We have been constantly checking the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission’s website to ensure we keep informed about any key changes/information. We have shared some latest information for your reference below, as well as some insights from ourselves about the significance of mid-term audits.
Compliance checks by the Commission – Behaviour Support
The Commission’s activity report for the period from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 shows that during that period, it received 311,040 reportable incidents. More than 97% of these reports relate to the use of an unauthorised restrictive practice on a person with disability.
The use of restrictive practices is ‘unauthorised’ if its use has not been authorised in accordance with any state or territory requirements for authorisation and/or it is not used in accordance with a Behaviour Support Plan for the participant.
The NDIS Commission has a two-stage compliance action underway, targeting all providers who have used an unauthorised restrictive practice. The first phase has been underway over the last year and has been targeting providers in New South Wales and South Australia. The second phase will commence in October 2020 and will target providers in Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.
These compliance activities are additional to the external audit process. This means although providers may have been through an external audit, the Commission can still undertake these compliance checks, which can have an impact on registration.
We are aware of providers that have been subject to these compliance activities, and know that the NDIS Commission is looking very closely at existing policies, procedures and practices around Behaviour Support.
If you are either developing behaviour support plans, and/or implementing behaviour support plans, you must continually review your policies and procedures to ensure they meet the current requirements of:
The NDIS Practice Standards
The NDIS Behaviour Support and Restrictive Practices Rules 2018
Your State/Territory government authorisation processes for restrictive practices
There are a number of useful resources available on the NDIS Commission’s website to help you, though feel free to contact us if you wish to discuss further.
New resources to support incident reporting, management and prevention
The NDIS Commission has released new resources to support NDIS providers to meet their obligations under National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 and to guide the continuous improvement of their incident management systems.
These resources complement the more detailed reportable incident guides available on the Commission’s website. They explain the benefits of effective incident management; outline the reportable incident obligations and timeframes, and the required elements of an incident management system.
You review your existing Incident Management policies and procedures, and update if necessary in light of these new resources.
Most providers in South Australia and New South Wales would have by now been through a mid-term audit. These audits take place half way (at 18 months) during the three yearly certification period.
During these audits, it is mandatory that the audit team will assess:
Division 2 of the Core module (Governance and Operational Management)
Any Standard identified at the previous audit where a Corrective Action Plan was required to be implemented
Any Standard specified in writing to the provider from the NDIS Commission.
You continually keep on top of your Quality Management System, as it is the key to effective governance and operational management. Internal Audits are mandatory, and your audit team will be looking for evidence of a documented and operational program of internal audits by the time of the mid-term audit. Internal Audits are a great way to identify any potential problems early, and contributing towards improvement. Don’t forget, they are also a mechanism to illustrate what is going well – all good evidence to demonstrate to the audit team!
Training on Internal Audits and Quality Management generally is a great way to demonstrate training and professional development, as well as to feed into ongoing continuous improvement. We are currently providing this type of training, information and resources to a number of providers to maximise their governance and operational management.
Please feel free to contact us if you wish to chat about any of these topics, or any issues associated with your NDIS registration.