To protect participants, the NDIS (Practice Standards – Worker Screening) Rules 2018 (the Rules) require NDIS providers in all States and Territories (except Western Australian) to have a policy and processes in place to screen workers and other personnel.
Among other things, the Rules require that:
- providers have a policy to protect people with a disability;
- providers conduct risk assessment on each role to determine whether safety clearances (including checks for criminal offences and working with children checks) under the Rules are required;
- certain workers and others personnel be screened, including key personnel and workers who have direct contact with NDIS participants;
- providers take reasonable steps to make sure that people working with them under subcontracting arrangements have appropriate clearances for personnel who will be working with them; and
- providers keep adequate records of role risk assessments, worker clearances and subcontractor contracts containing clearance-related clauses for other personnel, and that providers keep them for long enough so that the NDIS and others can check they are following the Rules.
This policy is drafted to help small providers to address the requirements of the Rules, including by establishing records to prove compliance with the Rules. It is drafted conservatively, with a “no clearance-no work” approach to protect small NDIS providers and participants.
What specific checks are required for worker clearance in each State?
Unfortunately, this is currently much more confusing than it should be.
The Government has announced that a national system will be rolled out to help with checks, which will allow worker screening across all States and Territories (except Western Australia). The timetable originally envisaged that this would be done by 30 June 2020, but is is not clear whether this will be achieved, especially in light of current events.
Until the new system is rolled out, the specific checks that must be completed vary from State to State and are not portable (for example, a NSW check doesn’t satisfy the Victorian requirements, and vice versa). This means that workers who work across different States currently require separate clearances in each State.
This policy template is drafted neutrally so that it can be used both during the transition period and after the roll out of the national register.
For compliance purposes, the specific checks required for workers in each State and Territory are summarised here.
To help providers, we will update this information (and if necessary the policy template) as the national roll out occurs.