National Disability Insurance Scheme News

New NDIS Practice Alert on High Risk Restrictive Practices

Did you know the NDIS Commission released a new Practice Alert on High Risk Restrictive Practices?

In January 2023, the NDIS Commission released a new Practice Alert on high risk restrictive practices.

The NDIS Act 2013 defines a restrictive practice as ‘any practice or intervention that has the effect of restricting the rights or freedom of movement of a person with disability’. High risk restrictive practices covered in the practice alert include restrictive practices that fall within the definitions of the five restrictive practices that are ‘regulated restrictive practices’, and other practices that are not regulated but that restrict the rights of a person with disability.

High-risk restrictive practices place participants at high risk of harm and are associated with adverse and catastrophic outcomes for participants such as long-term psychological or physical injury and death.

High risk restrictive practices can include:

  • Specific forms of physical restraint that present high risk to participant health, wellbeing and safety eg basket hold, prone and supine restraint, pin downs and takedown techniques
  • Punitive approaches that may constitute emotional, psychological and/or social abuse of a participant eg aversive practices, denial of key needs, practices related to degradation or vilification, overcorrection, practices that limit or deny access to culture or remove positive items or activities because of the person’s behaviour.

Additionally, there are practices not referred to in the practice alert that are prohibited in the state or territory in which providers and workers may operate. Providers and workers should be aware of the practices that are prohibited by law in the state or territory in which they operate.

Any high-risk restrictive practices must be ceased immediately and replaced with proactive and evidence-informed alternatives. If the practice is included in a positive behaviour support plan for a participant, the practice must be ceased and removed from the plan.

The NDIS Commissioner remains concerned about the use of high risk restrictive practices in the sector and use of these practices by NDIS providers constitutes a serious breach of the NDIS Code of Conduct. The NDIS Commissioner will take strong action against any provider and individuals that engage in these practices.

We recommend NDIS providers read the Practice Alert and review their current practices to ensure that no high risk restrictive practices are in use.  If you are concerned about your current practices or would like to have a discussion on how you are implementing restrictive practices in your business please contact us on 0478 616 207 or for a complimentary consultation.

Request a free, no obligation 20 min consultation with one of our experts!