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Collaboration Working Group requesting case studies

The Collaboration Working Group is seeking examples of collaboration in the community sector, government and inter-sectorial projects.
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News update

Ministerial expert panel established on voluntary assisted dying

The Minister for Health has entrusted an expert panel to develop the policy position that will inform legislation on voluntary assisted dying in WA.

Helpdesk Top 5 - April 2018

Office desk in a building


NDS's free, online NDIS Helpdesk offers providers practical advice and interpretation of key NDIS policy and practices.

Given the enthusiasm and support for the Helpdesk, we are excited to announce that a new Helpdesk is coming! This new platform will be integrated into the NDS website and will allow users to track their questions, search a comprehensive knowledge base with over 100 commonly asked questions, and tap into NDS subject matter experts for timely responses to questions.

Watch this space for further updates.

Meanwhile, below are the top 5 NDIS Helpdesk questions for this month:

Question 1

We are experiencing problems with claiming due to plan reviews being undertaken that we were not aware of. What should we do?

Answer 1

NDS suggests that if you are experiencing issues with payments you first contact your local NDIS office. If resolution is slow, contact the Provider Payment Team in writing at for support.

Question 2

What are the qualification requirements for Therapy Assistant (line item 15 045 0128 1 3)? There is no reference to allied health assistant in Suitability of Requirements document. Can a Disability Support Worker (DSW) undertake tasks/activities under supervision of an occupational therapist?

Answer 2

The NDIA Provider Toolkit module 4 on suitability does not include specific requirements for Therapy Assistants. However, it does specifiy that providers must satisfy and comply with State requirements. In regards to therapy assistants, the Victorian Supervision and Delegation Framework for Allied Health Assistants (AHA) outlines nicely the different roles levels and related qualification requirements.

Chapter 3 of this document gives a comprehensive overview of the role of assistants in this field, with a nice summary of the different levels of assistants and the required education level on page 12. The qualification structure defines three grades of AHAs. Grade 1 AHA require no formal qualifications. As such, DSWs may undertake the role of a Grade 1 AHA with appropriate supervision (see page 12 in the above link). It should be noted, however, that the NDIS Price Guide quotes maximum prices.

This framework was developed for the health sector, but DHHS is currently running a project to contextualise this framework to the disability sector. NDS is involved in this project and we will keep the sector informed on these developments.

Question 3

Can an Establishment Fee be charged where personal care is provided in short-term accommodation, supported independent living or centre-based group settings?

Answer 3

Providers delivering 20 or more hours of community access and personal care supports per month to a participant are able to claim the establishment fee. This support needs to be delivered throughout the year rather than on a ‘once off’ (e.g. one camp per year) basis.

As long as you provide 20 or more hours of community access and/or personal care supports per month to a participant, it meets the criteria to claim the establishment fee if the participant is in the first year of their plan. It is not explicit about whether it is centre-based or community-based; it’s about the type of support and the total hours delivered.

Short Term Accommodation and SIL supports are not claimed as personal care/community access supports. These are detailed as ‘assistance in shared living arrangements’, consistent with the allocated registration category and therefore do not qualify for the establishment fee.

Further, providers must ensure that they comply with the other requirements in relation to the use of the establishment fee: i.e., Is the provider assisting the participant to implement their plan?

Question 4

The NDIA Provider Guide to Suitability document refers to Registered Nurses for Community Nursing (as per line items 15 036 0114 1 3 and 15_051 0114 1 3). Does this mean that Enrolled Nurses are unable to deliver supports?

Answer 4

The Provider Guide to Suitability states that some supports must be delivered by people with specific qualifications, experience or licensing. Where the profession is listed as 'Registered Nurse', the provider is declaring as part of the registration process that they are a qualified and AHPRA registered Nurse. Thus Enrolled Nurses are not able to deliver such supports. 

The Nursing and Midwifery Board stipulates the requirements for all enrolled nurses, registered nurses and midwives.

More information on core registration requirements, including experience and professional development needed in order to use the protected title ‘registered nurse’, can be found through the Nursing and Midwifery Board.  

Furthermore, registration as a registered nurse (RN) requires that the NMBA’s mandatory registration standards are met. RNs are required to practise within the relevant NMBA approved standards, codes, guidelines and frameworks.

The Provider Guide to Suitability (page 20) also states that Registered Nurses must hold current AHPRA registration.

Question 5

Does the support item 03_091_0121_1_1 (telephone or video interpreting) include AUSLAN interpreting?

Answer 5

The NDIA has released a fact sheet that clearly states that AUSLAN is funded.

Providers are required to use the best fit approach for billing. Furthermore, NDS has been informed that direct communication from the NDIA to a provider has confirmed that line item 03_091_0121_1_1 should be used for AUSLAN interpreting.

Providers should also consider the responsibility of respective organisations to ensure that their services or events are accessible.

Contact information
Elise Garraway, Policy and Project Officer, 03 8341 4300,