Supporting NDIS participants in residential aged care – Registration and Worker Screening requirements are now in place

09 February 2021

Residential aged care providers who provide care and services to residents who are NDIS Participants are now ‘dual providers’ and must also meet the Worker Screening requirements under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth) (NDIS Act) in addition to existing worker screening obligations under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth).

The transition arrangements for worker screening for all states and territories other than the Northern Territory ended on 31 January 2021.

Are your procedures and documentation practices are sufficiently robust and efficient to meet the NDIS Worker Screening Check requirements under the NDIS Act?

The following sets out what is required from providers in relation to registration and worker screening, and when those requirements must be met.

Provider Registration1 December 2020Certificates of Registration were sent to Providers by the NDIS Commission which set out the details of the registration, the period of registration and any conditions that apply to the registration.
NDIS Worker Screening Check Clearance
Commenced 1 February 2021
(NT commences on 1 July 2021)
Workers may only be engaged in a risk assessed role if they have:

  • Undergone a NDIS worker screening check; and

  • Have been cleared to work with people with disability in a risk assessed role.

The NDIS Worker Screening Check Clearance is an assessment of whether a person who works, or seeks to work, with people with disability poses a risk to them and considers a person’s suitability for example by reviewing their past criminal history and professional misconduct.
Contractor Screening1 February 2021Approved providers who engage contractors or other service providers to deliver supports to residents who are NDIS Participants will now need to ensure that any contractor or service provider has and maintains a NDIS Worker Screening Check clearance.
Key termsRisk assessed roleA person is in a Risk Assessed Role if they are:

  • Defined as Key Personnel under the NDIS Act, including CEO, Chair Person or Board members;

  • Staff or volunteers whose normal duties include the direct delivery of specified supports(care and services for example assistance with ADLs) to a person who is a NDIS Participant; and

  • Staff and volunteers whose normal duties are likely to require more than incidental contact with the resident/NDIS Participant.

More than incidental contactMore than incidental contact in the context of an aged care service would include for example:

  • Physical contact;

  • Face-to-face contact;

  • Building or a rapport with the person who is a NDIS participant; and

  • Oral and written communications whether in person or via electronic means.
DocumentationThese records must be updated within 20 business days of any amendments to the risks assessed roles or the staff or volunteers in the risk assessed roles.

The records must be able to demonstrate which staff members or volunteers were engaged in risk assessed roles on any given day, and will be required to be maintained for seven years from the date the record is made.
The NDIS Act includes very specific and detailed requirements for Providers who must ensure that records are maintained in respect of:

  • Each risk assessed role;

  • Each person engaged in a risk assessed role;

  • NDIS worker screening information for each person engaged in a risk assessed role (including clearance information and exemption information);

  • Contracts engaging contractors or other service providers; and

  • NDIS worker screening information for each contractor or service provider engaged in a risk assessed role (including clearance information and exemption information).

Our team is experienced in assisting providers of aged care and disability support services. Please do not hesitate to contact Sabine or Tamie if we can assist your organisation with preparing new policies, reviewing existing policies and preparing resources for staff to ensure your organisation can efficiently demonstrate how you comply with your obligations.

This article was written by Sabine Phillips, Partner and Tamie Duncan-Bible Senior Associate.


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