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NDS calls for delay of Portable Long Service Scheme for community services sector

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NDS State Budget Submission 2019-20 focuses on sustainability and community

NDS’ submission identifies two priorities: to support a sustainable, innovative disability sector; and to continue to build an inclusive Victorian community.

NDS voices concerns on proposed registration and accreditation scheme

Person holding a paper document

1/11/2017

I need to know this because:
  • NDS has made a submission to the Victorian Government regarding the proposed registration and accreditation scheme for Victorian workers.
  • The submission outlines a number of NDS's concerns regarding a state-based scheme.
  • NDS emphasises the importance of organisational culture and processes as well as the empowerment of people, as per the Zero Tolerance framework.
  • NDS will continue to monitor and advocate on this issue and encourages ongoing feedback from the sector.

NDS has made a submission (PDF | Word) in response to the Victorian Government's consultation paper which outlines its proposed Disability Workforce Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

The submission emphasises NDS's commitment to safeguarding against the abuse of people with disability and provision of high-quality service by the disability workforce. However, the submission also outlines a number of NDS's concerns regarding the proposed scheme.

NDS's preference is for Victoria to not legislate for a state-based scheme. NDS instead supports a national worker screening system covering both NDIS-registered and non-registered workers, and acknowledges the contributions the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework is intended to make in this regard.

NDS's primary concerns, as outlined in its submission, include that:

  • The scheme risks duplicating the national framework and the potential for multiple state-based schemes
  • The scheme risks acting as a barrier to workforce supply at a time when the workforce needs to grow significantly to meet demand
  • The scheme may result in a competitive disadvantage for Victorian providers
  • NDS is not aware of any evidence that particular qualifications result in the reduction of abuse of people with disabilities or in the provision of high-quality service
  • Funds which would have to be used to establish the local scheme would be better applied to Victorian advocacy and 'zero tolerance' initiatives
  • NDIS pricing does not allow for the training or recognition of registered workers
  • The scheme restricts choice and control by limiting the range of workers who may be engaged
  • Any scheme should be primarily voluntary, other than in limited circumstances
  • A scheme which is wide in scope would risk excluding people with disability from mainstream services to the extent these services’ workers would also be required to be registered and accredited in order to provide services to people with disability

NDS submits that strategies addressing organisational culture and processes - as well as empowerment of people - within a human rights approach backed by strong advocacy, are more effective at tackling abuse and improving service quality.

NDS encourages organisations to familiarise themselves with NDS's Zero Tolerance framework and to utilise the wide and growing range of resources available.

NDS thanks members for your contributions on this topic and encourages continuous feedback as this issue continues to develop.

Contact information
Henry Newton, Project and Policy Officer, 03 8341 4323,