NDIS provider registration offers stronger choice and control

Print this article

By Achieve Australia CEO, Jo-Anne Hewitt

I have been so impressed by the depth and care with which the NDIS Provider and Worker Registration Taskforce has listened to people with disability. 

 

The Taskforce, led by lawyer and disability advocate, Natalie Wade, charts the way forward on a new graduated risk-proportionate regulatory model, stemming from the NDIS Review. Currently, registration is voluntary with some exceptions.  

Ms Wade and her fellow Taskforce members, Vicki O’Halloran, Michael Borowick, and Allan Fels, have gathered views by inviting submissions and most importantly by talking to people with disability.  

We are grateful to Vicki O’Halloran for meeting with people with complex and acute needs living in Sydney’s inner west. Ms O’Halloran also met Achieve’s dedicated nursing team who provide excellent clinical care to these residents.  

We’ve outlined our recommendations for bringing the NDIS Review’s risk proportionate regulatory model to life in our submission to the Taskforce. It’s clear that we need a new system to safeguard those most at risk and empower people with disability to exercise choice and control.  

In the transition from state disability services to the NDIS, we’ve lost many provider and worker regulations without an appreciation of the risks involved to people with disabilities, particularly those with complex and acute needs. 

Almost five years into the full scheme, it’s clear that urgent changes are needed. The new NDIS regulatory system must ensure that people with disability are safe at home and in their community. 

This means ensuring that NDIS funds are invested in high-quality evidence-based services, delivered by trained staff in ways that protect NDIS participants’ safety and improve their quality of life. 

Genuine choice and control come from NDIS participants being able to choose quality services that meet their needs and are delivered safely.  

Under the current system, unregistered service providers can operate without accountability if people with complex and acute needs don’t have active family or support networks. This approach doesn’t protect people’s safety or human rights.  It actually places them at greater risk. 

I’m keen to see a new provider registration system that improves the range of quality services available to people in the NDIS. 

At Achieve, we have strong systems that protect the rights of people with disability. People can make informed decisions about the services they receive and provide feedback or make a complaint that must be addressed promptly. This is missing from current NDIS regulatory protections. 

We need a system that upholds the autonomy of people with complex and acute needs, protects their human rights, and empowers them to make informed decisions across different systems and service providers. 

We are asking the Minister for the NDIS to prioritise the most vulnerable participants when rolling out the expected new regulatory system to ensure they have the safeguards they are entitled to.   

We can’t afford to wait. People’s lives depend on getting this right.