National standard for NDIS worker screening
From 1 February 2021, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Worker Screening Check will start to replace the different screening arrangements operating in each state and territory, setting a single national standard for all NDIS workers.
The new arrangements will help ensure the people who work with NDIS participants—or who wish to do so—do not present an unacceptable risk to people with disability.
People who work for registered NDIS providers must have an acceptable check or an NDIS Worker Screening clearance if they are employed in high risk roles, including roles that involve regular close contact with people with disability.
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert said ‘The NDIS Worker Screening Check ensures NDIS workers will be risk assessed for employment the same way, no matter where they live or work.
‘NDIS participants, their families and supporters can also be reassured by the introduction of the ongoing review of workers’ clearances against recent criminal history and misconduct information.
‘The NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework—agreed by all governments across Australia—identified the importance of a nationally consistent worker screening process in reducing the risk of harm to people with disability from the people who work closely with them.'
Registered NDIS providers will notice a reduction in administration through access to a NDIS Worker Screening Database, with the ability to view the clearance status of their workers in close-to-real time.
Worker screening is only one of the legislated obligations with which NDIS providers must comply to maintain registration with the NDIS Commission.
In November 2020, the protections for NDIS participants were further strengthened with the passing of the NDIS Banning Orders Bill in November 2020, which expanded the powers of the NDIS Commissioner to ban providers or workers even if they are not currently working in the NDIS.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has also implemented a proactive participant check-in approach, following the success of the 81,000 vulnerable participant proactive contacts made during COVID-19. The purpose is to check how a participant is going with their plan, and to also provide an opportunity to identify and address participant concerns and confirm the participant’s safety and welfare.
The Federal Government has committed $16.1 million over four years to establish NDIS Worker Screening, including NDIS Worker Screening Database costs which have been shared with state and territory governments.
See more information about worker screening at www.ndiscommission.gov.au.
2 February 2021.