Q-Insights: Worker Screening-what else do we need to know in Qld?
In a little more than eight weeks after its introduction in Queensland, more than 11,000 applications have been processed for the new NDIS Worker Screening Clearance with approximately 10,100 cards issued.
While the screening is a nationally portable system of clearance, our State standards hold some significant differences.
How is Queensland different?
While some differences include the requirement of a card with a photo, and the types of identification needed to apply, the most significant additional requirements for Queensland providers arguably lie in the engagement of eligible workers.
A worker cannot commence in any risk assessed role without a Clearance or if they are subject to a suspension, interim bar or exclusion. No Card, No Start.
Providers who have been changing their policies and procedures to reflect the new requirements for initial engagement may also need to consider what happens when the status of an existing employee changes.
The Queensland Disability Services Act 2006 places obligations on clearance (card) holders to notify the Department of any relevant change via the Change in Police Information or Risk Assessment Matter form. Providers should be aware that there is no legislative obligation on the employee to notify their organisation of any relevant change.
Organisations that want to ensure they are notified by their employees immediately of any changes will need to mandate this within their policies and procedures.
If the information is so serious that it is considered to represent a risk to the safety and wellbeing of clients with disability, the Department will reach out to the provider’s central contact to give suitable advice.
Are you still waiting on clearances?
Currently, 1,600 applications sit ‘stalled’ awaiting verification from Queensland employers.
After 30 days an unverified application is deleted and the applicant needs to start again. In most cases, this can be easily avoided by:
- Ensuring the email nominated to receive the verification is not left unmonitored due to leave or other absence.
- Checking your junk and spam folders routinely
- Checking that your potential employee has tried to link to the correct organisation - not one with a similar name. Ask them to use your Employer ID number as a potential alternative.
An application cannot progress until the employer verifies that the person seeking the Clearance is likely to be offered employment.
Providers can stay up to date by visiting the Disability Worker Screening website.