connects NDIS participants with disability support providers and workers via websites, apps and online platforms.
There is a place within the NDIS market for digital platforms, and some NDIS participants find them immensely convenient, NDIS Minister Bill Shorten said. However, participants have also described negative, and at times unsafe experiences, confirming the need to ensure fit for purpose guardrails to better protect participants and workers.
“While platform providers ensure choice and control for participants, they should also ensure quality and safety of supports and appropriate compensation for their workforce. The best thing we can do for NDIS participants, their support workers and providers in the platform provider industry is to stop a race to the bottom and help set a better standard for platform providers,” the minister said.
NDIS Quality and Safeguards commissioner Tracy Mackey said nearly 1,500 participants, stakeholders and organisations attended consultations, completed surveys, and made submissions to the inquiry. She said some of the common issues raised by NDIS participants during the inquiry, included:
• A lack of consistency in worker training and qualifications
• Insufficient worker background checks and ongoing monitoring
• Unsatisfactory handling of complaints and grievances
• Concerns relating to the collection and handling of personal information; and
• Complex pricing structures.
“We will be taking action to establish a consistent and best practice approach to safeguarding across platform services, increase transparency around activities starting with pricing, regulate the workforce of NDIS providers on platforms more directly, and address privacy issues identified during the process,” she said.
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission will deliver an action plan in the coming months, following further consultation with stakeholders.