What is NDIS worker screening check?

The purpose of the NDIS worker check is to ensure that a person who works, or intends to work with people with disability is eligible to do so. The check ensures that staff do not pose any risks to their clients. Once a person has received an acceptable check, they can commence work in the disability service sector and for NDIS approved agencies.

This article outlines who should get an NDIS worker screening check and the process for getting one.
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    NDIS worker screening check

    The NDIS worker screening check determines if a person is suitable to work with people with disability, to demonstrate there is no risk to clients. The NDIS worker screening check involves a search of records and an assessment of any relevant reported complaints, offences, disciplinary processes and incidents.

    Each state and territory in Australia has now implemented NDIS worker screening check arrangements. The check is a nationally consistent assessment conducted to enable screened workers to deliver NDIS supports.

    Why do I need an NDIS screening check?

    NDIS program participants may be among the more vulnerable members of our society. The intent of the NDIS worker screening check is to reduce the risks for people with disabilities. NDIS participants have the right to feel safe and supported through the delivery of NDIS services.

    The screening checks for employees mean that agency clients and self managed participants can feel confidence and trust in their support staff, and help ensure that NDIS quality services are provided.

    National Disability Insurance Scheme

    The National Disability Insurance Scheme, more commonly known as the NDIS, is a program of the Australian Government. Through the scheme, people with disability are provided with NDIS funding to purchase and arrange the services they require. These services are provided to improve the quality of life for the person with a disability.

    Participants can use their own NDIS funding for a variety of services including:
    • Transport and social support
    • Home care and support
    • Personal care
    • Goal setting and care planning
    • Seeking employment or training opportunities

    Who can work for the NDIS

    There are no particular qualifications you need to work as an NDIS support worker, however, you are required to complete the NDIS worker screening checks before you begin. The following qualifications would be highly regarded for work in the disability sector:

    Many registered NDIS providers also employ staff in other professional roles, including in administration and management. Depending on the services they provide, an NDIS agency may employ medical and allied health professionals such as nurses, physiotherapists, social workers or dieticians.

    NDIS worker screening database

    The NDIS Worker Screening Database holds a register of all of the workers who have applied for an NDIS Worker Screening Check. Once you have received your clearance status, you will be added to the database.

    If you work for a registered NDIS provider, your organisation will automatically have access to the national worker screening database and they do not have to submit an application to gain access to your records if a check has previously been carried out.

    An application to request access to the database can also be made by self managed and plan managed NDIS participants.

    Registered NDIS provider

    Businesses and organisations who have received accreditation to provide NDIS supports to people with disability under the NDIS are known as NDIS providers. NDIS providers have responsibilities to carry out risk assessment on roles within their support service and facilitate the check being carried out for workers engaged in risk assessed roles.

    A provider that delivers NDIS supports can check on a potential employee’s NDIS worker screening check results through the relevant NDIS Commission portal. Further information is available through the NDIS worker screening helpdesk.

    An unregistered NDIS provider is an employer that has not demonstrated compliance with NDIS laws and regulations.

    Responsibilities of NDIS providers

    Registered NDIS providers must maintain a list of risk assessed roles, including a description of the role, and why the role is deemed to be risk assessed in relation to the risk criteria.

    Registered NDIS providers must also keep a list of staff who carry out risk assessed roles, including records stating:
    • The employee’s name, date of birth and address
    • The risk assessed role or role worked in
    • Any information related to complaints, misconduct, allegations or suspensions
    • When an NDIS check has last been carried out within that state or territory
    NDIS providers should also have a safety screening policy that outlines the roles for which a clearance is required, as well as lower risk supports they provide.

    Process for an NDIS worker screening check

    The relevant worker screening unit of the NDIS Commission is responsible for accepting and processing NDIS Worker Screening Check applications from potential workers. The Worker Screening Unit also undertakes reviews and risk assessments to determine whether a person receives a clearance.

    When you apply for an NDIS screening clearance, you will need to:
    • Complete the relevant application form for work in your state or territory
    • Provide identification
    • Provide verification from the NDIS provider or self-managed NDIS participant that you intend to work for
    • Pay an application fee – the amount is set by the state or territory in which the application is made

    What ID do I need for an NDIS worker screening clearance?

    To complete an online NDIS check application through your state or territory worker screening unit, you will require at least four current documents that prove your identity. This could include your:

    • Drivers licence
    • Australian passport
    • Medicare card
    • Utility bills with your correct address
    You will also need to list any other names you have used, and indicate previous addresses. As part of the application process you will be asked to confirm that you consent to a criminal history check being carried out.

    How to work for the NDIS

    There are lots of wonderful opportunities to work in the disability sector. Job roles with an NDIS provider can be varied and extremely satisfying. Worker screening and and NDIS check must be carried out before you commence unsupervised work with people with disability.

    Who needs an NDIS check?

    NDIS worker screening law states that the NDIS worker screening check needs to be carried out by anyone who will perform a risk-assessed role, regardless of if they are employed or engaged by:

    • A registered NDIS provider
    • An unregistered NDIS provider
    • A self-managed NDIS participant
    And the check needs to be carried out for people:
    • In paid roles, such as employees and consultants
    • In unpaid roles, such as volunteers
    • Who are self-employed or contractors

    What is an NDIS risk assessed role?

    Only workers of registered NDIS providers that carry out certain roles (known as risk-assessed roles) are required to obtain an NDIS worker screening clearance. Your NDIS organisation or employer is responsible for identifying which NDIS roles are considered to be risk assessed.

    More information about how to identify a risk assessed role can be found on the NDIS website. However, in general, a risk-assessed role is one that:
    • Involves the direct delivery of certain types of 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.
    • Is considered to be a key personnel role (for example, a CEO or a board member)

    NDIS worker check New South Wales

    Information about obtaining a NDIS worker screening clearance in New South Wales can be found on the Service NSW website.

    The worker screening unit responsible for the checks and clearance process is administered by a screening agency in the Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG).

    How to apply for an interstate NDIS worker screening check

    An NDIS worker screening check is carried out through a relevant state or territory authority. More information about local applications for an NDIS check can be found through these links:

    Is an NDIS check the same as a police clearance?

    An NDIS worker screening check is different from a police clearance. A police clearance is provided by police agencies and will outline a person’s criminal history.

    NDIS clearance records are held separately from police records and are maintained on the NDIS worker screening database.

    Once an NDIS worker screening check has been granted, other sources are monitored for any new information relevant to the provision of the clearance. For example, should a person commit an offence after receiving a clearance, the NDIS worker screening unit would be notified of this as a new and unacceptable risk to clients. The NDIS worker screening clearance is likely to be revoked as a result.

    Is an NDIS check the same as a working with children clearance?

    No, an NDIS screening check is not the same as a Working with Children Clearance. There is a separate application form and screening check for child related work. The NDIS worker screening check is for NDIS workers rather than teachers and child care educators.

    However, some children do receive NDIS funding and are your NDIS provider will advise you of any addition checks required if the service delivers NDIS supports to children.

    Can NDIS workers get a job in aged care?

    Since 16 June 2021, NDIS worker screening checks have been recognised in aged care. An aged care worker will need an NDIS check if they work in an aged care environment that supports NDIS participants.

    Nursed Care for quality staff

    Nursed Care is a registered NDIS provider, based in Paramatta, and delivering services right around New South Wales. We are fully compliant with the guidelines recommended by the NDIS Safeguards Commission. All of our employees working in risk assessed roles have received an acceptable check result and we maintain thorough records related to worker accreditation and work validation.

    Frequently asked questions

    There are fees associated with applying for NDIS checks. The amount to be paid varies from state to state. At the time of writing, this fee in New South Wales is $80 and may vary in another state or territory. There are no charges for volunteers.

    These checks help ensure that a person working with someone who has a disability poses no threat to their safety. Before you begin working for NDIS providers, your employer will advise you if you need to have the check carried out by the NDIS worker screening units in the relevant state or territory.

    If your provider delivers NDIS supports you can be confident that appropriate employee checks have been conducted. To ensure your own safety, do not arrange services from unregistered NDIS providers.

    It is not mandatory for NDIS workers to wear ID during their working hours. If you are an NDIS service recipient and wondering if your care and support workers have passed the NDIS worker screening clearance check, the best thing to do is to speak to the registered NDIS provider.

    If you change your name, address or contact details you must notify the relevant worker screening units in any state or territory where you have worked for NDIS registered providers.

    Some NDIS participants prefer to manage their own funds and directly employ NDIS staff. They are known as NDIS self managed participants. In these cases, the person with a disability acts as the employer to their support staff. The self managed participant manages their own services and is also required to provide information for the NDIS check to be submitted to the screening unit.

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