National Disability Insurance Scheme News

The EFA Enquirer: 18 September 2023


In this edition

  • Welcome Hannah Odorcic to the EFA team!
  • Dangers of purchasing ‘off the shelf’ NDIS policies and procedures
  • Key Points Arising from the Commission’s Latest NDIS Quarterly Report
  • Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) Changes

Welcome Hannah Odorcic to the EFA team

We are delighted to announce that Hannah Odorcic has joined our team as the new Marketing Manager at EFA. With her extensive background in brand design, strategy, content creation, and marketing, as well as her remarkable creativity and enthusiasm, we are confident that she will make a significant contribution to EFA.

Hannah’s previous experience working closely with NDIS providers is a valuable asset that will enhance her work here at EFA. Her insights and expertise in this area will undoubtedly benefit our team and the services we provide.

We are all looking forward to some exciting changes and developments on our digital platforms in the near future, thanks to Hannah’s leadership and innovative ideas. Her presence on the team promises to bring fresh perspectives and drive us toward new heights.

Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Hannah. We are thrilled to have her on board and are excited about the bright future ahead for EFA.

Dangers of purchasing ‘off the shelf’ NDIS policies and procedures

It is essential for NDIS providers to have quality policies and procedures in place to ensure you are meeting the NDIS quality requirements.

Whether you’re starting out and need policies and procedures or want to improve your system documentation purchasing ‘pre-prepared’ documents can be a convenient starting point, however there are potential pitfalls to be aware of.

For example, standardised off-the-shelf products may not always align perfectly with your business, and if they include processes and forms you do not implement, this can lead to staff not using your system and audit non-conformances. 

Good system documentation should follow your business processes and reflect the supports provide.  You should be CONFIDENT in using your system, update documents as your processes change, and staff should use these as a first port of call if they have questions (rather than asking the manager or quality and safeguarding staff). 

Your documentation should evolve as your processes change, ensuring it remains an accurate reflection of your operations and your staff should feel confident using the system documentation as a resource.

The goal should always be continuous improvement. Regularly reviewing and updating your documentation and processes is crucial to staying compliant and efficient.

A good consultant will work with you to make sure the system is truly yours as well as being compliant with the quality requirements set by the NDIS Commission.

At EFA we provides options to produce tailored documentation including policies and procedures, participant handbooks, internal audit plans and easy read English documents. We can also assist with self assessments/internal audits and work with you on system improvements.   If you would like to speak to us on how we can assist you in these areas, please contact us on 0478 616 207 or for a complimentary consultation.

Key Points Arising from the Commission’s Latest NDIS Quarterly Report

On 17 August 2023, the NDIS Commission released their latest NDIS Quarterly report  which provides an overview of the performance and operations of the NDIA for the three months from 1 April 2023 to 30 June 2023.

This information provides valuable insights for NDIS providers to better understand the trends and changes in the NDIS landscape.

Some key takeaways from the report include:

  • Participant Growth: The NDIS continues to see growth in the number of participants, with a 4% increase in approved plans, reaching 610,502 participants by the end of June 2023.
  • Increased SIL Support: There has been an unexpected increase in participants accessing Supported Independent Living (SIL) support since June 2022.
  • SDA Support Growth: The number of active participants with Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) supports has increased by 16% annually over the last three years, reaching 23,092 by June 2023.
  • Community and Social Participation: There has been a significant increase in participants aged over 15 years reporting increased participation in community and social activities, as well as increased participation in work for the 15 to 24 age group.
  • Provider usage trends:
    • In the last 12 months, unregistered providers were used less frequently and had a higher proportion of one-off payments where they are used only once. There was a three times lower one-off payment frequency for registered providers compared to unregistered providers.
    • Plan managed participants used unregistered providers predominantly (92%), compared to registered providers. However, the total payments made to registered providers (57%) was greater than unregistered (43%).
  • Complaints: Complaints as a proportion of active participants have seen a slight increase over recent quarters, emphasising the importance of effective complaint management for providers.
  • Plan Management Choices: Continuing the trend from previous quarters, more participants are choosing to use a plan manager instead of having the Agency manage their plan, indicating a preference for greater control and flexibility.
  • Participant Critical Incidents (PCI): The report now includes separate data on participant critical incidents (PCI), reflecting allegations of harm to participants. There has been an increase in PCI reports, potentially due to increased awareness of financial abuse in the community.

If you are in need of NDIS provider support in the areas of  quality management, compliance or business planning  please contact us on 0478 616 207 or for a complimentary consultation.

Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) Changes

The Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) provides financial help to people with disability and mental health conditions and employers to buy workplace assistance and support services.

These include work-related modifications, including making adjustments to your physical workspace, purchasing equipment, Auslan interpreting services and disability awareness training.

Recent changes to the Employment Assistant Fund (EAF) will enable more employers to access new funding to make workplaces safer and more accessible.

Under the changes, the annual funding cap for work-related Auslan interpreting services will double from $6000 to $12,000.

The building modifications cap will also double from $30,000 to $60,000 to help fund lifts, wheelchair accessible toilets, access ramps and automatic doors to remove workplace barriers.

The Federal Government will also scrap the requirement for funding applications to be made ahead of time for Auslan interpreters to be at job interviews and other activity including site visits, tests and information sessions. Instead, businesses can submit an application up to five business days post-interview.

For organisations that employ people with disability or are considering hiring people with disability, we recommended exploring the EAF program further to understand how these changes can benefit your workplace and employees.

Accessible and inclusive workplaces not only support the well-being of employees with disabilities but also contribute to a more diverse and skilled workforce.

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!