By April Murphy
Safeguards have now been enhanced for National Disability Insurance Scheme participants. On 26 November the legislation of a nationally consistent worker screening system for the NDIS was introduced by Queensland Parliament.
Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said the Disability Services and Other Legislation (Worker Screening) Bill had been introduced to replace the existing disability screening system, strengthen safeguards for people with disability and streamline processes.
“This Bill will enhance safeguards for NDIS participants by expanding the range of offences that will automatically disqualify people from being able to provide services under the scheme,” Mr Crawford said.
The NDIS Commission states that from 1 February 2021, the NDIS Worker Screening Check will replace the different arrangements currently operating in each state or territory, setting a minimum national standard that all workers engaged in risk assessed roles must meet. Some states and territories may still have additional requirements in some circumstances, e.g. people working with children may need to undertake additional screening.
From 1 February 2021, if you are a worker delivering NDIS supports and services you may need to have a clearance issued under an NDIS Worker Screening Check.
“This Bill puts the safety of people with a disability first and will ensure that individuals convicted of very concerning offences, including sexual and serious assault offences committed against children and vulnerable people, will not be able to provide services under the NDIS,” says Mr Crawford.
Mr Crawford said the Bill would enable the monitoring of a clearance holders’ criminal history across all states and territories.
“This means that if someone commits an offence in another state or territory, we will know about it and be able to take action to assess whether the person should be issued with an exclusion,” he said.
Once rolled out nationally, the NDIS Worker Screening Check will enable a registered NDIS provider to engage a worker with a valid clearance from any state or territory to deliver NDIS supports and services in a risk-assessed role.
The NDIS Commission has also stated that if you are a worker an NDIS provider you need to undertake an NDIS Worker Screening Check and obtain a clearance if you are to be engaged in a risk-assessed role for a registered NDIS provider.
More information about the new Bill and the requirements for workers can be found at the NDIS Commission website https://www.ndiscommission.gov.au/.