Introduction and background

The required amendment on the NDIS practice standards is now formally announced by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. They are the result of commitments made by the NDIS Commission to explicitly address quality and safety in mealtime supports following our Scoping review of causes and contributors to deaths of people with disability in Australia. They also address evidence to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (DRC) and have been developed in response to the experiences of people with disability during the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for adjustments to the NDIS Practice Standards to better reflect provider practice in the context of the pandemic and other emergencies was a recommendation of the DRC.

Amendments

The amendments create three new NDIS Practice Standards listed below:

  • Mealtime management: this standard applies to a provider that is responsible for providing supports to participants who require assistance to manage mealtimes (such as those with mild dysphagia) and is intended to help ensure quality and safety in the provision of mealtime management. It deals with the nutritional value and texture of meals and with their planning, preparation and delivery.  It will appear in Schedule 1 – Core Module, Part 5 – Support provision environment, of the NDIS Practice Standards;
  • Severe dysphagia management: this standard applies to a provider that is registered to provide high intensity daily personal activities and has severe dysphagia management set out in the provider’s certificate of registration. It requires those providers to ensure that each participant requiring severe dysphagia management receives appropriate support that is relevant and proportionate to their individual needs and preferences.  It will appear in Schedule 2 – Module 1: High intensity daily personal activities, of the NDIS Practice Standards; and
  • Emergency and disaster management: this standard is intended to address 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 NDIS participants. It will appear in Schedule 1 – Core Module, Part 3 – Provider governance and operational management of the NDIS Practice Standards.

Some of the existing standards are also modified (major changes) listed below:

  • Risk management: this standard is modified to emphasise measures for the prevention and control of infection and outbreaks, supports and services are provided in a way that is consistent with the risk management system and appropriate insurance is in place, including professional indemnity, public liability and accident insurance. It will appear in Schedule 1 – Core Module, Part 3 – Provider governance and operational management of the NDIS Practice Standards. It will also appear in Schedule 8 Module 6: Verification, Part 3 – Risk Management of the NDIS Practice Standards.
  • Human resource management: this standard is modified to emphasise identifying the workers with capabilities that are relevant to assisting in the response to an emergency or disaster, identifying, sourcing and inducting a workforce in the event that workforce disruptions, infection prevention and control training and keeping the worker’s details as well as their secondary employment (if any). It will appear in Schedule 1 – Core Module, Part 3 – Provider governance and operational management of the NDIS Practice Standards.
  • Support planning: this standard is modified to emphasise identifying the risks to the health and safety of participants as the result of any disruption to the services to meet their daily living needs. It also includes proactive consideration of the support for preventative health measures, including support to access recommended vaccinations, dental check-ups, comprehensive health assessments and allied health services as well as the individual, provider and community emergencies and disasters to ensure the participant’s safety, health and wellbeing and document them in the support plan.  It will appear in Schedule 1 – Core Module, Part 4 – Provision of supports of the NDIS Practice Standards.
  • Safe Environment: this standard is modified to emphasise putting protocols in place for each participant about how to respond to medical emergencies, escalation process in urgent health situations, implementing infection prevention and control standard precautions, conducting routine environmental cleaning, providing PPE for workers and training them in infection prevention and control standard precautions and using PPE if applicable.  It will appear in Schedule 1 – Core Module, Part 5 – Support provision environment of the NDIS Practice Standards.
  • The child: this standard is modified to emphasise adding alternative arrangements for the continuity of supports for each child participant when changes or interruptions are unavoidable.  It will appear in Schedule 5 – Module 3: Early childhood supports of the NDIS Practice Standards.
  • The child: this standard is modified to emphasise adding alternative arrangements for the continuity of supports for each child participant when changes or interruptions are unavoidable.  It will appear in Schedule 5 – Module 3: Early childhood supports of the NDIS Practice Standards.

How it will affect you…

The new amendments come into effect from Monday 15 November 2021 and will be visible in the NDIS Commission Portal and Applications Portal from this date.

Your current StatusWhat you need to doWhat we can do for you
Existing Registered providers*You need to have the required documentation to fulfil the following by the transition due dates:
• The mealtime management practice standard applies to existing registered NDIS providers from 13 December 2021.
• The emergency and disaster management practice standard applies to existing registered NDIS providers from 24 January 2022.
• There is no transition period for the severe dysphagia management practice standard, which will be in effect from 15 November 2021.
Please contact us for purchasing the 2021 Amendment Package if you have been audited against the Core Module Certification and/or Module 1- High intensity daily personal activities.
The application is submitted, but you have not been audited yet before 15 November 2021The new NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators relevant to your application will apply.

You need to have the required documentation to fulfil the following (if it is applicable):
• The mealtime management policies and procedures.
• The emergency and disaster management policies and procedures.
• Emergency and disaster management policies and procedures.

Please contact us for purchasing the 2021 Amendment Package if you have been audited against the Core Module Certification and/or Module 1- High intensity daily personal activities.

Note that for registered NDIS providers who are transitioned providers (to whom the transitional arrangements under any of sections 26-29 of the Rules apply), the new practice standards do not apply until you make an application to renew registration.

* If you are currently undergoing a mid-term audit, and that audit is not completed prior to 15 November 2021, you will be assessed against the new NDIS Practice Standards in the mid-term audit, subject to the transition periods noted above.

How ISO Consulting Services can help you

If you’re interested in learning more about how ISO Consulting Services can assist with upgrading your NDIS documentation, simply complete our application form today. Alternatively, you can get in contact to discuss your options further with someone from our team.

If you are our existing client, you are eligible for a 50% discount. Please contact us for more details.