The new Quality & Safeguards framework has been introduced to provide a nationally consistent approach that empowers and supports NDIS participants to exercise choice and control whilst also ensuring that appropriate safeguards are in place and that service providers and their staff are delivering high quality supports to participants.
The framework has now rolled out in Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory on 1 July 2019, as well as South Australia and New South Wales on 1 July 2018. On 1 July 2020 the framework will roll out in Western Australia.
Service providers should also remember that if they receive funding from both a State/Territory Government and from the NDIS, they are subject to both existing State/Territory based requirements and also NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission regulatory obligations while they receive both forms of funding. Policies and practices should reflect the dual requirements and reporting frameworks. In time, service providers may want to consider transitioning to NDIS funding only to avoid the dual requirements.
It’s important that disability service providers understand their obligations under the new Quality & Safeguards framework and align their policies and practices to adhere to the new requirements including:
- NDIS Practice Standards which set a benchmark for providers to be assessed on performance and to demonstrate provision of high quality and safe supports and services to NDIS participant.
- Code of Conduct which set out acceptable, appropriate and ethical conduct for NDIS providers and workers and in doing so, promote the health, safety and wellbeing of persons with disability.
- Management of and Reporting of Incidents requirements which provide appropriate systems to respond to any incidents that occur or are alleged to have occurred in connection to provision of supports or services to NDIS participants.
- Complaints Management requirements which provide an appropriate complaints management and resolution system for providers to respond to complaints in connection with provision of supports or services to NDIS participants.
- Worker Screenings requirements which play an important role in supporting the dignity, safety and wellbeing of NDIS participants, ensuring that only screened and appropriate workers are delivering services to persons with disability.
- Regulation of Behaviour Support and Restrictive Practices requirements which ensure the correct safeguards, oversight and reporting are in place to ensure safety and dignity for persons with disability.