NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, what will it mean for providers and participants in residential aged care?

10 April 2019
Sabine Phillips, Partner, Melbourne

 

Background to the NDIS Commission

The NDIS Commission is intended to improve the quality of NDIS services by implementing national legislation that eliminates duplication across the registration and quality assurance of NDIS providers.

As the NDIS Commission is rolled out across the country, multijurisdictional providers may find themselves holding registrations under the NDIS Commission in some jurisdictions whilst also remaining under the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) in others.

The NDIS Commission has, or will, come into effect by:

NSW and SA 1 July 2018
VIC, QLD, TAS, NT and ACT 1 July 2019
WA 1 July 2020

 

What are the differences between the NDIA and the NDIS Commission in jurisdictions where the NDIS Commission has commenced operation?

The NDIA will continue to be responsible for the registration and regulation of NDIS providers until the commencement of the NDIS Commission in that particular State or Territory.

In jurisdictions where the NDIS Commission has commenced operation, the NDIA will continue to be responsible for overseeing disability service plans, payments and pricing for NDIS participants, but will not be involved in the registration and consistent implementation of the NDIS.


Legal changes

There have been various changes to the legislative obligations or disability service providers including the introduction of:

  • A national provider registration system for the regulation of providers;
  • The NDIS Practice Standards and NDIS Code of Conduct;
  • Mandatory incident management processes;
  • Mandatory complaint management and resolution processes;
  • Mechanisms to monitor the use of restrictive practices within the NDIS; and
  • A new and nationally consistent worker screening procedure.

Further information on what the new Standards mean for disability service and aged care providers will be in our forthcoming alert.


The NDIS Commission’s enforcement powers

The NDIS Commission has far-reaching enforcement powers under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth).

These include:

  • Carrying out investigations and monitoring provider performance;
  • Issuing compliance notices in circumstances where a provider is non-compliant with their obligations;
  • The power to issue banning orders which prohibit or preclude specific activities by a provider;
  • The power to have non-compliant providers deregistered;
  • The power to compel providers to enter into enforceable undertakings;
  • The power to seek injunctions against providers; and

The power to issue infringement notices and applications for civil penalties against non-compliant providers.


NDIS participants in residential aged care

Before 1 July 2020

While all NDIS providers who develop behaviour support plans or use restrictive practices must be registered with the NDIS Commission from the date at which the NDIS is rolled out in their relevant state or territory, these mandatory registration requirements will not come into effect for residential aged care providers who provide support to NDIS participants until 1 July 2020.

Until this time, these providers will remain subject to the relevant regulations under the Aged Care Act 1997.

After 1 July 2020

From 1 July 2020, the NDIS Commission will manage all complaints made by NDIS participants in residential aged care.

Residential aged care providers who are supporting NDIS participants will also be required to comply with the NDIS Code of Conduct.

Aged care providers which are already registered with the NDIA? 

The registration of aged care providers which are already registered with the NDIA will automatically transfer across to the NDIS Commission upon its operation in your state or territory.

This means that these aged care providers will need to comply with the NDIS Commission requirements before 1 July 2020.


How can we assist you?

It is important that providers are aware of the upcoming changes, when these changes will apply to them, and how these changes will impact on their day to day operations.

Gadens can assist providers to ensure they are able to comply with the new procedures and standards.


Authored by:

Sabine Phillips, Partner

Tamie Duncan-Bible, Associate

Abigail Gedge, Paralegal

This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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