National Disability Insurance Scheme News

Revised High Intensity Support Skills Descriptors

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) has reviewed and modified the High Intensity Support Skills Descriptors as part of the NDIS Workforce Capability Framework project. The revised Skills Descriptors will come into effect from 1 February 2023.

The skills descriptors describe the skills and knowledge that workers (who are not qualified health or allied health practitioner) should have when supporting participants with high intensity daily personal activities in the NDIS Practice Standards (High Intensity Daily Personal Activities Module 1).

The NDIS Commission advises that the High Intensity Support Skills Descriptors are to be used as best practice guidance for:

  • Auditors when auditing the high intensity daily personal activities modules.
  • Providers for compliance, that the workers have the necessary skills and receive the training and support they need to achieve them.
  • Participants, their family and their support network to understand the quality of support they can expect when engaging providers and selecting workers.
  • Trainersshould use the skills descriptors to ensure the training they offer equips workers with the skills and knowledge expected to provide these types of support.

The key theme in the revisions focus on updating the skill descriptor content in line with contemporary practice and contemporary language and a participant focus adopted in the NDIS Workforce Capability Framework.

Key areas of note include:

  • Expansion of the breath of the skills descriptors document so there is now greater information and guidance available.
  • Participant focus on engagement and control is reflected in the language in line with the NDIS Workforce Capability Framework. One key example of this is replacing the term ‘management’ with ‘support’ Eg. enteral feeding and management is now enteral feeding support (noting the NDIS Practice Standards terminology remains unchanged).
  • Improved alignment between the skill descriptors and Module 1 High Intensity Daily Personal Activities (HIDPAs) to include the following changes:
    • A new descriptor has been included in the skill descriptors to support participants with dysphagia.
    • The stoma care skill descriptor has now been integrated into descriptors for bowel care, enteral feeding, tracheostomy support and ventilator support and supporting people who use urinary catheters.
    • The wound care skills descriptor has changed from being additional advice to being included as a skill descriptor.
    • Some of the revised skill descriptors include optional guidance to support common applications. For example, the skill descriptors for subcutaneous injections includes guidance when supporting a participant to manage diabetes; the enteral feeding the skill descriptors provides guidance when workers are supporting participants who receive medication via a feeding tube.
    • The skill descriptor to support mealtime preparation and delivery which was in the previous version as an additional descriptor is now included as an additional capability in the workforce capability framework.
  • Greater focus on training and skill development and the need to maintain skills and knowledge and providing training as required, especially when there are changes in participant support plans or support workers.

We recommend that you review the revised High Intensity Support Skills Descriptors and identify which areas of your organisation this will impact, in terms of policies and procedures, training programs and registers, internal audit and compliance registers before they come into effect in the beginning of February 2023.

If you are unsure if your documentation covers off on these requirements, we are here to help, contact us on 0478 616 207 or for a complimentary consultation to chat about your compliance obligations.

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