Ongoing improvements to Victorian NDIS Check worker screening processes
Since the introduction of the new national NDIS Worker Screening requirements for registered NDIS providers on 1 February, NDS members have reported significant delays in recruitment due to NDIS Check processes.
The new system requires all workers starting in risk assessed roles to obtain an NDIS Check prior to commencement unless they have a Working with Children Check (WWCC).
A recent welcome clarification from the Victorian Government indicates:
- Workers who have been employed in the same organisation since 1 February 2021, who had previously met Victorian government transitional arrangements and are working in risk assessed roles, now only have to apply for an NDIS Check by 31 July, rather than have received clearance by 31 July.
- If the worker has a WWCC, then they do not need to obtain an NDIS Check clearance until the WWCC expires.
- Applicants will be provided with an email confirming their application, which can be used by service providers for auditing purposes.
It is also noted that NDIS Checks are now recognised in the Aged Care Sector.
NDS has been working closely with Government to identify issues and advocate for improvements with the NDIS Check processes.
Over recent weeks, the Victorian Government has been implementing various technical improvements to systems to address issues with facial recognition software and older documentation. This has addressed some of the concerns, but it is noted that even when the processes are refined it may take some people three to four weeks to receive their NDIS Checks. Pleasingly, over 25,000 NDIS Checks have now been completed.
At our recent NDIS Checks update meeting, members raised issues about:
- Volunteer applications
- The accessibility of the online system
- The support available from Services Victoria for people struggling with the online system
Frustrations were expressed about the time it takes to receive clearance, especially if the application is started online and then switches to a manual process. Organisations have not been able to track the progress of manual applications. Some organisations have been asked to verify staff who are unknown to them.
There have been recent questions about whether the cost of WWCC will be waived on an ongoing basis, after initially being renewed at the same time as the NDIS application.
Members also wanted to know if a volunteer becomes an employee whether their NDIS Check number changes, and whether Victorian children who volunteer need to undergo worker screening.
Government representatives are working on responses to these questions, which NDS will circulate once available.