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News update
24/05/2024
News update

Breaking News: NDIS Provider and Worker Registration Taskforce provides update

Taskforce says there is more work to do before they take recommendations to government.
News update
23/05/2024
News update

NDS analyses the federal budget for opportunities and challenges for NDIS reform

The federal budget, tabled just over a week ago, promised improvements in the NDIS while moderating scheme growth — we break it down.

Key topic: NDIS Review, quality and safeguards and registration

A child with disability plays alongside an adult

11/04/2024

The NDIS Review final report, released late last year, made several recommendations to strengthen quality and safeguards in the NDIS system. Here's a breakdown of the key points for disability service providers: 

NDIS Commission takes the lead 

 The Review proposes expanding the NDIS Commission's role beyond the NDIS itself. It sees the Commission as the central regulator for all government-funded disability services. This should be accompanied by a new quality and safeguarding framework for disability support, bringing consistency across different programs. 

Quality takes centre stage 

The Review recommended the appointment of a dedicated Deputy Commissioner for Quality within the NDIS Commission. This indicates the importance of quality to the Review and their commitment to raising the bar for service provision.  

Better regulation 

With over 150,000 providers operating with minimal oversight and not all workers undergoing mandatory screening, the system needs transformation. The Review proposes a proportionate oversight model. This means different levels of registration depending on the risk to the participant. High-risk services will face stricter regulations (advanced registration), while lower-risk providers might need just basic enrolment. We discuss this further below. 

Streamlining worker screening 

The Review acknowledges the need for a more efficient and streamlined worker-screening process. This means faster turnaround times and, potentially, less administrative burden for providers. 

Overall, the NDIS Review's focus on quality and safeguards gives disability service providers a chance to demonstrate their commitment to high standards. The proposed reforms aim to create a more robust and secure environment for both providers and participants. 

What our 2023 State of the Disability Sector Survey revealed about registration 

The NDS State of the Disability Sector Survey last year revealed worrying trends in NDIS registration. Here's a summary: 

Deregistration 

Nearly 18 per cent of respondents, especially newer organisations (established after 2014) and smaller entities, are considering dropping their NDIS registration. 

Reasons for deregistration 

Participants in our survey cited administrative burdens, costs and lack of registration benefits. They were particularly worried about the development of an unfair, two-tier market, where unregistered providers operate with less oversight while registered providers bear the costs and burdens of registration. 

Our findings show that issues with NDIS registration must be addressed soon to prevent an exodus of providers from the system. 

New NDIS Taskforce seeks public response for improved regulations 

The NDIS Provider and Worker Registration Taskforce has been set up to consult with the disability community and advise on a new regulatory model.  

As already mentioned, the proposed model, drawing on Recommendation 17 of the NDIS Review Final Report, will be based on risk. This means the level of regulation will depend on the type of support a provider offers, with stricter rules for higher-risk situations.  

The Taskforce wants to hear from everyone involved in the NDIS system to make sure this new model addresses the longstanding quality and safety concerns and increase visibility and regulation of all NDIS providers and workers.  

Here's what you need to know: 

  • Goal: Develop a system that balances participant safety with the right level of regulation based on the risk of different types of NDIS support. 
  • Who's involved: The Taskforce is made up of experts in disability rights, worker interests, the provider sector and market regulation.  
  • Who can participate: People with disability, their families, advocates, NDIS providers, worker representatives and other stakeholders. 
  • What they want to know: Your experience with the NDIS, your thoughts on the proposed model, and what aspects are most important to you. 
  • How to get involved: Visit the Department of Social Services website  to submit your feedback.  
  • The deadline is 28 April.  

The taskforce have announced a series of online roundtables for providers and disability workers on various aspects of the new model. Some are by invitation only, but you can apply to the secretariat for an invitation. Go to the Engage page of the DSS website for more information.       

NDS will be making a submission and, if you would like to contribute, contact our Senior Policy Officer Shelley Birrell:  submit enquiry/feedback

Contact information
Shelley Birrell, Senior Policy Officer - NDIS and Royal Commission, 07 3828 9406, submit enquiry/feedback