The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission recommends that all providers undertake Practice Reviews as part of the continuous improvement processes, to ensure that their governance and service delivery processes are aligned with the expectations of participants.
A Practice Review is a reflective process which generally involves simple discussions with participants and support workers, with the aim of understanding the experience of participants, and improving service quality. Practice Reviews generally focus on a specific area of a provider’s services and help providers to actively learn from incidents or near misses to reduce the risk of reoccurrence in the future.
Practice Reviews are not a regulatory obligation under the NDIS Practice Standards. They should, however, form a part of a provider’s incident management and quality improvement systems.
Practice Reviews will help to establish the contributing causes to an incident or near miss. Understanding the ‘how and why’ behind each incident will help you to make the best decisions in improving your processes following an incident.
In recent years there has been increasing focus in the community sector on co-design and consumer engagement from regulators and industry groups alike. Put simply, co-design is the involvement of participants, their families, support workers and other staff in the design and implementation of care and services. Co-design is a central concept of NDIS Practice Reviews and will give participants the power and freedom to shape the way they receive services.
For more information about implementing co-design, see our blog post on the topic.
When to conduct a Practice Review
Practice Reviews can be conducted whenever a provider considers it to be an appropriate time. However, there are certain triggers which may help to determine when a Practice Review should be undertaken. These triggers include things like changes in health or behavioural needs, increased number of incidents or injuries, WHS breaches or changes in workplace atmosphere. In response to patterns identified during regular review of incident records, providers should consider undertaking a Practice Review.
How to conduct a Practice Review
Practice Reviews may involve support workers and other relevant people; however, they must involve participants. The Commission has outlined four principles which should be observed when conducting a Practice Review:
- People with disability have a right to safe, innovative, high-quality support.
- People with disability are experts in their own lives.
- Continuous improvement is fundamental to high quality support.
- Best practice is the goal that all providers strive to achieve.
Central to the NDIS Commission’s messaging regarding Practice Reviews is the imperative that people involved in Practice Reviews should be made to feel comfortable voicing their concerns, and should be free from facing consequences for doing so. It is also crucial to understand and respect each participant’s communication needs before a Practice Review is undertaken, and ensure that everyone involved understands the purpose of a Practice Review and what it involves.
How BNG can help
To help you conduct Practice Reviews we have developed a template to guide your organisation through the steps before, during and after a Practice Review.
As a Practice Review is essentially a short discussion, our template includes questions and prompts to help you understand how your services are being received by participants.
You can find the new template under Disability Resources in the Reading Room, or search for “Practice Review”. If you don’t have an SPP account, click here to visit our sign-up page.
Want NDIS resources?
Click the button to sign-up or take out a free trial.