Remove state filters
Global Menu
Main Menu

Latest Resources

Safer Services Toolkit

Newly updated, the toolkit gives providers what they need to build their internal quality and safeguarding capabilities to the highest standards.

Website shows jobseekers how to make their own video resumés

NDS’s online resource is a free, easy, step-by-step guide for jobseekers and employment services to make stand-out presentations to potential employers.

Respiratory infections risk management Hub

Black banner with the words

COVID-19 Hub Respiratory infections Hub Homelock Member only resources

Includes COVID-19, Influenza and RSV

NDS's Infectious disease risk management hub is a collection of resources, information and advice from across Australian governments, agencies and our members. We urge all providers to stay abreast of current State, Territory or Commonwealth information, noting that advice about any infectious disease changes and viral diseases such as COVID-19 continue to evolve. This information should be considered in the context of any formal advice given through the Government Health Authorities. Each organisation will need an individualised response that reflects the risks, size and types of supports they provide.

Infectious Disease Risk Management

The NDS risk management information identifies key issues for ongoing consideration by providers and includes links to Commonwealth, state and territory information and resources. The information outlines provider risk mitigation considerations related to policy, procedure, and operational needs in recognition that transmission of common infectious diseases can be reduced by applying similar strategies in the workplace.

Diseases such as COVID-19is predicted to remain a health risk into the future and where specific actions are needed these will be identified Health Authorities and NDS will share these with the sector and update this webpage as needed. While the impact of future variants is unknown health authorities advise the current environment of risk related to COVID-19 is that it remains a serious disease for the Australian population and especially for people with disability or who are immune compromised.  

Responsibility for reducing known risks for workplace hazards is the obligation of employers as part of work, health and safety legislation. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, and the  Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care  have also communicated risk reduction recommendations associated with services and settings involving the care and support of immune compromised people, those with chronic health conditions and disabilities. The recommendations are based on pandemic evidence and broader infectious disease management increasing the risk of poorer outcomes for people in these population groups. Health experts promote the importance of maintaining a combination of risk reducing strategies for the settings including people who are more vulnerable or immune compromised, such as disability.  

In the absence of government health authority requirements for any infectious disease such as COVID-19, risk mitigation strategies need to be defined in organisation’s policy and procedures and discussed with workers and individuals with disabilities prior to implementation.  

Commonwealth, state, and territory COVID-19 and other respiratory infections resources have been provided below. The weblinks are intended to assist you with your risk management decisions and planning or review of existing policies and procedures.

Commonwealth:

Australian Capital Territory:

New South Wales:

Northern Territory:

Queensland:

South Australia:

Tasmania:

Victoria:

Western Australia:

Hierarchy of risk management controls 

Current government infectious disease risk management guidance has been developed with a focus on residential accommodation settings due to their potential for infection transmission is highest. In home support workers and providers delivering day services, community activities or employment services can still use the guidance related to case management and exposure of people who are COVID-19, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) positive, orother infectious diseases to consider what risk management actions can be implemented in their settings to minimise infection transmission.

The Department of Health and Aged Care has provided infection prevention and control guidelines for use by employers to identify and implement risk management policies and procedures. This includes the 2023 Control and Public Health Management of Outbreaks of Acute Respiratory Infection (including COVID-19 and Influenza) in Disability Residential Services | Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care guidance document. The guidance covers outbreak management and prevention of acute respiratory infections including COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, usually identified as RSV, within residential accommodation settings.

The hierarchy of controls guide in the management of outbreaks document outlines risk-avoidance or mitigation strategies in decreasing order of reliability. Multiple control strategies can support the elimination of, or effective minimization of, any hazards. These can be implemented at the same time or follow one another. The hazard control measures are broadly grouped into six categories with the addition of some specific COVID-19 disability considerations: 

Elimination:

  • Reduce workers/residents/visitors’ exposure to a person who has identified they have tested positive or been diagnosed, with COVID-19, influenza, RSV or other infectious disease
  • Decrease the number of workers involved with the identified positive person
  • Increase infection control protocols to minimise infection transmission at onset of outbreak or when community infection rates are known to be high

Substitution: 

  • Use online contact options if this can replace face to face interactions. This could apply to interactions with workers, family, and other residents where appropriate to context and needs

Isolation: 

  • Develop and implement an organisation policy and procedure developed and identifying your expectations of workers who have tested positive or been diagnosed as having an infectious disease, regarding isolation from work. Communication with workers who are expected to meet this requirement may need to have this reiterated when community transmission is high.
  • Development of an agreement with individual residents outlining any actions to be taken when individual is COVID-19 positive, may include: 
    • isolate from others in shared house in agreed areas of residence
    • use of communal areas at agreed times
    • not attending external activities during defined timeframe 
  • Clear communication with all participants of day or community service of organisation expectations to be taken when individual tests positive, or is diagnosed with an infectious disease including: 
    • Time away from activities, day supports or other identified strategies the organisation expects to be met if participation continues.

Engineering controls : 

  • Increased ventilation, use of air scrubbers  

Administrative controls:  

Personal protective equipment (PPE) use and item type communicated and supplies immediately accessible. 

The hierarchy of controls should be applied in resident contact settings and other shared facilities such as: 

  • Shared areas – kitchen, lounge, laundry, bathrooms etc.
  • Staff meeting/working areas  
  • Transport – provider fleet cars and buses, ride share and public transport  

[return to top]

Policy and procedure considerations 

Infectious disease risk management policy and procedure development should include consultation with workers, people with disability and their identified supports. A list of key focus areas for policy and procedure needs has been included below: 

Worker focused

  • COVID-19, influenza, RSV testing supplies and who provides these – individual or disability provider   
  • RAT use, when needed and reporting expectations to employer and other reporting avenues
  • COVID-19, influenza , RSV or other infectious disease positive result expectations including employer notification for exposure identification
  • Isolation period from defined work sites if testing positive or have been diagnosed with infectious disease and leave arrangements   
  • Expectations regarding return to work when asymptomatic  
  • COVID-19 positive prevention, management and outbreak guidance implementation and monitoring
  • COVID-19, influenza, or other identified vaccination requirements where an organisation worker vaccination policy has been developed and implemented including what positions this applies to.

Focus on people with disability

Individual rights and choices will need to be a key consideration in any discussion and development of risk mitigation agreements to protect the individual, other residents, workers, and broader community regarding infection transmission.

This needs to include provider expectations regarding COVID-19, influenza and RSV or any diagnosis of an infectious disease relevant to service delivery context or accommodation setting. Any expectations of this nature need to be developed in discussion with people with disability, family or carers in the context of reducing risks of infection transmission for all people, time for recovery and how this is one part of a maintaining an environment of care for all involved. Residential setting risk mitigation strategies will also need to consider agreements with residents regarding:

  • RATsupplies and who provides these – individual or disability provider and any NDIS billing involved
  • Agreed actions to reduce risk of infection between all people and how use of common shared spaces and social distancing etc., will be managed.
  • recovery needs and how this might interrupt an individual’s participation in external activities. 
  • PPE to be worn by workers when caring for individuals who have tested positive for an infectious disease and the settings where this will be applied. 

[return to top]

COVIDSafe Plans

Australian workplaces must have a COVID-19 safe plan identifying the actions to prevent infection and responses to a suspected or positive case of COVID-19. Provider consideration of how these risk reduction plans can be amended to include reference to other infectious diseases can support people with disability, workers, and visitors by reducing community transmission.

Regular reviews of plans with all workers including new employees and casual or agency staff are essential to ensure workplace procedures align with relevant jurisdictions. A comprehensive collection of resources, information, tools, templates, posters, and guidance for workplaces are available from the safe work sites. In some instances, COVID-19 specific details are listed separately or included under the general health and safety obligations of employers. A link to the commonwealth, state, and territory authorities responsible for work health and safety are listed below.

Work Health and Safety obligations  

Work health and safety legislation across Australia requires employers to identify known risks as the basis for assessment of relevant requirements to protect the health and safety of workers. This includes visitors and customers.   State and territory links have been included for your reference. 

[return to top]

Workers and vaccination guidelines  

There are no mandated requirements for disability workers to have or maintain a COVID-19 vaccination. Mandates ceased in all state and territories in 2022.

Worker vaccination requirement decisions for any disease are the responsibility of employers. Disability providers to determine if a requirement for a any workplace vaccination needs arean appropriate risk mitigation strategy to adopt.

When considering a decision to require workers to have a vaccination to address know infectious disease risks in the workplace should be considered carefully and if adopted defined in policy and procedure. The process for determining need would require a consultation process with all staff. This applies to the introduction of anyvaccination requirements or where a previous mandate has existed and no longer applies. Guidance on how to conduct the consultation appropriately has been identified by the Fair Work Commission and work safe authorities to ensure state and territory considerations can be included to determine how to assess risk in relation to worker positions and vaccination.

ATAGI provide guidance regarding vaccinations as a protective strategy with details relevant to the specific disease. Guidance identifies eligibility and dose recommendations such as one-off vaccination or specific dose needs to ensure protection is maintained especially when changes in the disease type occurs.

Vaccination protection eligibility and dose requirements for infectious diseases are defined for Government by ATAGI.

Disability Providers

Australian vaccination recommendations

COVID-19 Vaccination

The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care have updated COVID-19 vaccination information to outline the 2024 ATAG advice for all people according to age or health needs.

Age groups and immune compromised considerations for timing of vaccination below:  

  • 75 years are recommended every 6 months. 
  • 65 to 74 years are recommended every 12 months. This age groups can also consider a vaccination every 6 months in discussion with health practitioner. 
  • 18 to 64 years 
    • With severe immunocompromise are recommended every 12 months. This group can also consider every 6 months in discussion with health practitioner
    • Without severe immunocompromise to consider every 12 months. 
  • 5 to 17 years 
    • With severe immunocompromise to consider every 12 months
    • Without severe immunocompromise the vaccination is not recommended. 
  • Children under 5 years the COVID-19 vaccination is not recommended. 

 As with all vaccinations, people are encouraged to discuss the vaccine options available to them with their health practitioner. 

COVID-19 2024 Vaccination Eligibility Tool

The Australian Government have developed a COVID-19 booster eligibility checker tool can assist anyone who is not sure if they are eligible or should receive a COVID-19 2024 Vaccination. The tool is not, or intended to replace, medical advice. Individuals should still talk to their immunisation provider about their individual circumstances.

ATAGI advice notes it is safe and efficient to receive your COVID-19 vaccine alongside your flu shot or other routine vaccinations, including those for children and teens. 

Finding a vaccination provider 

Check with local GP or community pharmacy for vaccination appointments or use Healthdirect to identify an option in your local area.  

Vaccination support for people with a disability

The Australian Government have information for disability service providers and workers about COVID-19 vaccines outlining the updated COVID-19 vaccination guidance for communication with workers and people with a disability, their family and carers.

The resource reiterates the  Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care commitment to ensuring in home vaccination support for people with a disability.

Local Primary Health Networks can assist with identifying vaccination providers including the in-reach options for their region. Primary Health Networks can connect individuals and providers with available local GPs (General Practitioner) (General Practitioner), pharmacies or other vaccine providers that deliver COVID-19 vaccinations.

Commonwealth, state, and territory links have been included for your reference. 

Influenza vaccination

The Australian Government recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months has a flu vaccination every year. The annual flu vaccine is free for some people under the National Immunisation program. These people include:

  • all children aged 6 months to 5 years
  • all adults aged 65 years and over
  • people aged 5 to 65 years who are at a higher risk of complications from the flu. That is, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people who have certain medical conditions and pregnant women.

Influenza vaccination can be given at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccination. The Department of Health and Aged Care have published information on the flu vaccine in an Easy Read format for people with an intellectual disability. Translated information on influenza and the flu vaccine is available on the NSW Health website.

All people are encouraged to discuss vaccination needs and options available to them with their health practitioner. 

[return to top]

NDIS Quality and Safeguard Commission 

The NDIS Code of Conduct, highlights the need for providers and workers to deliver supports and services to people with disability in a safe and competent manner. This includes assisting participants to access COVID-19 vaccination, planning for an outbreak of COVID-19 and taking precautions to minimise infection risks. 

Registered providers have additional obligations under the NDIS Practice Standards in relation to the management of risks, provision of safe supports, and to have emergency and disaster plans in place for the continuity of support to participants including during a COVID-19 outbreak. A link to the Safe work Australia COVID-19 vaccination and work, health and safety obligations is recommended for further guidance and support. 

As of January 2024, NDIS providers no longer need to report all COVID infection cases (workers and participants). However, providers must inform the NDIS Commission when the consequences of COVID - or another change or event - have a significant and adverse effect. See the NDIS Commission website for more information.

Australian Government Health Protection Principal Committee  

A statement released by the Australian Government Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) declared on 20 October 2023, that COVID-19 would no longer be identified as a communicable disease incident of national significance.

However the need for an ongoing proportionate approach to COVID-19 risk management remains applicable for the current context and provider considerations.  Recommendations regarding risk management included maintaining continued protection of those most vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19 especially in settings where there is increased risk of outbreaks occurring.

Risk reduction strategies include:

  • Ensure you are up to date with recommended vaccinations
  • Stay home if you are unwell and get tested
  • Speak to your healthcare professional about eligibility for treatments should you become unwell with COVID-19
  • Consider wearing a mask when outside your home and especially when in crowded, indoor environments such as public transport
  • Keep indoor spaces well ventilated
  • Practice good respiratory and hand hygiene

Fair Work Australia guidance  

Fair Work Australia recommends employers undertaking a risk assessment process to determine employee vaccination needs to include consultation with workers. Fair Work Australia provides guidance on worker consultation steps and how to assess levels of risk across worker roles.

Consultation regarding any requirement for employee vaccinations needs to occur with workers regardless of any previously existing government vaccine mandates such as those related to COVID-19. Employers need to communicate with workers about changes with mandates or requirements associated with their position, current risk mitigation needs, and the actions proposed.  

[return to top]

Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) guide

Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) are strongly recommended by health authorities as an important tool in reducing infection transmission. These tests enable providers and workers to identify when infection risk mitigation strategies need to be increased relevant to a positive individual (worker or person with a disability) and setting context.

Tests approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use in Australia included combination options that can identify COVID-19, influenza and RSV. Worker and resident access to early testing will require immediate access to RATs at each residential site, monitored for expiry dates and stored in a manner that protects product from deterioration. Always follow manufacturers advice regarding correct storage.

Exposure to infectious diseases, testing and isolation considerations

The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care resource Control and Public Health Management of Outbreaks of Acute Respiratory Infection (including COVID-19 and Influenza) in Disability Residential Services provides an overview of the risk management strategies related to exposure, testing and isolation timeframes for providers to consider when developing organisation policy and procedure to minimise infection transmission.

The respiratory diseases identified include COVID-19, influenza and other confirmed respiratory infections including RSV with variations in management for each of these included. Tables one and two provide an detail to assist with developing policy outlining worker expectations when exposed, testing positive and management of infection outbreaks in residential settings with people with a disability.

Disability providers who operate services in nonresidential settings can apply the principles outlined in the resource for risk management decisions and plans appropriate to their needs and disability population group.

Anyone who has been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person or has symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of whether they know an exposure has occurred, is recommended by Australian health authorities to complete a COVID-19 test.

Note: Eligible NDIS participants and providers can purchase rapid antigen tests (RATs) with funding from their NDIS plan. can purchase RATs through core funding. Refer to the NDIS Pricing arrangements COVID Addendum

Organisational policy will need to include agreements developed with residents or day settings participants regarding risk reduction plans if they test positive for COVID-19. Where any agreement to isolate has been identified this needs to include a clear description of what this will involve such as:

  • Residential settings using common areas of the residence, and minimizing common area interaction 
  • Agreements with residents will also need to include organizational requirements associated with involvement in external activities (alone or with other people with disability) in relation to protecting others from infection and worker PPE expectations during these activities
  • Day settings when a return to activities is agreed as appropriate.

Monitoring worker COVID-19 positive results to reduce infection transmission 

NDS has available a simple survey style reporting tool for workers to submit their own data regarding a positive RAT or PCR test to their organisation identified contact. This has been updated (Oct 2023) to reflect increased availability or RAT’s that can also identify influenza and COVID-19.

The summary of results can be download as often as needed by Management for monitoring workers results for rostering and exposure identification. The tool was developed by a disability provider in Victoria and shared with NDS for broader sector use. The current version takes workers approximately two minutes to complete and will enable the manager responsible for oversight to prepopulate a collated excel spreadsheet report as often as needed. Refer to section below for the full details regarding ease of use for Human Resources Managers to download template and establish within your own system. This ensures all data and privacy is retained within your own organisation.

[return to top]

RAT storage and supply options

Storage and expiry 

Most RATs remain effective for six months from development with recommendation to check expiry dates especially with any products offered at discounted rates. 

All RATs need to be stored according to manufacturer’s requirements to remain viable for use. Anyone carrying RATs in a vehicle should check the products are not exposed to the elements, especially direct sunlight or excessive heat in vehicles or site storage locations. Insulated containers may be required for outreach workers.

Refer to manufacturer’s guidance for specific details on storage. 

RAT supply estimates  

The suggested supply for immediate use below is based on the readily available RATs for purchase in the community if needed. Where supply may be less reliable in the local area the stock may need to be doubled.  

The table below provides a summary of RAT stock needs to have for immediate use on site when an exposure to COVID-19 has occurred or an individual is showing symptoms of infection.

The summary is a suggestion of stock to have readily available for workers and residents if worker surveillance testing is implemented. 

Test useSupply estimateReason for volume identified
Workers and residents Two boxes of five RATs on site for each worker delivering support in a residential of a disability accommodation or in-home support setting. Residents are also recommended to have two boxes of five RATs available for personal use.    Number of tests allows for a positive result to be identified up to day 14, testing as symptoms arise or spread out after day seven. Boxes of five RATs are a common supply volume.
Worker surveillance testing One box of five RATs for each worker. This stock only needs to be maintained if organisation implements a policy to include worker surveillance testing during times of increased infection risk in the community. 

Rapid Antigen Testing, supplies, management of COVID-19 and reporting weblinks 

Reporting a positive COVID-19 RAT is only required in ACT, NT, SA, and TAS. (Nov 2023)

There are no requirements to report positive COVID-19 test results to any State or Territory Departments of Health in Australia. The links below provide guidance on management of COVID-19 and how to reduce the risk of cross infection in the community.

[return to top]

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) protects against infection when correctly used applicable to the nature of the infectious agent, is immediately available and donned (put on) and doffed (taken off) in the right sequence. 

PPE stock guide

Residential service providers and in-home supports should consider maintaining a readily accessible supply of PPE to for use when needed on site. In-home support workers should maintain a supply at their home or base site and carried for each individual appointment. This guidance has been informed by the several infection control expert consultants along with the disability sector insights gained during Australian COVID-19 2020-22 outbreaks, isolation, and quarantine needs. 

The requirements for COVID-19 risk levels and PPE may vary across states and territories depending on the COVID-19 context and outbreak management recommendations or if emergency health requirements are enacted. 

Correct use of PPE  

All workers need to be trained in donning and doffing of the PPE supplied and know how to fit check their N95 masks. This is essential for correct use of each item and preventing the spread of infection. It also ensures that the investment in the PPE supply is not wasted through ineffective donning and doffing that can result in an increased risk of workers becoming COVID-19 positive. 

NDS and Health Education Collaborative have produced four short videos on the correct use of face masks and what not to do with them. They are clear, informative, at times surprising and essential viewing for anyone working in a healthcare setting.

Worker PPE activities and items

All PPE must be removed (doffed) and correctly disposed before going on a break and replaced (donned) before resuming shift and between contact with a COVID-19 positive individual and those at risk of being COVID-19 positive.

  • Full cover waterproof gowns: Gowns need to have long sleeves and cover the front and sides of worker, securing at the back.
    Waterproof isolation gowns may be used for extended periods in specific cohort environments. They must be replaced if torn or contaminated with body fluids. 
  • N95 respirator masks: These can only be worn for a maximum of four hours. N95 masks must be TGA-approved for COVID-19 use and supply must allow for different shapes and size of workers’ faces.
  • Face shield or goggles: Face shields were identified as the most effective option during COVID-19 outbreak periods in Victoria .Single-use goggles and face shields can be worn for an entire shift. These must be replaced after assisting with an aerosol-generating procedure.
    Where single-use face masks, face shields or goggles are used for extended periods, good hand hygiene and sanitising should be maintained. If reusable products are in use they must be cleaned and disinfected before use. 
  • Disposable gloves: allow for the variations in worker hand size and fit; small, medium, and large and any latex allergies. 
    Gloves need to be changed between every participant interaction and when contaminated or torn. 

The guidance on the use of PPE for health care workers has been sourced from the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care. 

PPE outbreak estimates of usage   

PPE stock to have available for worker use sufficient to last seven days follows the Australian Health Protection Principle Committee advice allowing for workers to implement use while organising testing for any individual where immediate testing may not be possible.  

  • Disability residential service estimate: Rule of thumb estimator is a complete change of PPE every four hours per support worker.  
  • Calculation formula: [FTE per week] X [hrs. per week normally 38]: [shift length normally eight hours.] X [PPE changes normally four to six for N95] burn rate per week  

Shift breaks: All single use PPE must be doffed and disposed of. All reusable items must be cleaned and disinfected before donning can occur again. 

Worker PPE stock supply needs calculator for COVID-19 risk environments  

The table below identifies the individual PPE stock items required for workers to wear when supporting an individual with personal care who is COVID-19 positive or when a person is displaying COVID-19 symptoms and testing is taking place. The estimated stock needs are based on how often each item must be changed by number of workers to cover a seven-day timeframe. A supply for 14 days is suggested where any difficulty in accessing supplies at short notice may occur such as rural or remote settings.

Please note: If you are viewing this page on a mobile device, please scroll horizontally to view the full table

Stock itemDisposable gloves (Small, medium, and large)Disposable gown - full cover long sleeveSurgical mask - not recommended by health authorities for COVID-19 positive case environmentsP2 / N95 respirator masks Eye protection
(Goggles or face shield)
Stock icons ppe gloves ppe gown ppe mask ppe mask 2 ppe eye protection
Estimate for stock for access when COVID-19 transmission when increased risk or outbreak occurs.

Gloves need to be replaced after every interaction, remembering you need two per worker per interaction. Estimate is 15 changes each day = 30 gloves x worker x each shift.

Size guide general rule:

  • 60 per cent medium, 15 per cent small,
  • 15 per cent large,
  • 10 per cent extra-large per team.
Two for each shift and allow for change every four hours.
Always have spare available for any tears or soiled gowns.
Two for each shift to allow for changes every four hours.

Two for each shift to allow for changes every four hours.

(Can be used for estimate calculation where organisations require all workers in defined roles to wear a face mask during increased community transmission contexts.)

One each shift with spare available if damaged or soiled.  

If reusable can be one per shift with appropriate cleaning supplies.  

[return to top]

Environmental cleaning and waste guide

Cleaning process and supplies guide

The Australian Government Department of Health has recommended the following COVID-19 principles for cleaning and disinfection to reduce infection transmission in residential settings: 

  • ensure all residential sites have an easily accessible supply of appropriate hand sanitizers, detergents, and disinfectant products for implementation when COVID-19 outbreaks are identified 
  • supply needs on site to allow for increased use during outbreaks to reduce the risk of infection transmission from high contact surfaces and items

Routine cleaning applies to frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, handrails, tabletops, light switches, computers and other shared equipment, shared tools, phones, entertainment devices and controls, kitchen equipment, sinks, bathrooms, and toilets. The process involves the following steps: 

  • visible grime or dirt should be removed (scrubbed off) by hand first  
  • use of detergent solution and disinfectant (as per manufacturer’s instructions) or detergent/disinfectant wipes. 

Recommendations for minimal touched surfaces, such as floors ceilings, walls, and blinds, include: 

  • use of detergent solution (as per manufacturer’s instructions) or detergent wipes for cleaning general surfaces 
  • damp mopping should be used instead of dry mopping to increase effectiveness  
  • cleaning walls and blinds when visibly dirty or dusty

Infectious waste disposal planning

Waste disposal needs should be identified in advance of any increased infection transmission and checked against state or territory government requirements. The information below is an example identified through the Victorian Department of Health link to EPA waste management COVID-19.  

Planning decisions should include: 

  • Do state or territory waste management regulations allow for PPE to be double-bagged and tied before placing in the external general waste bin?
  • Arranging for clinical waste contractors to be set up for use when needed in advance of any outbreaks to ensure required supply. 

[return to top]

Workforce infection control training  

Infection, prevention and control information and training is critical for the disability workforce, including direct and indirect support workers, casual workers, transport providers, cleaners and volunteers.  

Providers must monitor staff training and regularly review relevant Department of Health or NDIA infection prevention and control changes, which may require further training. 

Training options include short e-learning refreshers, video demonstrations of infection control practice and longer online training for workers with limited or no infection control training to support workers with the critical foundation knowledge needed for the prevention of infection transmission in day-to-day disability context.  

NDS training resources

Disability providers are welcome to contact the NDS for further information regarding COVID-19 management, support, resources, and practical disability informed online infection prevention and control training. 

Online course: Maintaining safe and effective infection control in disability settings  

NDS have partnered with the Health Education Collaborative, experts in infection prevention and outbreak management to develop Maintaining safe and effective infection control in disability settings (nds.org.au) This online training has been developed with input from the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, Australian Services Union and 300 plus sector workers.  

Key benefits for this sector specific online program:  

  • covers essential infection control and prevention knowledge and skills needed for the current disability context 
  • addresses COVID-19 risk management and other common infectious conditions for broad application 
  • uses range of learning formats to be accessible for workers with little or no health literacy background. 

Organisations investing in the infection control capability of workers need to contact Health Education Collaborative to discuss invoicing and set up for tracking staff completion through an LMS system. Individuals can also request an invoice for access as part of professional development.

To arrange for  ‘Maintaining safe and effective infection control in disability settings’ course enrolment access contact Heather McMinn, NDS Disability Sector Consultant at contact Heather McMinn: submit enquiry/feedback or show phone number

Explore more COVID-19 training offerings with NDS

[return to top]

Information and support for people with disability

A person-centred approach that includes an ongoing discussion with individuals, families and carers will assist in finding a balance between a social model of health and reverting to a clinical model in response to COVID-19.

The resources listed below can assist providers supporting people with disabilityto manage the risks of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.

[return to top]

Contact information

For any enquiries, please contact Heather McMinn, Disability Sector Consultant, show phone numbersubmit enquiry/feedback