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NDIS National Workforce Plan: 2021–2025

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The Minister for the NDIS has released a national plan to grow, develop and retain the NDIS workforce.

Another 83,000 workers will be needed to support NDIS participants in the next 4 years, bringing the total workforce to 353,000.

The NDIS National Workforce Plan: 2021–2025 will support the sector to attract workers while improving existing workers’ access to training and development.

The plan identifies 16 actions across 3 priority areas:

  1. Improve community understanding of the benefits of working in the care and support sector and strengthen entry pathways for suitable workers to enter the sector.
  2. Train and support the NDIS workforce.
  3. Reduce red tape, facilitate new service models and innovation, and provide more market information about business opportunities in the care and support sector.

Providers and peak bodies play an important role in the success of this plan. The Department of Social Services (DSS) will host briefings with more detail on plan actions and timelines.

More information:

NDIS Workforce Plan

 

Improving the NDIS

We have recently updated the improving the NDIS pages on the NDIS website. This gives more information about how the proposed reforms work together and responds to some of the feedback received.

Consultation events
The Independent Advisory Council to the NDIS has convened consultation on independent assessments and other Scheme reforms. This includes engaging with state and territory disability advisory councils and disability representative organisations. More information.

Personalised budgets and participant journey maps
In early June, we released 3 information papers to explain the proposed personalised budget model in more detail including information in Easy Read.

We have also released new participant journey maps. These explain the proposed planning process for participants.

Consultation submissions available
We recently published the submissions received from 124 organisations as part of the recent consultations on proposed Scheme reforms:

We contacted organisations for their permission before publishing. Everyone who made a submission recently and would like us to publish it on our website can contact us by email stakeholder.engagement@ndis.gov.au

 

Improving the NDIS

 

New information on the early childhood approach

We have published a new guideline on the early childhood approach that explains how we support children younger than 7 and their families.

The guideline covers important information such as best practice in early childhood intervention and how families can get support.

Early childhood approach is the new name for the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach, launched in 2016. The approach has not changed, just the name, and this is the first time we have had a guideline to explain our approach to supporting young children and their families.

We will update the guideline as we make improvements to the approach in response to feedback from our recent consultation.

Find out more about the new guideline on our website.

 

More information

 

Latest information in response to COVID-19

NDIS temporary support measures

COVID-19 vaccination

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

State and territory advice for the disability sector

 

NDIS website COVID-19 information

 

Provider addressing need for positive behaviour supports

Positive behaviour support (PBS) is a person-centred approach to understand and address someone’s behaviours of concern. This includes how others can best support a person with disability around that behaviour.

Supports may include behaviour assessments, behaviour support plans, training and plan implementation support for family and carers and monitoring and review activities.

Behaviour support practitioners must have relevant qualifications, training and / or experience as outlined in the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission PBS Capability Framework.

‘It’s a very rewarding field and not as scary as it first seems’, says Sylvia Tran, a registered PBS proficient practitioner with more than 5 years’ experience (pictured above). ‘PBS takes a holistic approach with participants and their care team and we’re seeing excellent outcomes including a reduction in the need for restrictive practices.’

Sylvia is a psychologist and director of Just a Thought Allied Health, a registered NDIS provider in Victoria. ‘Regional areas in particular have a need for specialist positive behaviour support services as they don’t necessarily have the qualified and experienced staff. As a proficient practitioner, I can supervise and sign off on core practitioner PBS plans. This is the main area of our business growth.

‘While I’m Melbourne-based, I support regional practitioners through a hub and spoke model, where regional practitioners provide sub-contract services under our registration. We have an office in Bendigo, and I also visit the Gippsland region every 6 weeks in addition to other training and coaching with a particular focus on the practicalities of PBS within NDIS.

‘As part of the hub and spoke model, we also provide administrative support needed like uploading plans with restrictive practice to the NDIS Commission portal. This provides participants with a greater level of protection. States have their own requirements and we work closely with implementing providers as well as the Victorian Senior Practitioner.’

NDIS data shows that participants in some areas are not utilising their behaviour support funding because there are not enough practitioners or providers of behaviour support to meet demand.

The NDIA is currently trialling a range of approaches to address different market gaps across Australia. This includes positive behaviour support in some regional areas of Victoria and in the ACT.

The market trials will be formally evaluated and results will help build an ongoing market intervention approach.

You must be registered to deliver behaviour support before performing functional behavioural assessments or writing behaviour support plans.

More information

Just a Thought Allied Health

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

NDIS website

 

More information

 

News in brief

NAIDOC week 4–11 July

NAIDOC week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The NAIDOC 2021 theme – Heal Country! – calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.

Visit the NDIS website for some stories from NDIS participants.

The NAIDOC website has an event calendar, event planning ideas and a poster to print and display. Share activities on social media using #NAIDOC2021 #NAIDOCWeek or #NAIDOC.

NDIS financial sustainability update

We recently released an interim update to the NDIS Annual Financial Sustainability Report summary.

This gives more insight into affordability challenges including projected Scheme costs.

The NDIA is committed to ensuring continued sustainable growth of the Scheme so that it is available for current and new participants for years to come. Read the update.

Reports on participant experience
Two detailed reports are now available on our website about the experiences of:

These reports may help providers understand how to work best with participants to use their NDIS plans.

We regularly release information about the Scheme on the NDIS Data and Insights website. This website allows you to explore and customise NDIS data.

Provider finder tool on NDIS website
We have recently added an interactive provider finder to the NDIS website to help participants connect with registered providers.

The provider finder will still be available through the myplace participant portal.

Make sure you have listed all your service area locations, known as ‘outlets’ in the NDIS Commission Portal.

You can add registration groups for all areas where you deliver supports, not just where your offices are located. This means participants searching for providers in their area are more likely to find you.

To add or manage service areas use this quick reference guide on the NDIS Commission website.

Do not post invoices to the NDIA
Please do not send us invoices to the GPO box as these will not be reviewed in a timely manner.

If necessary, providers can submit invoices as part of a payment enquiry in the myplace provider portal.

We will request invoices if they are needed to support any manual payments or for compliance.
 

Independent assessment pilot update
We have released the interim evaluation of the second independent assessment pilot.

This has feedback from NDIS participants who opted to take part in the second independent assessment pilot.

Although the pilot has now closed, we are continuing to offer NDIS participants the chance to complete a voluntary independent assessment.

Choosing to have a voluntary independent assessment will not change current or future plans. It will not be shared with anyone unless participants choose to share it.

For more information visit the NDIS website:

Early childhood assistive technology: request for information extended
We recently released a request for information (RFI) on assistive technology (AT) market solutions for young participants, including those with changing needs.

The deadline for responses has been extended to AEST 2 pm Tuesday 27 July 2021.

If you have knowledge, expertise or lived experience in providing AT supports for early childhood, we encourage you to respond to the RFI.

This will help shape our early childhood AT approach.

Find more information on the NDIS website.

Help shape our policies on home and living, and support for decision making
Read the consultation papers and have your say on our proposed policies for home and living, and support for decision making. Feedback is due Friday 27 August. More information.

Australian workplace laws
The Fair Work Ombudsman is monitoring the healthcare and social assistance sector – which includes NDIS service providers – to ensure they comply with workplace laws and award conditions including:

  • Fair Work Act 2009
  • Fair Work Regulations 2009
  • Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award 2010
  • Supported Employment Services Award 2020.

To find more information about employee entitlements and resources to help you manage a wide range of workplace obligations, visit the Fair Work website.

Provider events online

Register to join online events for providers including:

  • Working as an NDIS provider – information session for new providers introducing the myplace provider portal, service bookings, payment requests, Price Guide and more – Tuesday 27 July.
Melanie RobertsonNDIS National Workforce Plan: 2021–2025

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