The NDIA took their Quality & Safeguarding Framework show on the road this month, with a series of Provider Forums around the country. The Framework will be phased in over the next few years, starting with NSW & SA from 1 July 2018.
We have summarised the key things you need to know to get ready for the change.
WHO & WHAT
The newly established Quality and Safeguards Commission (the Commission) is an independent body that will regulate the NDIS market and be responsible for:
- Behaviour Support
- Worker Screening
The Commission will replace the individual quality and safeguarding arrangements that now operate in each state and territory. Graeme Head, former NSW Public Service Commissioner, will be the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner.
WHEN WILL THE FRAMEWORK BE IMPLEMENTED?
NSW and SA need to be ready first, as they move from the state-based interim arrangements to the Framework in July 2018. All other states will roll out in 2019, except for WA that has to wait until 2020.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR PROVIDERS?
Until the Framework has been implemented, it will effectively be business as usual with State-based arrangements in place. So, if you are a multi-state provider who acquires National registration when the Framework is implemented in NSW or SA, you will still need to be compliant with your state-based NDIS registration requirements in all other states where you deliver services until they have transitioned.
Providers who are already registered with the NDIS: You will automatically transfer to the National system and should not need to do anything right away. You will be expected to complete a new Practice Standard audit “within a particular time”. If necessary, it is recommended that providers update their registration groups and contact details now to make the transfer as smooth as possible.
Providers not yet registered with the NDIS: Under the new system, there will be two pathways for registration:
1. VERIFICATION (for providers of lower risk, less complex support): a simplified process for individual or small providers of low risk supports or allied health professionals already certified with governing bodies, plus for larger providers who want to register individual employees.
2. CERTIFICATION (for providers of high risk, more complex supports): a third party audit against the NDIS Practice Standards every 3 years, with a desktop audit annually. Additionally, you may be required to complete modules about specific registration groups.
The registration groups requiring certification are: Personal Activities High; Participate in Community; Community Nursing; Specialised Supported Employment; Assist Personal Activities; Group/Centre Based Activities; Early Childhood Supports; Specialised Disability Housing; Daily Tasks/Shared Living; Specialised Behaviour Support; and Specialised Support Coordination.
HOW ARE YOUR COMPLIANCE OBLIGATIONS CHANGING?
It depends which States you are operating in. The Framework is thought to be based largely on the current Victorian and NSW frameworks. So providers in these States may experience less change than others.
The requirements that are changing include registration (inclusive of practice standards), complaints, reportable incidents, the NDIS Code of Conduct, behaviour support and worker screening. Specific details will be provided in rules and guidance material being developed by the Commission.
By the time the Framework has fully rolled out, you may not necessarily have more paperwork, but you will undoubtedly have different paperwork. It will be essential for your organisation to be across both the long-term and the interim requirements. At the end of the day, none of this is optional. But, armed with the right information, it (hopefully) will not be hard either.
NDIS Quality & Safeguarding Framework: What You Need to Know