National Disability Insurance Scheme News

The EFA Enquirer: 4 June 2021

Helping providers to help participants

In this edition:

  • Introducing Jennifer Engels, EFA Director
  • EFA Internal Audit Training  SOLD OUT
  • NDIS Fact Sheet – Residential Aged Care Providers: Behaviour Support 
  • NDIS Regulated Restrictive Practices Guide

Meet the Multi-Talented Jennifer Engels

One of the dynamic Directors behind the flourishing business of Engels Floyd & Associates is Jennifer Engels. All successful creative ventures stem from a conviction, a determined focus and a tenacious resilience. Jen has that in bucket loads. She envisioned a business that could smooth the path between disability service providers and the NDIS processes. A business that would raise the “quality management” bar to an entirely new level. As a person with lived experience of disability herself Jen is perhaps one of the most gifted professionals in this area of work. She understands the myriad of dynamics, interests and responsibilities at play with all parties involved and how they interlink.  

Spanning an extensive 25 year career within the human services sector Jen has provided advice to local, state and Commonwealth government on disability issues, reforms and policy. She is considered the national expert on Certification, Accreditation and standards within the human services sector by Australia’s accrediting and certification bodies, governments and her auditing peers. 

Prior to establishing EFA Jen’s work was instrumental in a range of activities related to Australia’s accredited human services certification systems, including technical writing; technical committee chairing; assessing certification bodies against audit scheme requirements; providing subject matter and technical expertise to Joint Accreditation System of Australia New Zealand (JAS-ANZ).  She completed a range of human services standards mapping projects for state and Commonwealth governments and JAS-ANZ. And let’s not forget, Jen has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement, project management, training systems development and delivery.

To top it off Jen featured in YMag in 2020 as one of the eight Australian Female Change Makers of the year. 

If you have already worked with Jen you will know how much she thrives on quality management and supporting providers to help participants/consumers through the implementation of innovative and accountable quality and safety processes. Jen even likes taking on the hard stuff that has left others stumped. Gutsy!! That is a sign of a “quality nerd” is it not!

Jen and I talked work and life last week. 

There are so many layers to this woman and her amazing life.  

What do you love about your work?

Jen: Work that’s diverse, and work that’s a challenge. I’m attracted to challenging work even though it sends me crazy sometimes. 

I like doing new things. I like helping people. Creating new things. In my work life it is always fresh; it’s new every day.

(How reassuring is that? Knowing that an unexpected challenge popping up during your auditing process for instance is not going to phase the consultant you have engaged to make your life easier. In fact, it may enthuse her! That is someone I would want working for me.) 

What are the highlights of your life to date?

Jen:  Seeing polar bears in their natural environment when travelling to the Arctic. That was a life changing altering moment! (Wow!!)

University. True! I actually really enjoyed it as it’s something I’d always wanted to do. I do miss it now. I actually had to forcefully stop myself from signing up to a new uni degree over my last holiday break. (LOL. The delight of studying something new can be addictive!)

Sometimes I can be a collector of people. Many years back I attended a meeting in Canberra where I met Sharon who was to become my business partner, the person who was to be my mentor, and my future husband Andrew. Three connections that thereafter were to shape the course of my life. All at one meeting! What if I had been sick that day and not gone! In fact when I arrived I actually thought I was at the wrong meeting. 

(Wow that’s serendipity! It’s those little sliding door moments in life that can change everything isn’t it?)

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Jen: Tenacious, Reflective and Ethical.

(I can definitely attest to Jen being each of those. I have worked with Jen at various times over the past 26 years and her ethics have always been impeccable. 

Oh and just between you and I – Jen was the first person with her disability/health condition in the Southern Hemisphere to attain her scuba diving licence. Her medicos told her it was impossible. But impossible is not a word Jen is willing to accept. Yep that is certainly tenacious!) 

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

Jen:  Be Firm! My colleague at EFA gave me that advice because I take on too much… I tend to carry everything… and she said to be firm in my response and I was. And it was a bloody excellent piece of advice!

(Being firm takes courage and self-care. It brings to mind a statement of Brene Brown’s “Courage is contagious. Every time we choose courage we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.” 

What is the most courageous thing you have done?

Jen: An expedition to the Arctic on a tall ship a couple of years ago. When we departed we were told to be careful because once we left the main area of Norway we were on our own – help was basically unavailable. It was nerve wracking at times. Walking on ice is slippery and dangerous and the terrain was rough and icy, especially precarious for someone with a vision impairment. When off-ship on expeditions we were constantly chaperoned by someone armed with a gun as a precaution against the wildlife. 

Despite that I banished any notion of anxiety and my inner adventurer took over.

I joined every expedition every day for fear I may miss out.

(Yep! That’s undoubtedly courageous. The idea of coming face to face on the ice with a polar bear – Yikes!!)

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Jen: I’m very proud of EFA and who we are today as a company. Going from a sole trader thirty odd years ago when I was a speaker and vocational trainer to establishing and running my own company today. 

Another of my overarching achievements is the various work roles I have been involved with at JAS-ANZ over thirteen years. I am the only person with a disability who has achieved the quality of projects that I have achieved with JAS-ANZ. 

In 2020 I was featured in YMag as one of the eight Australian Female Change Makers of the year.

What could you not live without?

Jen:  Border Collies. I truly love training dogs and border collies are intelligent. They can be trained to do so much. One thing I like the most about them is that at the point when you feel confident you have resolved a training issue a border collie is smart enough to have found an alternative way to get what they want, within the rules. It can be a battle of wills and intellect with border collies. That makes it fun!

(Pets have a way of getting you to do what they want don’t they?)

If you could sit over dinner with anyone who would it be and why?

Jen:  Gough Whitlam. Gough entered politics with such interesting and progressive ideas such as free education and universal health care. Regardless of what side of politics one is on people with such progressive ideas are equaling.

(Reliving those crucial moments in the 70s would be a rare gaze into a key turning point for Australia for sure.)

What song do you HAVE to sing along with when you hear it?

Jen:  Electric Avenue (an old 1982 favourite from Eddy Grant). As kids a friend and myself would walk down our street eating fish and chips singing Electric Avenue. We would change the lyrics and replace them with our street name. Even though I don’t necessarily like the song it brings back wonderful memories. Songs have a way of attaching themselves to our lives through memories. 

(Now that brings back images of flared jeans, Countdown, Chiko rolls, big afro hair dos, and leotards. Eek!!) 

The EFA Enquirer: 4 June 2021 1

Jen Engels

EFA Internal Audit Training  

Whoa! This happened quickly! The upcoming EFA Internal Audit Training on 21 June is Sold Out. There is obviously a lot of demand for online quality training such as this and we are already working on scheduling the next one. We may live and breathe auditing but we understand not everyone does so we also want to make it simple and easy to learn and, dare we say, fun! 

Keep an eye on our upcoming newsletters and website for details for the next workshop in the near future. Let us know also about any other areas of training which are a priority for you

NDIS Fact Sheet – Residential Aged Care Providers:  Behaviour Support and Restrictive Practice Requirements

The NDIS has published an easy to follow flowchart relating to restrictive practice requirements for residential aged care providers who transitioned to the NDIS Commission from 1 December 2020. The flowchart clearly outlines the responsibilities of registered providers depending on whether there is a behaviour support plan in place or not, and is useful for all NDIS providers.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (Restrictive Practices and Behaviour Support) Rules 2018 outlines definitions of regulated restrictive practices. Further information on restricted practices can be found in the NDIS Regulated Restrictive Practices Guide that we discuss in the article below.

NDIS Regulated Restrictive Practices Guide

This comprehensive guide explains what a restrictive practice is (and isn’t) and seeks to inform providers on the five types of regulated restrictive practices, notably:

  • chemical restraint
  • environmental restraint
  • mechanical restraint
  • physical restraint
  • seclusion

The guide will assist you in identifying each regulated restrictive practice as they may apply to the support you provide for certain individuals. It explains practice advice consistent with a positive behaviour support framework and contemporary evidence informed practice. The intention is to reduce and potentially eliminate the use of restrictive practices where it is possible. 
Importantly the NDIS guide highlights the possible impacts and important considerations that providers need to be aware of with the use of regulated restrictive practices. 
The area of Restrictive practices and behaviour support is one of the compliance priorities for the NDIS Commission, and it is important for providers either developing and/or implementing behaviour support plans to fully understand and demonstrate implementation of these requirements.
We can help providers with:
–       tailored policies and procedures which work to address the requirements of the relevant NDIS Practice Standards and associated NDIS (Restrictive Practice and Behaviour Support) Rules 2018;
–       internal audits of your current restrictive practice and behaviour support practices;
–       training/workshops to demystify these requirements. 

While all care has been taken in the preparation of this material, no responsibility is accepted by Engels Floyd & Associates for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies. The material provided in this resource has been prepared to provide general information only. It is not intended to be relied upon or be a substitute for legal or other appropriate professional advice. Engels Floyd & Associates accept no responsibility for any known or unknown consequences that may result from reliance on any information provided in this newsletter, or any external websites referred to.

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