The importance of a director’s work health and safety obligations

Following the death of Anne Marie Smith in 2020, two directors of a disability health service provider have recently been charged with criminal neglect and failure to comply with a health and safety duty of care. This tragic case has put a spotlight on the health and safety obligations of care providers and their directors.

Employers

Employers have a number of responsibilities regarding the duty of care they owe employees, visitors and others. SafeWork SA Executive Director, Martyn Campbell, speaking on the matter, said:

“…employers have a duty to provide a safe system of work to their workers, visitors and others who come into the workplace. This included Annie in this case. Her home became a workplace as soon as the carer entered it to do her work.”

It is important for providers to bear in mind the extent of their duty of care. Providers must ensure that where services are being delivered in homes, safe systems of work must still be followed, even though services may be out of the direct line of sight of the provider.

Directors

Directors, CEOs and governing body members of an organisation have an additional duty, known as the ‘due diligence’ requirement, to ensure that an organisation has work health and safety systems in place and that those systems are followed. In the case of Anne Marie Smith’s death, it is alleged the company directors failed in this duty.

The ‘due diligence’ requirement originates from section 27 of the model Work Health and Safety Act, which requires that officers of an organisation exercise due diligence to ensure that the organisation complies with work health and safety legislation.

Exercising due diligence involves:

  • acquiring up-to-date knowledge of WHS matters,
  • understanding the nature and risks of the operations of the organisation, and
  • ensuring the organisation uses appropriate resources to minimise WHS risks.

An officer must take an active and inquisitive role in WHS matters to satisfy their duty.

An ‘officer’ includes governing body directors and the secretary, as well as other people who make or take part in decisions which affect the whole organisation. People who sit on a governing body board or a committee on a voluntary basis are still regarded as officers.

The officer duty recognises that officers have corporate governance responsibilities and, through their decisions and behaviour, strongly influence the culture and accountability of the organisation. They can influence important decisions on the resources that will be made available for the purposes of WHS, and the policies that will be developed to support compliance by the organisation with the model Work Health and Safety Act.

How can Standards and Performance Pathways assist?

The officer duty is therefore an important responsibility of board and governing body members. We have developed a new self-assessment module in SPP to help governing body members and other officers ensure they are complying with their responsibilities under section 27 of the WHS Act.

The module guides officers through the key components of section 27(5) of the WHS Act and provides additional examples of ‘reasonable steps’ that may be taken when executing the duty. The module also details the kinds of resources, processes and procedures that officers will need to ensure their organisation has in place.

Review your obligations in SPP.

Conducting NDIS Practice Reviews

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.

Regulatory context

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.

Co-design

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.

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The new NDIS Practice Standards are here! What now?

We have been waiting on the release of an update to the NDIS Practice Standards for a little while now, and as of November 2021 the NDIS Commission has provided details of key amendments. Read on to get our rundown on all the changes.

What are the key changes?

The most significant change brought in by these amendments is the introduction of the following three new NDIS Practice Standards:

In Core Module Standard 2 (Governance and Operational Management):

  • Emergency and disaster management – This standard addresses the planning required by providers to prepare, prevent, manage and respond to emergency and disaster situations whilst mitigating risks to, and ensuring continuity of, supports that are critical to the health, safety and wellbeing of participants. Note that this practice standard specifically highlights the responsibilities of a provider’s governing body in this area.

In Core Module Standard 4 (Support Provision Environment):

  • Mealtime management – This practice standard applies to providers of supports to participants who require assistance to manage their mealtimes, including those with mild dysphagia. The standard deals with the nutritional value and texture of meals, and concerns the planning, preparation and delivery of meals. The standard aims to ensure quality and safety of mealtime management. 

In Module 1: High Intensity Daily Personal Activities

  • Severe dysphagia management – This practice standard applies to providers registered to provide high intensity daily personal activities and who have severe dysphagia management set out in their certificate of registration. Providers will be required to ensure that participants with severe dysphagia receive support that is relevant and appropriate to their specific needs and circumstances.

Quite a number of other new and amended Quality Indicators

There are also a number of new and amended Quality Indicators throughout the Practice Standards. Providers should familiarise themselves with all of these changes as soon as possible.

Many of the new or amended indicators relate to emergency and disaster management, including infection outbreaks, and the associated necessary worker training and capabilities.  However, there are also other amendments in areas such as:

  • the consideration of preventative health measures in planning supports, where relevant; and
  • more prescriptive requirements in relation to participant risk assessments, and their regular review.

The new and amended Quality Indicators appear in the following Practice Standards:

Core Module

Standard 2: 
  • Risk Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Continuity of Supports
Standard 3: 
  • Support Planning
  • Service Agreements with Participants
  • Responsive Support Provision
  • Transitions to or from a provider (Previously Transitions to or from the provider)
Standard 4:
  • Safe Environment
  • Management of Waste

Module 3: Early Childhood Supports

  • The Child

Verification Module

  • Human Resource Management
  • Risk Management

When do the changes come into effect?

  • 15 November 2021: for registered NDIS providers, the new severe dysphagia management practice standard, together with all of the new and amended quality indicators we’ve mentioned above, are applicable from this date.
  • 13 December 2021: the mealtime management practice standard is subject to a transition period and comes into effect from this date. 
  • 24 January 2022: the emergency and disaster management practice standard is subject to a transition period and comes into effect from this date. 

Updated and new SPP self-assessments will be available shortly!

We’ve been working hard to update our SPP self-assessments for the NDIS Practice Standards as soon as possible, to help you get on top of the new requirements and streamline your compliance work.

We expect to be releasing updated self-assessments within the next couple of weeks.

We will also be making available a new “educative” self-assessment for the NDIS Practice Standards, as well as a new module to help board and governing body members better understand their responsibilities under the Practice Standards, and hopefully enhance their engagement with management.

So watch this space!

Further information

An updated version of the NDIS Practice Standards has been published here.

If you would also like to read the legislative amendments in full, you can access those here and here.

Want to manage NDIS compliance simply?

Access self-assessments for the NDIS Practice Standards on the NDS Quality Portal.

Regulated restrictive practices for children and young people

The NDIS Commission recently released a practice guide around restrictive practices for children and young people with disability. The guide is based on the requirements in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Restrictive Practices and Behaviour Support) Rules 2018. The guide does not constitute any new requirements, rather it aims to clarify information about restrictive practices by guiding organisations through scenarios relating to children and restrictive practices. The guide outlines the obligations of providers under the NDIS Commission, as well as some good practice next steps.

The Commission highlights that approximately 48% of all NDIS participants are children. Despite this, children and young people are currently under-represented in the data reported to the Commission in relation to the use of restrictive practices. The Commission fears that the number of behaviour support plans lodged for children and young people is “not an accurate reflection of current practice in the sector” and that, instead, the use of restrictive practices with children is being overlooked, ignored or minimised.

The guide reinforces that providers who are supporting children both with and without a disability must have an understanding of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, and must be aware of their responsibilities in relation to child protection reporting. Refer to our previous blog post to see an overview of the National Principles as well as the child safe requirements for providers in each state or territory.  

Case-by-case basis

The guide highlights that the use of restrictive practices on a child or young person must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Claiming “duty of care” doesn’t automatically omit a practice from being considered a restrictive practice. It is important to consider the context in which the practice is being used. Each case must be assessed to ensure that it is the least restrictive practice possible, and is proportionate to the potential risk of harm.

The Commission provides a tool to guide decision making around what constitutes a regulated restrictive practice for children and young people. 

Child-proofing

Child safety and injury prevention practices are essential to keeping children safe. These practices are referred to as “child-proofing”. Most of these child-proofing techniques are reasonable measures to ensure the safety of children. Crucial to these being reasonable is that they are age appropriate, in line with community standards and used irrespective of whether or not the child has a disability. If this is the case, these behaviours are generally not considered a restrictive practice and do not require reporting to the Commission. The need for these child-proofing techniques however, decreases with age, in accordance with the dignity of risk principle. Continuing to implement these practices with older children and young people may constitute a restrictive practice.

The guide provides a number of examples to outline when a child-proofing technique becomes a restrictive practice, some of which include:

Not a Restrictive Practice

  • Using a child gate to prevent a toddler from accessing the kitchen while the stove/oven is in use
  • Holding a child’s hand while crossing the road

Regulated Restrictive Practice

  • Using a child gate to prevent a young person from accessing the kitchen at all times (environmental restraint)
  • Using a two-person escort to prevent a young person’s movement during an outing (physical restraint)

Things to consider...

When a regulated restrictive practice is necessary, the NDIS Rules require registered providers to take all reasonable steps to consult with the child or young person. This must occur in an accessible format and ensuring that due consideration is given to the young person’s views. The provider should reflect on the following questions:

  • Is it the least restrictive option available?
  • Is it proportionate to the potential risk of harm?
  • Is the support being provided within a positive behaviour support framework which promotes the child’s development and their right to take reasonable risks?
  • Is it being used for the shortest time possible?
  • Is there a clear plan for reducing and eliminating the restrictive practice over time?

Restrictive practices and parenting practices

Towards the end of the guide, there is some helpful advice for support workers delivering support within a family home where the family uses restrictive practices. The resource emphasises that it is a support worker’s job to educate families around what constitutes a restrictive practice and its associated risks. In some circumstances, families may unintentionally use high-risk strategies in the absence of all relevant information and when they lack adequate support. Behaviour support practitioners play a role in educating parents and identifying less restrictive alternatives.

The guide also provides an outline (on page 22) of the reporting requirements in relation to restrictive practices. It clarifies that while families are not required to report to the NDIS Commission, NDIS behaviour support providers must report regulated restrictive practices in participants’ behaviour support plans even if the practice is only used by the family.

Resources

We have several resources that will guide you through the regulations around restrictive practices which you can find by searching for “restrictive” in the Reading Room.

  • Policy: Eliminating restrictive practices
  • Info: Eliminating restrictive practices
  • Template: Restrictive practice report

The NDIS Commission also released a regulated restrictive practices guide in late October last year which provides further clarity around the use of regulated restrictive practices in people with a disability.  

And don’t forget that separately, you can also access in SPP a self-assessment for the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

Sign up for a free trial

You can access our restrictive practice resources and many more in the SPP platform. 

You have policies and procedures – but are they being implemented?

A common theme across just about all standards that apply to community and health service providers is a requirement to have appropriate policies and procedures in place in order to:

  • ensure the delivery of safe and high-quality services to clients, and
  • meet the governance and quality management requirements of the standards and legislation that applies to them.

But having policies and procedures in place is only the first step.  Even more important is that the policies and procedures are specific to the services and operations of each individual provider, and that they are understood and followed by all workers.

We’ve reviewed a number of recently published audit reports, and we’ve also had some discussions with auditors, and it is clear that some providers fall short along the way to actually implementing their policies and procedures across their organisation.  The consequences of this can be very serious, ranging from unprepared or ill-informed workers, through to the delivery of services that have an increased risk profile, or that are unsafe.

For example, in one recent audit it was found that while the provider had an open disclosure policy and risk framework policy, workers were not consistently following procedures in relation to risk management and incident and feedback identification, and so these were not effective.

In another audit, a provider was found to be non-compliant in their medication management.  Despite the provider having a policy for medication management, workers demonstrated poor practices, including leaving medication out and not keeping them secured. Additionally, despite the service having an incident reporting system, many workers appeared to not use or be aware of the system.

In a number of cases, auditors have reviewed providers’ policies to find that they didn’t even refer to the correct organisation, or the specific services delivered by that provider.  A very early indicator to an auditor of a shortfall between documentation and implementation!

So, how can providers improve the consistent implementation of relevant and appropriate policies and procedures across their organisation?

We’ve set out below some key principles that should be followed.  As well as a couple of key actions.

The policies and procedures must reflect how your particular organisation operates, the services you deliver, and the types of clients to whom you provide services 

  • Auditors report that policies often fail to reflect the practices of the organisation and the skill base of the staff.  Your policies need to be relevant to your organisation and the needs of your consumers.  When tailoring policies to your organisation, consult with consumers, other relevant stakeholders and your workers, to ensure that they reflect the needs and rights of consumers as well as the capabilities and expected practices of workers.


    Policies and procedures also need to address and meet the specific requirements of the legislation and service standards that apply to your organisation, so ensure you refer to and understand the relevant legislation and service standards that apply.  Ensuring that policies and procedures reflect how your organisation operates means that they will underpin consistent practices and service delivery across the whole organisation.

Ensure that staff have read, and understand, your organisation's core policies and procedures 

  • Auditors have provided feedback that organisations often fail to adequately communicate policies and procedures to staff.  You should ensure that each worker reviews, considers and acknowledges their understanding of policies.  To ensure that staff have read and understood them, you can distribute a core pack to each worker containing the relevant policies and procedures, and then structure discussion sessions so that they understand what these mean in practice.  You could maintain a record that each worker has acknowledged receipt of, and read and understood the core pack, for example:

     “I, [insert name here], confirm that I have read and understand the organisation’s policies and procedures relating to (e.g. Client rights, medication management, complaints management, Code of Conduct, incident reporting etc).

    Policies and procedures should be easily available to staff on an ongoing basis, so that they can re-familiarise themselves with them as needed.

Boards play an important role in implementation 

  • Board members play a critical leadership role in setting expectations for behaviour and organisational culture.  They have a responsibility to ensure that policies and procedures are in place, so that all aspects of the business are functioning in line with their purpose and objectives.  Board members should create a culture of review and understanding of policies and procedures.  They need to periodically evaluate the policies that are in place, and be alert to the need for new or updated policies.

Policies and procedures must grow with the organisation 

  • The organisation’s policies and procedures should reflect its sense of identity, its approach to service delivery and the standards it expects of all workers – and these policies and procedures must also be living documents.

    They must be reviewed and updated regularly, to take into account changes to or expansion in services provided, experience from incidents and near misses, as well as feedback and complaints.  Auditors often find that as organisations grow, sometimes their policies and procedures do not adapt to reflect these changes and growth.  Organisations can then find themselves providing certain supports that their policies and procedures don’t address.  It is important for senior management and the governing body to review and update policies regularly throughout the year, so that they reflect any changes.  A good way to implement this is to incorporate a review of policies into regularly scheduled meetings.  

Reinforce policies and procedures through training 

  • Auditors have also found that staff are often not provided with regular refreshers of policies and procedures, some of which may have been amended or updated.  In addition to new staff receiving training on policies and procedures, six monthly refreshers could be scheduled (and records of attendance kept), to ensure that all staff remain familiar with current policies and procedures and are trained on any new requirements, for example for any new or specialised service delivery.

The delivery of consistent, safe and high-quality services does not just depend on having policies and procedures in place for your organisation.  You must ensure that they reflect the services that you currently provide, how you provide those services, and that they are understood and followed by all workers.

Contact us

Want to know more? Talk to our team. 

NDIS Code of Conduct guidance for providers

The NDIS Code of Conduct, which has been in place since 2018, ensures that workers understand how they must act, and their responsibilities to provide high quality, safe services and supports to people with disability.

There are certain requirements placed on providers regarding worker compliance with the Code of Conduct.  Providers must implement systems to ensure that their staff are conducting themselves in line with the expectations of the NDIS Rules.

This blog post looks at the worker’s responsibilities from the provider’s perspective and examines how the provider can ensure that the conduct of their workers conforms with the values outlined by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. This is not intended to be an exhaustive resource; for further reading see the NDIS Commission’s Code of Conduct guidance for providers and workers.

Service delivery

Under the NDIS Code of Conduct, it is the responsibility of providers to ensure that workers delivering supports have the appropriate training, qualifications and competence to deliver supports.

In practice, these requirements mean:

  • Supporting workers to understand and implement the core values of the NDIS, including person centred support delivery;
  • Refining recruitment and selection processes to ensure that workers with appropriate skills and values are selected by the organisation to deliver services;
  • Providing workers with relevant training;
  • Providing workers with supervision to ensure that services are being delivered safely, with care and skill; and
  • Discussing with workers to ensure that they are competent and feel comfortable delivering the required supports and services.

In addition, as part of the recruitment and induction process, providers must ensure that:

Incidents & complaints

Registered NDIS Providers must have incident and complaints management systems in place.  It is the responsibility of the provider to ensure that staff are familiar with these systems.  This includes training to ensure that workers are able to identify, respond to, and report incidents and complaints to their supervisor and/or authorities where relevant.

Workers must understand that, in relation to incidents, their first priority is always the safety of people with disability.  Immediately following an incident, workers must ensure, to the best of their ability, that the person with disability is safe, following which they should then follow the provider’s processes for responding to and reporting incidents.

Workers should be familiar with the organisation’s complaints management systems, as well as how to make complaints directly to the NDIS Commission.  Workers are expected to support people to make complaints to the provider or the Commission, and so should be familiar with the appropriate processes for doing so.  Workers must not, under any circumstances, threaten or take adverse action against someone who proposes to make a complaint.

Staff responsibilities

Under the NDIS Code of Conduct, workers are expected to speak up to authority and call out any conduct that is not compliant with the Commission’s rules.  Staff are expected to inform senior staff if they are unable, or do not feel comfortable, to carry out particular tasks in connection with service provision (see p14, NDIS Code of Conduct – Guidance for Workers).

Staff should be aware that they are required under the Code of Conduct to declare any conflicts of interest related to their beliefs and values that may impact on the delivery of services or supports provision (see p19, NDIS Code of Conduct – Guidance for Workers).

All workers should understand that they are able to contact the Commission if they have any concerns regarding the conduct of their employer or others.  In some circumstances, which include the reporting of serious incidents, the Commission has legislative powers to protect those who raise concerns with the Commission.

Fostering a culture that encourages feedback and complaints

It is the responsibility of providers to ensure that they welcome and encourage feedback, and that their staff feel comfortable reporting any misconduct that they witness.  From the provider’s perspective, this involves encouraging and welcoming feedback and complaints.

The organisation should ensure that staff, as well as clients and advocates, will not face any adverse action for raising concerns regarding the conduct of the provider or its staff.  The workforce should be made aware that the provider will not undertake any action in retaliation for a worker raising, in good faith, their concerns about conduct.

How BNG can help

We have a number of resources and self-assessments to help providers ensure that they, and their workers, comply with the Code of Conduct.

  • SPP’s NDIS Code of Conduct self-assessment will walk providers through their obligations, as well as provide resources, policy templates and guidance
  • Worker recruitment, screening and training policy templates and guidance
  • Incident and complaints management system policies and guidance
  • Conflict of interest policy templates and guidance

NDIS Code of Conduct

Want to know more about how BNG can help with the NDIS Code of Conduct? Sign up today!

High Intensity Daily Activities

The delivery of supports for high intensity daily activities poses some of the greatest risks for NDIS participants and workers. Participants requiring these supports have complex health needs that must be supported by workers with specialised skills and experience, in order to ensure that the supports they receive are safe and of the highest quality.

It is essential that providers source workers with the relevant skills and knowledge to deliver supports for high intensity daily activities. Support workers need to have additional qualifications and previous experience relevant to the participant’s complex needs. With recent research demonstrating that people with a disability are more likely to suffer preventable deaths, it is increasingly important that extra care is taken to ensure sufficient communication, early detection  and timely medical assistance is provided.

Providers that assist with high intensity daily activities must meet all of the requirements of Module 1: High Intensity Daily Personal Activities, of the NDIS Practice Standards.  The NDIS High Intensity Skills Descriptors set out the skills and knowledge descriptors for Module 1 . Providers need to demonstrate that their workers have the relevant skills and training to provide each form of support. Providers may demonstrate that they meet the requirements of the skills descriptors through records of worker training and qualifications as well as relevant experience in the area.

We have recently developed some new resources to help providers meet and monitor their obligations in relation to the delivery of these complex supports.

Our new NDIS High Intensity Daily Activities Policy template outlines the training and skills required for staff when delivering each high intensity support. The policy template will ensure a consistent and reliable approach is taken to the delivery of complex supports. The policy document can be found in the Reading Room by searching for “high intensity”.

We’ve also recently created a new self-assessment for this area, to help providers track their obligations and compliance status. The self-assessment includes:

High intensity support:

  • Complex bowel care
  • Enteral feeding and management
  • Tracheostomy care
  • Urinary catheters
  • Ventilation
  • Subcutaneous injection

Additional support activities:

  • High risk of seizure
  • Pressure care and wound management
  • Mealtime preparation and delivery
  • Stoma care

You can find the self-assessment for the NDIS high intensity support skills descriptors in SPP under the Standards tab > NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework.

The self-assessment will assist providers to ensure that the skills and capabilities used in the delivery of their supports provide a safe environment for NDIS participants.

Contact us

Want to know more? Talk to our team.

Conflict of interest and the NDIS

A conflict of interest arises when a person or organisation takes advantage of their position for personal or corporate benefit. The conflict may be actual (because it occurs), potential (because it may or is likely to occur), or perceived (because people could or would think it is a conflict, even if it is not).

Within the NDIS, the issue can arise when a provider offers multiple supports. A support coordinator, for example, is required to provide advice that is unbiased and fair, in helping to connect participants with the supports they need. However, if the support coordinator’s organisation also delivers other supports, they may unintentionally influence a potentially vulnerable participant’s decision-making process in the selection of the providers of their supports.

In his recent review of the NDIS Act, David Tune AO PSM discussed the potential conflict of interest that arises when support coordinators are also the providers of other funded supports within the individual’s plan. He recommended that:

The NDIS rules [be] amended to outline circumstances in which it is not appropriate for the providers of Support Coordination to be the provider of any other funded supports in a participant’s plan, to protect participants from providers’ conflicts of interest.

The Tune Review found that in some cases, where the participant was receiving funded supports as well as support coordination, the coordinators only directed participants towards supports provided by their own organisation. This limits the individual’s freedom of choice and control over their funded supports.

It is important that participants receive transparent advice about support options available, and providers respect the participant’s rights to freedom of expression, self-determination and decision-making. The Review recommended that where possible, a person’s support coordination should be independent from other service provisions.

Support providers have an obligation to put processes in place to limit conflicts of interest where possible. We have developed several resources that organisations can use to assist with this. Our support coordination and plan management policy outlines how providers can reduce the risk of conflicts of interest by:

  • Maintaining a separation between the service delivery team and the support coordination team where possible;
  • Ensuring that information and records of supports participants have received remain confidential;
  • Ensuring that participants receive all the information regarding support options under the NDIS;
  • Ensuring that the individual is aware of their rights to choose support from a provider that is different to where their support coordinator or plan manager works.

You can access these policies in SPP’s Reading Room:

  • Policy: Support coordination and plan management
  • Policy: Conflict of interest NDIS

Our Policy: Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) also addresses conflict of interest in the SDA context.

Want to find out more?

To access these resources and hundreds of others in SPP, click the button to the right!

Preventing and responding to abuse

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety  hearings to date have highlighted that many older Australians experience serious instances of abuse and neglect. Similarly, people with a disability are 10 times more likely to experience violence than people without a disability, and the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability  has been established in response to the seriousness and prevalence of these incidents.

With these Royal Commissions bringing the issues of abuse and neglect to the fore, now is a landmark period for organisations to re-assess how they are protecting human rights within their operations.

It is paramount that organisations are working to prevent abuse wherever possible, and have effective policies and procedures in place to respond to instances of abuse.

Some important elements of preventing abuse include:

  • Policies and guidelines that protect an individual’s rights
  • Empowering the elderly and people with a disability
    • Informing them about the rights that they possess
    • Ensuring that clients feel respected and valued in the organisation
  • The organisational culture
    • Ensuring that the staff screening process is thorough
    • Ensuring that workers undertake training in abuse prevention and client rights
    • Ensuring that there is a positive culture of feedback and complaints, encouraging people to speak up

It is essential that in cases where incidents do occur, the organisation responds appropriately. We have developed some new resources to help organisations implement processes to prevent and respond appropriately to abuse.

Find our policy and information sheets in SPP’s Reading Room:

  • Policy: Responding to Abuse
  • Info: Responding to Abuse

Want to know more?

To access these resources and hundreds of others in SPP, click the button to the right!