Until now each state and territory has been responsible for ensuring the quality of NDIS services and protecting NDIS participants in their jurisdiction. But that’s set to change under the new national NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework.
The Framework creates nationally consistent regulations and safeguards, so that all NDIS participants will have the same protection, no matter which state or territory they live in. It also sets the same quality requirements for all service providers across the country.
The aim is to guarantee high quality services while supporting people with disability to make informed choices and take control of their own NDIS journeys.
What will change?
A new national Code of Conduct will set out the responsibilities of all service providers delivering NDIS purchased supports. All workers will go through a mandatory orientation program to learn about the principles of the NDIS and their responsibilities.
A national registrar will oversee registration, compliance and quality assurance. The registration process for NDIS service providers will be ‘proportionate’ – meaning that providers who deliver low risk services will go through a simpler verification process than those who deliver higher risk supports. Registered providers will be required to meet extra quality and competency standards and will be subject to auditing requirements.
State and territory governments will continue to manage worker screening checks and authorise the use of restrictive policies. However, a new national senior practitioner will seek to reduce restrictive practices, and a national policy for worker screening checks will be developed.
Participants will benefit from more online information about service providers and have access to a new national complaints system to resolve issues quickly. A complaints commissioner will investigate serious incidents and breaches of the NDIS Code of Conduct.
One area of concern is that non-registered providers are subject to fewer regulations. This may expose participants who self-manage their package to more risk and is an area we’ll be monitoring closely.
What happens next?
The new Framework won’t apply until the full NDIS scheme is in place, so there won’t be any immediate changes.
In the meantime, consultation with service providers, governments and people with disability is ongoing. We’ll keep you informed as this progresses.