National Standards for Disability Services

The National Standards for Disability Services set out the quality standards expected of services that provide disability services. They outline how disability services are to be provided and what people with disability, families and carers should experience when accessing services.

The National Standards for Disability Services were first produced in 1993 and have been revised to reflect current language, philosophies and service models, particularly the move towards individualised supports and person-centred service delivery. The ACT adopted the revised National Standards in 2014 and they are now the quality standards in operation in the ACT for services funded by Disability ACT.

Overview of the revised National Standards for Disability Services

There are six revised National Standards that apply to disability service providers. They are:

  1. Rights - The service promotes individual rights to freedom of expression, self-determination and decision-making and actively prevents abuse, harm, neglect and violence.
  2. Participation and Inclusion - The service works with individuals and families, friends and carers to promote opportunities for meaningful participation and active inclusion in society.
  3. Individual Outcomes - Services and supports are assessed, planned, delivered and reviewed to build on individual strengths and enable individuals to reach their goals.
  4. Feedback and Complaints - Regular feedback is sought and used to inform individual and organisation-wide service reviews and improvement.
  5. Service Access - The service manages access, commencement and leaving a service in a transparent, fair and equal and responsive way.
  6. Service Management - The service has effective and accountable service management and leadership to maximise outcomes for individuals.

Further information on the revised National Standards can be found below.

National Standards for Disability Services External Link

Additional resources such as Easy English versions of the Standards and stories of practice can be found on the Australian Government's Department of Social Services website External Link

Information for Disability Service Providers

Disability ACT requires funded services to comply with the National Standards as part of all funding agreements with disability service providers. As part of the contractual requirements, service providers submit annual Self-Assessments against the National Standards and undergo onsite performance and financial audits every three years.

If you have any queries regarding the reporting requirements please contact Disability ACT at

The revised National Standards and the National Disability Insurance Scheme

The revised National Standards are an important transitional reform for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Until the NDIS is fully implemented, the revised National Standards will remain one of the quality and safeguarding mechanisms in place in the ACT.

Government officials have begun discussions about how the national approach to quality and safeguarding will work and are aiming to present proposals to Ministers in late 2014 or early 2015. As part of this process there will be opportunities for stakeholder engagement. Further information on the national approach to quality and safeguarding can be found on the National Disability Insurance Scheme's website External Link