Links and Useful Information
- National Disability Insurance Scheme
- NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
- ACT Office of the Senior Practitioner
- Official Visitors for Disability Services
- Access Canberra – Working with Vulnerable People Registration
Specialist Disability Services
Safeguards and quality assurance frameworks that currently exist to protect people in the ACT sit under the ACT Disability Services Act 1991 and related instruments. This Act applies to all specialist disability service providers in the ACT.
In the ACT these safeguards include:
- People working or volunteering with vulnerable people are required to be registered with the Office of Regulatory Services under the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011. People working in disability services need to be registered. Registration information is available on the Access Canberra website: Working with Vulnerable People Registration
- As a part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguarding Framework, the ACT will implement nationally consistent worker screening arrangements from 1 July 2020. Further information is available on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission / Worker Screening website.
- Specialist Disability Service providers need to provide support within a Standards framework. Relevant standards include but are not limited to: National Disability Service Standards; Home Care Standards; National Standards for Mental Health Services; Disability Standards for Education; and Disability Advocacy Standards and be consistent with the NDIS Code of Conduct.
From 01 July 2019 oversight for quality and safeguards for all NDIS registered providers in the ACT will fall under the jurisdiction of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (the Commission). Refer to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Agreement section below.
Previously and ongoing from 01 July 2019 oversight for all non-NDIS registered Specialist Disability Service providers will remain under the jurisdiction of the Human Services Registrar (HSR), please refer to the Compliance Fact Sheet. The HSR is responsible for the administering the Disability Services Act 1991 and related instruments. It also regulates the sector to ensure compliance with standards established under law, including:
- Reporting critical incidents/complaints - circumstances of a risk where the provider has reasonable grounds to believe there is serious risk to the life, health or safety of a person with a disability to whom the provider is providing a specialist disability service. Targeted compliance reviews may occur in response to complaints or critical incidents. Please refer to the Critical Incident Fact Sheet
- Disclosing an investigation of the provider; arbitration, litigation or other adjudicative proceeding that could have an adverse impact on the provider’s capacity to comply with the standards.
- Advising changes to governance structure –
- any material change or proposed change to the constitution and rules or memorandum and articles of association;
- any change in their chair of the board, public officer, chief executive or any equivalent positions or executive management;
- their intention to obtain an exemption from compliance with any law of the Territory that applies to the provider, including under the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT); and
- any circumstance that could adversely affect their financial capacity to deliver specialist disability services.
NDIS Quality and Safeguards Agreement
From 1 July 2019, all disability service providers registered to deliver supports under the NDIS will be overseen by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.
Quality and safeguards matters that occurred prior to 01 July 2019 will remain under the jurisdiction of the ACT government. The ACT government and the Commission will continue to liaise and process outcomes of these matters.
You can find more information and resources on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission or you can call them on 1800 035 544.
For further information on changes to regulatory oversight follow the link to the Commission’s Fact Sheet: Then and now for Providers in the ACT.
Specialist Disability Service providers, defined under the Disability Services ACT 1991 as “Subsection 4(1) of the Disability Services Act 1991 states that a specialist disability service is firstly a service that is provided specifically for people with a disability and secondly that it is a type declared by the Minister under subsection 4(2). TheDisability Services (Specialist Disability Service Types) Declaration 2014 (No 1) establishes the specific types of services that are declared to be specialist disability services under the Act.” are required to comply with:
- The Disability Services Act 1991 and subordinate instruments, which can be found on the ACT Legislation Register website
- The ACT legislative framework, also available on the ACT Legislation Register
If you require further clarification, please contact our office on email@example.com or on 02 6207 5474.
Alternatively, if you are an NDIS registered provider you can find more information and resources on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission website at www.ndiscommission.gov.au or you can call the NDIS Commission on 1800 035 544.