Quality, Safety and the NDIS worker

New NDIS Worker ScreeningQuality, Safety and the NDIS worker

As of 1 July the NDIS Commission is introducing a national NDIS worker screening database. The database will keep records of any person who has applied for an NDIS Worker Screening Check. Providers will have access to a limited set of information about an employee to ensure the person is cleared to work with people with disabilities.  Workers will be able to provide supports in any state or territory. The database will not provide information about the person’s criminal history and details relating to the outcome of the screening application.

Workers and other personnel that start in a role that needs a clearance after 1 July 2019 will need to apply for a new NDIS Worker Screening Check. The Commission will release information on how to apply soon. We have no information about the costs involved. Workers in SA and NSW who meet the current state disability worker screening requirements can continue to work until their state-based check expires. The rules for the transition in other states and territories are expected to be similar but have not been published yet. Additional state and territory specific requirements such as Working With Children Checks are still mandatory.

Who needs a check?

From 1 July all personnel of registered providers (except for WA) will need a check if they are in a risked assessed role including:

  • key personnel (including board members, senior executives, manager, team leaders)
  • roles for which the normal duties include the direct delivery of specified supports or specified services to a person with disability
  • roles for which the normal duties are likely to require more than incidental contact with people with disability, including volunteers and subcontractors.

What is more than incidental contact?

If a role requires the worker to physically touch the person with disability or if the worker is building a rapport with the person with a disability as a part of the performance of the duties, the contact is considered to be more than incidental. Contact includes physical contact, face-to-face meetings and oral, written and electronic communication. If the interaction requires just polite and no functional contact with the customer, it is considered incidental. For example, an accountant who is working in the building but may greet a customer in passing in the hallway will not require clearance.

Tips for record keeping

Registered providers must assess all roles and identify each role that is a risk assessed role. Engaging workers in risk assessed roles without appropriate clearance could breach NDIS registration conditions.

Providers need to maintain a list of risk assessed roles including job title, the description of the role and why the role is risk assessed, the date the role was assessed and who made the assessment. Registered providers are also required to maintain a written list of all personnel who engage in risk assessed roles and keep it up to date. The list must specify the full name, date of birth and address of the person, the risk assessed role, the screening check application/check number, and the check outcome expiry date. Section 18 of the NDIS (Practice Standards-Worker Screening) Rules 2018 also specifies requirements for record keeping on suspensions or exclusions. Section 19 outlines records that must be kept for other personnel that is not directly employed by the registered NDIS provider.

How to avoid delays?

Experience has shown that new systems can bring hiccups and delays. If you are planning to hire new staff members or if your key personnel have not undergone the necessary checks, you may want to apply for state based clearance as soon as possible.

In SA, workers in a risk assessed role must have a valid clearance for

  • SA disability services employment screening (obtained in the last three years) or
  • SA child related employment screening (obtained in the last three years).

The child-related employment check in SA will also change to new Working with Children Checks in July. The list of acceptable checks in SA can be found here.    

A registered provider may temporarily allow a person to engage in a risk assessed role if the person is in the process of obtaining clearance, if the person is appropriately supervised by a person with clearance, if the provider is implementing a risk management plan and if not prohibited by state law.

Safety as a point of difference

Office workers or cleaning personnel without client contact do not require clearance. Secondary school students doing work experience are also exempt, if supervised appropriately. Providers may still want to ask all personnel for clearance, however this is up to each organisation to decide.  

At this stage workers who work for unregistered providers are not required to undergo screening checks. This is an important point of difference for registered providers and worth mentioning to your clients.

New Worker Orientation Tool

The NDIS Commission has launched the on-line training tool ‘Quality, Safety and You’. The worker orientation module is for NDIS workers to understand their roles and responsibilities under the NDIS Code of Conduct. The training is mandatory for workers and personnel who are employed or otherwise engaged by registered NDIS providers including key personnel, volunteers and contractors and subcontractors.

The module is divided into four modules and can be paused and continued at any time. The training takes over 90 minutes and provides sections for reflection and questions to check on learning.  Each person undergoing the training has to register separately to receive a Certificate of Completion at the end.

How to implement orientation training in your organisation?

Providers must include the training in their induction program and ensure that each new staff member completes the module. Existing staff can complete the training over time, however it is important to establish a learning program and plan to ensure everyone will complete the training. Do staff have access to computers, can they complete the training during working hours or will they need to complete it at home? Auditors will look for evidence that the training is scheduled and in progress and that completion is recorded.  Modules specific for group training are not available, however providers can use the tool to run groups training sessions and allow extra time for group discussions and feedback. Worker who attend a group session will not receive an individual Certificate of Completion. The completion of training can be evidenced with a signed and witnessed attendance sheet or a declaration of completion.  The training will give workers a good understanding of the obligations of the NDIS Code of Conduct and help staff to act accordingly.

Keeping people with disability safe and well is the duty of every disability provider and worker. 

For questions or comments please contact CBB’s Business Consultant Dr Ellen Schuler.

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NDIS consultant


Dr Ellen Schuler
Business Consultant 
Email: eschuler@cbb.com.au
Phone: 1300 763 505


ILC Ready – Free help for grant success

Community Business Bureau is proud to launch ILC Ready. 

ILC Ready follows the successful NDIS Transition program we ran in 2017-18 to help organisations respond to the opportunities and challenges of the NDIS.  CBB supported them by providing targeted support and coaching as they transitioned from block funding to individual customers.

The focus of ILC Ready is on Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) grants to support the inclusion of people with disabilities in their communities.  The learning from the program will include idea creation, outcomes models, project planning and grant writing, so these skills can be transferred to other areas of your work.

This is a free, fully funded program that will provide support on developing grant proposals to community organisations across South Australia.  Register your interest here.

ILC Ready will consist of 3 stages:

  1. Webinars

In July and August we’ll be running a series of webinars that will explain about the federal government’s ILC grants program for community and disability organisations

  1. Regional workshops

We’ll also be running a one day workshop in six locations across South Australia, throughout August. The workshops will help you to develop your ideas and plans for projects that could be funded under ILC or other community grant funding programs.

  1. One to one support for 20 organisations across South Australia

South Australian organisations can apply for a program of one to one support through workshops and coaching with our consultants, to help you plan your project in detail and prepare a funding application.

If you have any questions about the program please email ilc@cbb.com.au or phone 1300 763 505, or view the frequently asked questions.

Sign up and we’ll keep you in touch with program news, important dates and deadlines.

CBB has been commissioned by South Australia’s Department of Human Services through its NDIA Community Inclusion and Capacity Development Grant to provide support to South Australian organisations for ILC readiness, focusing on skills and knowledge development.


Jane Arnott
General Manager, Consulting and Business Services
Email: jarnott@cbb.com.au
Phone: 1300 284 364


NDIS Q3 2018-19 Report released (to 30 March 2019)

The third quarter 2018-19 NDIS report was published this month, you can access the reports here.  Please note that this data is now 10 weeks old. SA data starts on page 207 of the report.

Our key takeaways from the latest quarterly report are summarised below:

Rollout

  • Nationally, the NDIS roll-out is over half way complete (59.1%). The rollout is progressing at approximately the same pace as last quarter (32,486 TQ vs 32,910 LQ).  Assuming the current rate of on-boarding to NDIS continues (10,828 per month), it will take until August 2020 to reach full scheme; eight months behind schedule.
  • In South Australia we’re now over 85% to full NDIS rollout.  An extra 2,663 people in SA became active participants during the quarter.  There are now a total of 27,487 SA NDIS participants with approved plans (including ECEI).  Assuming that the current rate of on-boarding to NDIS continues (887 per month) it will take until July 2019 to reach full scheme.

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The all-new NDIS Price Guide – a promise of exciting changes

Increased NDIS payments

Woman smiling excited in front of a computer with her hand together

The Federal Government has announced price increases for NDIS services on 30 March to come into effect on 1 July 2019. The price increases will inject more than $840 million into the NDIS market and we hope this will provide some relief for providers who struggle to deliver financially sustainable, quality services under the current pricing arrangements.

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What difference will $20k make to your NDIS transition?

woman holding calculator and looking at financials

A new grant program for NDIS transition support launched in late March. NDIS Transition Assistance Funding is available under the Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program, a Commonwealth program administered by EY (Ernst&Young). A NDIS Transition Assistance fund of $5.6m will be distributed through grants of between $5000 to $20,000 for new and existing providers to spend on consulting support.

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Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program – Transition Assistance Funding Grant

A new grant program has been launched for existing or potential NDIS providers to purchase tailored business supports. The Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program – Transition Assistance Funding Grant program provides one off grants to NDIS providers from $5,000 up to $20,000 (ex GST). This is a national program with a total grant value of $5.6m, so we expect there will be in the region of 280 – 1,120 grants awarded.

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We are all in it together

How to improve the working relationship between NDIA and disability service providers?

disability service providers joining their fists

National Disability Services (NDS), the peak body for non-government disability service organisations released its annual State of the Disability Sector Report in November 2018. Part of the report is an annual market survey conducted by the Centre for Social Impact, in collaboration with NDS’ Centre for Applied Disability Research. In excess of 600 disability service providers responded to the survey representing providers of all shapes and sizes, and with 90% currently providing services under the NDIS.

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NDIS cancellation rules – reasonable and fair for all?

Organisations can suffer serious financial damage if clients fail to keep scheduled services or cancel scheduled services at the last minute. NDIS cancellations are often beyond the control of the client and the service provider. Ill health, hospitalisation, poor weather, lack of transportation or difficulty getting out of bed can make it impossible for clients to attend a pre-booked NDIS support session. Most people have probably forgotten appointments in their lives and sometimes an appointment is simply inconvenient.

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Which CRM/database to use?

The National Disability Services (NDS) ‘State of the Sector’ report highlighted that the number one priority for NDIS providers in relation to improving their business capability in 2019CRM ready, is ‘Information, communications and tech strategy’, ranking ahead of ‘costing and pricing’ and ‘HR strategy and workforce planning’.

Over the last months, CBB has facilitated a review of some of the many Customer Relationship Management (CRM)/database products on the market that purport to be NDIS-ready, to assist NDIS providers to understand which products should be on their radar.

To receive a copy of the full report, add your details here.\

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NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework: Best practices for preventing compliance toothaches

Just like the recall letter for a dental check-up NDIS providers in SA and NSW have recently received their letter from the NDIS Commission outlining the start date for registration renewal. TheNDIS quality application for renewal will involve a self-assessment followed by a field audit conducted by a NDIS Commission-approved NDIS quality auditor.

While some providers are already expected to start the process by October, others are due for their check-up in 2019. Most providers are aware that the new Quality & Safeguards Framework has introduced a list of requirements however we have noticed some misconceptions about compliance which we aim to brush away:

Misconception # 1: You only brush your teeth when you see the dentist.

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