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Call for papers extended for NDS’s Regional and Remote Conference

Submission deadline extended until 8 March for two-day national conference in Cairns.
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NDS encourages providers to have their say on the Annual Pricing Review

With submissions to the 2023–24 NDIS Annual Pricing Review closing on 3 March, NDS encourages members to support our key messages.

Revised high intensity support skills descriptors now in effect

People with disability using mechanical wheelchair alongside their support people in an outdoor garden setting


What you need to know

  • The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has revised its skill descriptors for high intensity supports.
  • Reflecting contemporary practice and expert advice, the new descriptors are supplementary guidance for providers and workers who support participants with high intensity daily personal activities (HIDPA).
  • They provide specific guidance on training and keeping training and practice current.
  • The descriptors for each area of support outline the skills and knowledge needed to prepare and deliver the support and to carry out the support plan.
  • The descriptors came into effect on 1 February.

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission’s revised high intensity support skills descriptors (HISSD) came into effect on 1 February. The descriptors guide providers and auditors on the skills, training and practice required to prepare and deliver the High Intensity Daily Personal Activities Module.

These supports present some of the highest risks for participants, such as complex bowel care, enteral feeding support, dysphagia support, ventilator support, tracheostomy support, urinary catheter support, subcutaneous injections, complex wound care, and epilepsy and seizure support.

The revised descriptors support the NDIS practice standards in Module 1 – High Intensity Daily Personal Activities.

The NDIS Commission has released a Frequently Asked Questions document that outlines the main changes. NDS understands that Providers who are registered for Module 1 received a draft copy of the HISSD revisions last December.

The HISSD does not give specific guidance on who should deliver training, assessment and supports, but its approach is competency-based. It generally states that “an appropriately qualified health practitioner” should perform training and oversight and that it should reflect the nature of the support provided and the worker’s experience. It is an important aspect of the descriptors that all training and competency reviews are properly documented.

Some of the updated content includes: 

  • Increased alignment with High Intensity Daily Personal Activities standards and indicators, including the addition of supporting participants with dysphagia. 
  • Integration of a stoma care skill descriptor into descriptors for bowel care, enteral feeding, tracheostomy support, ventilator support and urinary catheter support. 
  • Elevation of wound care to a skill descriptor. 
  • Addition of diabetes management within subcutaneous injections skill descriptor. 
  • Revision within the content of the skill descriptors, including optional guidance to support common applications. 

NDS members have raised issues and sought clarification on some of the new descriptors. NDS are raising these with the Commission and will host an information session in the coming weeks. 
If you have any feedback about the use of the descriptors in your audit, general feedback or concerns, please send these to Sarah Nicoll:  submit enquiry/feedback as part of our information-gathering. 

Contact information

For any enquiries, please contact Sarah Nicoll, Head of Quality and Safeguards, submit enquiry/feedback, show phone number