Check Yourself: New Updates to NDIS Worker Screening
In most states and territories, NDIS workers now need to have an acceptable check in place to provide support and services to people with disabilities, on behalf of a registered NDIS provider.
On 1 July 2019, the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission (NDIS Commission) assumed responsibility for the registration of NDIS providers delivering support and services to participants in all states and territories (except for Western Australia).
All states and territories will commence the NDIS Worker Screening Check on or before 1 July 2020. Until the NDIS Worker Screening Check commences, interim state and territory screening arrangements are in place for all states and territories (except Western Australia).
Once the new national worker screening arrangements come into effect, workers will need to obtain a new NDIS worker clearance on the expiry of their existing check.
What checks do workers need now?
Current acceptable checks in NSW
For registered NDIS providers delivering support and services in NSW, any worker engaged in a risk-assessed role must have:
- a criminal record check done before 1 July 2018 and within the past four years showing the person did not have a conviction for a prescribed offence (as defined in the Crimes Act 1914), or
- a criminal record check done between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2020 (or the date that a notice is made that the NDIS Worker Screening Check commences in NSW) and within the past two years showing the person did not have a conviction for a prescribed offence, or
- a current NSW Working with Children Check for those providing services to children in the NDIS that has been obtained before or during the transition period (when did this commence?).
Registered NDIS providers can choose how to obtain a criminal record check. One such example is the Police Check Service that CCER provides to all employers and organisations. Contact us for more information on how CCER’s Police Check Service can assist you and your workplace.
Registered NDIS providers delivering NDIS support and services in NSW will also need to register with the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian to verify the status of a worker’s Working with Children Check or the status of their application for a Working with Children Check online.
Current acceptable checks in ACT
For registered NDIS providers delivering NDIS supports and services in the ACT from, 1 July 2019 any worker engaged in a risk assessed role must meet the following requirements:
- the person is registered to engage in a regulated activity under the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011(ACT); and
- the registration allows the person to engage in the role concerned.
After the transition period, workers in risk-assessed roles (that during the transition period met the requirements as described above) may continue to work in the role for three years or until the check expires – whichever is sooner.
Why the change?
The changes form part of the Australian Government’s move to harmonise screening and record-keeping practices in the NDIS space to enable a nationally consistent approach that enhances participant safety and enables clearances to be recognised nationally.
Other changes include a new NDIS Code of Conduct and NDIS Practice Standards, as well changes to provider registration, complaints, incidents reporting and behaviour support plans.
CCER will provide further updates and information about NDIS Worker Screening, including when the NDIS Commission confirms the date the Check will be rolled-out, once this information is available.
For more information, click here. If you would like to discuss anything further, get in touch with one of our Employment Relations Specialists at (02) 9390 5255 or email us at email@example.com.
Anthony Micallef is an Employment Relations Specialist at CCER.