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 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:
- Report 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 [PDF 467KB]
- Disclose 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.
- Advise 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
The ACT will regulate disability service providers registered to deliver supports under the NDIS until 30 June 2019. This means that all regulatory oversight, including registration assessments, compliance reviews, complaints investigations and critical incident reports will be overseen by the ACT Government through the Human Services Registrar (HSR).
Further information is available on the NDIS Website: https://www.ndis.gov.au/providers/quality-and-safeguards/act-registering-provider
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:
- 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 2019. 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.
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
The Commission, established through an amendment to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, gives effect to the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework and will have responsibility for the registration and oversight of disability service providers delivering supports under the NDIS from 1 July 2019 in all jurisdictions except Western Australia.
All providers registered with the NDIA will be transitioned into the Commission in phases. There will be four phases for transition and the phase determines the time by which a provider must have undergone the Commission’s certification or verification process. In the coming months, organisations regulated by the HSR will need to prepare to be audited against relevant NDIS Practice Standards.
Each registered provider will be allocated a phase which relates to the level of risk the organisation carries. This is contingent on the risk associated with registration groups, size and complexity of the organisation and whether the organisation holds registrations in a number of jurisdictions. All currently registered providers will receive advice on phasing, and the timeframes relevant to you, from the Commission on transfer of registration.
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
If you require further clarification, please contact our office on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 02 6207 5474.