By now, decision makers in the disability space will know about the 2016 transition from block funding to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The main difference between the two models is that the NDIS funds people with disability directly, whereas the previous model funded agencies and organisations.
The NDIS didn’t happen all at once, though. The National Disability Insurance Scheme Act that created the NDIS passed Parliament in 2013. However, it has taken until the end of 2020 to roll out the NDIS across the country. A gradual territorial rollout began immediately upon passage, including to South Australia, Tasmania, and selected areas in New South Wales and Victoria. By mid-2016, all of Australia was included, with the exception of Western Australia, to which NDIS coverage finally came in 2020.
Coverage today means that disability services across the country will be overseen by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission). Created in 2017, the NDIS Commission is the statutory agency responsible for improving the quality and safety of the NDIS. It does so by regulating providers, promoting quality and safety, resolving disputes, and reviewing aspects of the scheme. For NDIS participants, specifically, the NDIS Commission is relevant, because it gives them a venue to make complaints about the safety and quality of services provided through the NDIS.
However, the intricacies of the NDIS Commission’s regulatory remit will be far more relevant to NDIS providers, particularly key personnel. For instance, in December 2020, the NDIS Commission rolled out a new Code of Conduct, applicable to providers and workers (including contractors and volunteers).
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