What does the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission do?

What does the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission do?

As a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant, a family member or a friend of a person with disability you may have heard of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

Key points

  • The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission protects the rights of people on the NDIS
  • The Commission’s job is to monitor providers to make sure they are meeting the standards and to support NDIS participants who make complaints
  • It is an independent body which is not part of the National Disability Insurance Agency and only receives complaints about services, not about plans or funding

But did you know its purpose is to protect participants of the scheme and that it actively works to make sure providers are doing the right thing?

This article explains what the Commission does and when you should contact the organisation for support.

Participants

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is an independent agency established to make sure participants of the NDIS have safe and high quality services.

The Commission helps participants to have their rights protected, including having choice and control over their supports and being treated with dignity and respect.

It also makes sure there is a nationally consistent approach to disability support - so the supports available in Perth are the same quality as what is available in Melbourne.

If you are not happy with your services or feel unsafe with providers you can talk to your provider about it, and if you feel like they haven’t listened to you then you can take your concerns to the Commission.

The Commission accepts complaints about providers and services from a whole range of people, including the NDIS participant themselves, a family member, friend, advocate or a member of the community.

Once you contact the Commission about the issue you have they can help you to connect with support to share your concerns - like an advocacy organisation.

The Commission’s website also has information you can use for talking to your provider about your concerns and taking the complaint further if you need to.

Making complaints to the Commission is free and you can use your preferred form of communication to make the complaint. Interpreters can also be arranged by the Commission for free if you need them and you can make an anonymous complaint if your identity needs to be a secret.

Once the Commission receives your complaint a complaints officer will:

  1. Talk to you about it
  2. Decide whether to take further action
  3. Put your concerns and what you want to happen in writing
  4. Contact the provider you have concerns about, if you give permission
  5. Come back to you with any information from the provider

There are some other steps which a complaints officer may do after this, including:

  • Asking for more documents or information
  • Talking to other participants affected by your concerns
  • Visit the provider

After this process providers or workers can sometimes be banned from the NDIS because they haven’t treated people with disability well. A list of providers and workers with bans or warnings can be accessed here.

The Commission only deals with complaints about providers and services - complaints about the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and NDIS plans or funding need to be made to the NDIA directly.

Providers

Whether providers are registered or unregistered they must follow the NDIS Code of Conduct and listen to and respond to complaints about their service.

The Commission both monitors that providers are following the Code of Conduct and receives complaints, particularly in cases where providers haven’t addressed concerns they have been told about.

To respond to complaints, the Commission will investigate the NDIS supports and services involved and can then take away a registered NDIS provider’s registration or ban a provider or worker if needed.

Part of the Commission’s job in making sure supports are safe is to monitor restrictive practices - actions which restrict the rights of a person with disability.

As these practices are only to be used as a last resort, every time a regulated restrictive practice is used the provider must report it to the Commission.

If a participant has a Behaviour Support Plan that includes restrictive practices then the Commission also has to know about the plan.

Workers

Workers must also follow the NDIS Code of Conduct, just as providers need to, so that all support meets the right standards.

This includes NDIS workers who are paid or unpaid, self-employed or employees, contractors, consultants or volunteers.

In addition to making sure workers are following the Code of Conduct, the Commission also deals with the NDIS Worker Screening Check which is used across Australia.

Workers who pass the check receive a clearance to be able to work with people with disability. The check looks at the history of the worker to make sure they can provide a quality and safe service.

For jobs where workers could pose a risk to a person with disability, registered NDIS providers can only employ workers with a clearance. Self-managed NDIS participants can also apply for their support workers to complete the NDIS Worker Screening Check.

All workers, including those who have been cleared through the check as well as workers who are not allowed to work with people with disability are listed on the NDIS Worker Screening Database.

This is part of monitoring the actions of workers and the Database can be used by providers to check the details of workers they are looking to employ.

What else would you like to know about how NDIS providers are regulated? Tell us in the comments below.

Related content:
What can I expect during the appeals process?
What the NDIS fraud taskforce does to protect participants
The complaints process for the NDIS

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