From February 1, 2021, the NDIS Workers Screening Check has been introduced as part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality & Safeguard Framework. This is a national approach to how workers are screened for risk-assessed roles.
Put simply, it is a single national check that will replace the many different arrangements that have been in place across the states and territories. It will work to make the system consistent across the country and simplify the process. For example, in NSW, the check will replace the police check or Working With Children Check (WWCC) that has been in place. The check will only apply to workers who are in risk-assessed roles.
The Workers Screening Check will assess if a person who works with (or is looking to work with) people with a disability poses a risk to them. It will determine whether a person can work in certain roles with people with disability.
Who needs the check?
All workers engaged in a risk-assessed role for a registered NDIS provider are required to have a NDIS Workers Screening Check. NDIS providers must only employ workers in risk-assessed roles who have been cleared to work by a Workers Screening Check.
Unregistered providers who are seeking to become registered will need a valid check before audit.
What is a risk-assessed role?
Registered NDIS providers are responsible for identifying which roles are risk-assessed roles, and ensuring all workers in these roles have an NDIS Worker Screening clearance.
The NDIS Quality & Safeguard Commission says a risk assessed role is:
- a key personnel role of a person or an entity as defined in s 11A of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (for example, a CEO or a Board Member)
- involves the direct delivery of specified supports or services to a person with disability
- is likely to require ‘more than incidental contact’ with people with disability, which includes:
– physically touching a person with disability; or
– building a rapport with a person with disability as an integral and ordinary part of the performance of normal duties; or
– having contact with multiple people with disability as part of the direct delivery of a specialist disability support or service, or in a specialist disability accommodation setting.
How long is the clearance check valid?
The NDIS Worker Screening clearance expires after five years, however, it is subject to ongoing monitoring against police and other information. This means, if a Workers Screening Unit or the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission receives updated information and they believe someone poses a risk to a person with a disability, they may remove their clearance before it expires.
Where do I get the check?
The Worker Screening Check will be done by the Worker Screening Unit. There will be a unit in each state or territory where you will need to apply. Here are the units for each state and territory:
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Office of Children’s Guardian
NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services
Department of Human Services
Department of Communities
NDIS Worker Screening Database
A NDIS Worker Screening Database has been created to hold a register of workers who have applied for an NDIS Worker Screening Check. This means that registered NDIS providers will be able to view the clearance status of workers in the NDIS Worker Screening Database. This will be available through the NDIS Commission portal.
Self-managed participants and unregistered providers will also be able to access the NDIS Worker Screening Database. However, they will need to apply for access by completing an application form.
When will the Workers Screening Check commence?
The Workers Screening Check commenced in all states and territories (except the Northern Territory) on February 1, 2021. It will commence in the Northern Territory no later than July 1, 2021.
PROVIDERplus can help you
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Register for our Workers Screening Check webinar
To discover more about the Workers Screening Check, click here to register for our webinar. During this not-be-missed webinar, PROVIDERplus expert Kylie Helou will provide in depth detail about what the Workers Screening Check is and how it will affect you as an NDIS Provider.