Support Coordination Quality Indicators: Implications for Providers

On Friday last week, the Quality & Safeguarding Commission released the long awaited Quality & Safeguarding Rules. All this week we have been digging in to the detail to highlight the implications of these rules for providers. In this article we will focus on Support Coordination but for information on other support types, see:

 

The biggest change: do Support Coordinators still have to be registered?

Under the current state-based Quality requirements, Support Coordinators and Specialist Support Coordinators have to register to provide these supports. However, under the National system, neither are listed as supports that providers have to register to provide. If our reading is correct, this would mean that participants who self or plan manage their Coordination of Supports funds could use an unregistered provider.

However - the way that the NDIA currently enforce the need to register is by obliging participants to agency manage this part of their Plan. If the National rules really are different then we would expect this practice to change. But as all things with the NDIS, whether the practice matches the policy is always an open question.

 

Pathway to registration

For those providers wanting to register to provide Support Coordination, the Rules state very clearly that they will need the follow the Certification (rather than Verification) pathway. 

Certification requires an assessment by an approved external quality auditor which includes a desk audit, an inspection of the sites, facilities, equipment and services and interviews with relevant stakeholders. All providers will be certified against the new Quality Indicators, as per below:

Code

Registration Group

Verification or Certification

Core Module Quality indicators 1 to 4

Module

106

Assistance in coordinating or managing life stages, transitions and supports (Assist- Life Stage, Transition)

Certification

Core Standards 1 to 4

 

132

Support Coordination (Specialist)

Certification

Core Standards 1 to 4

Module 4

Core Standards 1-4 refer to the Quality Indicators based on the National Disability Standards (see Schedule 1 of the Quality Indicators for more detail):

  1. Rights and Responsibilities
  2. Governance and Operational Management
  3. Provision of Support
  4. Sup port Provision Environment

 

Module 4: Compliance Requirements for Specialist Support Coordinators

Module 4: Specialist Support Coordination is an additional Module that covers 3 Quality Indicators that Specialist Support Coordinators will need to meet. These indicators are fundamental principles of all Support Coordination and it is very surprising (and frankly, a little disappointing) that this module does not apply to both registration groups. We have to wonder if maybe the Commission has been tripped up the confusing naming of the registration groups...

  • 0106: Assist Life Stage Transition (i.e. Support Coordination)
  • 0 132: Support Coordination (i.e. Specialist Support Coordination)

In any case, the three Quality Indicators are:

1. Specialised Support Coordination

Providers will need to demonstrate they can understand the risks, tailor supports and work collaboratively to build the capacity of the person with disability and their supports to identify, prevent or respond to crisis. They will also need to ensure they find appropriately skilled and experienced providers and mainstream services to assist the person with disability.

Outcome: Each participant receiving specialist support coordination receives tailored support to implement, monitor and review their support plans and reduce the risk and complexity of their situation.

2. Management of a Participant’s NDIS Supports

Providers will need to continue to make sure information is provided in accessible formats to participants, they assist the participant within the support budget and continue to look at other community and mainstream supports.

Outcome: Each participant exercises meaningful choice and control over their supports and maximises the value for money they receive from their supports.

3. Conflict of Interest

Providers should continue to ensure a disconnect between any service provision and support coordination they provide and make sure participants are aware of any potential conflicts of interest.

Outcome: Each participant receives transparent, factual advice about their support options which promotes choice and control.

 

Impact on Providers

 

One thing that Support Coordinators will certainly need to be aware of is the fact that people with interim or ongoing regulated Restrictive interventions (Behavioural Support) must use registered providers for all of their supports regardless of how they are funded. Even self-managed participants subject to regulated restrictive interventions can only use registered providers.

If participants receive Specialised Disability Accommodation in their plan, they must use Registered Providers.

If participants receive Specialised Behavioural Support in their plan, they must use Registered Providers

Overall, the impact of these new rules on existing Support Coordination organisations may be minimal if they already have Quality systems and processes in place. The move to a National system should make it easier for Support Coordination providers to work in multiple states as it streamlines requirements.