National Disability Insurance Scheme News

The EFA Enquirer: 13 April 2023

In this edition

  • Upcoming Training
  • NDIS Quarterly Report
  • NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission letter to Specialist Disability Accommodation Providers
  • Inclusion Australia ‘Your service, Your rights’ Workshops

Upcoming Training 

We are very excited to announce that we are running some brand new short course online training sessions via Zoom. Take a look below to see what we have on offer!

1. NDIS Plan Review
27 April 2023 – 10am – 12pm AEST
Register here

2. Emergency and Disaster Management (Business Continuity)
28 April 2023 – 10am – 12pm AEST
Register here

3. Introduction to NDIS Registration Requirements
11 May 2023 – 9:30am – 11:30am AEST
Register here

4. Risk Management for NDIS Providers
11 May 2023 – 1:30pm – 4:30pm AEST
Register here

5. Introduction to Psychosocial coaching in the NDIS
25 May 2023 – 10am – 1pm AEST
Register here

NDIS Quarterly Report

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has published its Quarterly Activity Report, covering the period 1 October 2022 to 31 December 2022 for all states and territories in Australia. The report provides an overview of NDIS Commission activities, including complaints, registrations, reportable incidents, behaviour support and compliance.
The NDIS Commission uses this information along with complaints and incident reports to target areas for compliance and education activities.

We encourage NDIS providers to read the report as it provides them with information about the NDIS market place plus, areas where the Commission will be focusing on in the future in terms of compliance actions.
Key issues of note are in the areas of complaints, reportable incidents, unauthorised restrictive practices and compliance actions.

There were 2001 complaints in this period with the highest percentage of complaints in provider practice (43%), followed by alleged abuse and neglect (25%) and worker conduct (23%).  This highlights that there is a need for providers to better understand the requirements and responsibilities under the NDIS practice standards by having NDIS policies and procedures in place that are being properly implemented and communicated to their staff through quality training.

There was an overall increase of 7% (5296) in the number of reportable incidents with the highest category in abuse or neglect followed by serious injury.   Of those reported 908 were reported to the police. There was also a 12% increase in the use of unauthorised restrictive practices which remains a concern and highlights the need for greater training of staff in this area and the promotion of positive behaviour support strategies to reduce the use of restrictive practices.

The Commission has taken over 7587 compliance actions against providers in the last 6 months including education initiatives (4865), registration refusals (269) and banning orders (42).

The NDIS Commission has been clear that it will continue to focus on ensuring NDIS providers understand their responsibilities and implement the NDIS Practice Standards, NDIS Code of Conduct and other quality and safeguards requirements to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people with disability.  They will also take action in cases where there has been a risk to the safety of NDIS participants.

If you are unsure if your documentation or training adequately cover offs 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.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission letter to Specialist Disability Accommodation Provider

On 10 February 2023, Tracey Mackey the NDIS Commissioner wrote to all registered Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) providers reminding them of their obligations under NDIS legislation including the NDIS Code of Conduct and NDIS practice standards specific to the provision of SDA.

SDA is a range of housing designed for people with very high support needs with accessible features to help residents live more independently and allow other supports to be delivered in a safe way.

The Commissioner emphasised that the nature of the delivery of SDA supports raises the risks associated with the independence and control of NDIS participants choice of NDIS supports.  They have received reports of concerning practices in the sector that is limiting the choice and control of NDIS participants including:

  • conflict of interest concerns where SDA providers are entering into commercial arrangements to provide other NDIS supports exclusively in their dwellings or specifying who may provide other NDIS supports and services within an SDA dwelling
  • charging fees to NDIS participants and/or other NDIS providers to deliver supports and services within an SDA dwelling in the absence of transparent service agreements.

The NDIS Commissioner stressed that these practices are inconsistent with NDIS provider obligations that require ‘each participant’s right to exercise choice and control over other NDIS support provision is not limited by the participant’s choice of specialist disability accommodation dwelling’.

It is critical to the rights and interests of participants residing in SDA that:

  • service agreements transparently outline all terms and conditions that apply to their SDA dwelling and any associated service or tenancy agreements
  • the provision of accommodation and other NDIS supports is not impacted by the NDIS participants choice of who provides their other NDIS supports.

The NDIS Commission is of the view that SDA providers have had sufficient time to understand their obligations as SDA providers and will initiate compliance activities by issuing requests for information to SDA providers, using the NDIS Commissioner’s powers under section 73F(2)(i) of the NDIS Act to obtain information.

This information will be used to ascertain the compliance of SDA providers and help the NDIS Commission develop and target further education and compliance actions where obligations are not being met.

We urge SDA providers to review their documentation and systems to ensure you are meeting your obligations under the NDIS legislation and practice standards to promote your NDIS participants’ independence, choice and control about the supports they engage under their NDIS plan.

If you require any assistance understanding your NDIS obligations or require documentation please contact us on 0478 616 207 or for a complimentary consultation.

Inclusion Australia ‘Your service, Your rights’ Workshops

Inclusion Australia are working with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission to deliver new Your Service, Your Rights workshops  for people with an intellectual disability and their supporters to understand their rights when they receive services through the NDIS.
The workshops will cover the following topics:

  • Rights and Services
  • NDIS Commission – Code of Conduct and complaints process
  • Importance of speaking up and supports to do so
  • How to be involved in making supports safe

Workshops will be running across Australia until June 2023 both in person and online.

We recommend all NDIS providers promote this workshop to your NDIS participants. You can find out when they are running in your state and territory by contacting Inclusion Australia.

Passionate experts in quality improvement for disability & human services. Supporting all States and Territories.

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