Safeguards - ACT Specialist Disability Services
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 regardless of whether they are an NDIS provider.
The Human Services Registrar (HSR) is responsible for administering the Disability Services Act 1991 and related instruments. It also regulates the sector to ensure compliance with standards established under law.
Specialist Disability Service Providers have mandated ongoing reporting obligations to the HSR, these include:
- Critical incidents/complaints - report the 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.
- Disclosure of: 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.
- 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
Under agreement with the federal government, pending the development of and transition to a nationally consistent quality and safeguarding approach under the NDIS, existing jurisdictional safeguards will be maintained.
In the ACT these safeguards include:
- Ensuring that people working or volunteering with vulnerable people are 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.
- 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.
Assessment of providers against the safeguards is conducted by the Human Services Registrar.
For inquiries please emailing Quality@act.gov.au or by phone on (02) 6207 5474.
Both new and existing registered providers wishing to register for new groups must apply to the Human Services Registrar for assessment against the ACT’s quality and safeguards requirements by contacting Quality@act.gov.au or on (02) 6207 5474.
The NDIA will await advice from the ACT as to whether to finalise registration of an organisation.
Whether or not they are registered with the NDIA, Specialist Disability Service providers are required to comply with:
- The Disability Services Act 1991 and subordinate instruments, which can be found on the ACT Legislation Register website
- The Disability Services Regulation 2014 provides the necessary legislative authority
- The definition of Specialist Disability Service under the Disability Services Act 1991 and the applicable standards can be found on the ACT Legislation Register website