Kymberly Martin

New standard for NDIS workers

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has set up a new screening check for NDIS workers, making the current screening arrangements operating in each state and territory redundant, replaced with a single national standard.

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The new arrangements is intended to help people who work with NDIS participants, or planning to do so,  will not present an unacceptable risk to people with disability.

People who work for registered NDIS providers must have an acceptable check or an NDIS Worker Screening clearance if they are employed in high risk roles, including roles that involve regular close contact with people with disability.

NDIS Minister Stuart Robert said the new screening check will have significant benefits for people with disability in receipt of NDIS supports and services, ensuring NDIS workers will be risk assessed for employment the same way, no matter where they live or work.

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“NDIS participants, families and supporters can also be reassured by the introduction of the ongoing review of workers’ clearances against recent criminal history and misconduct information. It will allow workers with a clearance to deliver supports and services for any registered NDIS employer in any state or territory,” the minister said.

Providers will also notice a reduction in administration through access to a NDIS Worker Screening Database, to view the clearance status of their workers in close-to-real time.

Worker screening is only one of the legislated obligations with which NDIS providers must comply to maintain registration with the NDIS Commission.

In November 2020, the NDIS Banning Orders Bill was passed which expanded the powers of the NDIS Commissioner to ban providers or workers even if they are not currently working in the NDIS. In December 2020, the NDIS Commission began managing the quality and safeguards of NDIS supports and services in Western Australia, creating a national quality and safeguards framework.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) recently implemented a proactive participant check-in approach, following the success of the 81,000 vulnerable participant proactive contacts made during Covid-19. This checks how a participant is going with their plan, and provides an opportunity to identify and address participant concerns, safety and welfare.

For more information about worker screening visit: www.ndiscommission.gov.au.

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