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Aged Care and Behaviour Support for NDIS Participants

The NDIS Commission has announced new arrangements for NDIS Participants living within aged care that have enormous implications for individuals but also the aged care systems and cultures in Australia.

As specialists in behaviour support but more so as advocates for human rights and person centered positive and strength based practices, we welcome these changes towards what will with any hope result in greater equitable standards across the aged care sector – not only for NDIS participants but for all the elderly of Australia.

Residential Aged Care providers supporting NDIS participants will be required to be registered with the NDIS Commission from 1 December 2020.

On 1 December 2020, residential aged care (RAC) providers delivering services to NDIS participants in their facilities will become registered NDIS providers. This means that as of 1 December 2020,

RAC providers supporting NDIS participants will be required to meet the obligations of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act) and the NDIS (Provider Registration and Practice Standards) Rules 2018, in relation to the NDIS participants they support.

The NDIS Commission is working with other agencies across the Commonwealth, particularly the Department of Health, the Department of Social Services, and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, to implement regulatory arrangements for residential aged care (RAC) providers supporting NDIS participants from 1 December 2020. Transitional arrangements are proposed for NDIS provider registration, worker screening, and behaviour support.

The NDIS Commission agreed to defer the commencement of mandatory NDIS registration for RAC providers supporting NDIS participants, from 1 July to 1 December 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In June and July 2020, we wrote to the affected NDIS providers and NDIS participants to explain the reason for this deferment and how it affects them.

NDIS participants living in RAC are dual participants of the NDIS and aged care systems. The proposed regulatory approach will afford NDIS participants coverage across all NDIS Commission functions, including reportable incidents and behaviour support. The approach will be proportionate, recognising the existing regulation that RAC providers will continue to be subject to under the Aged Care Act 1997.

RAC providers, like all NDIS providers, are required to comply with the NDIS Code of Conduct in supporting NDIS participants. (18-11-20)

Speaking of behaviour support, the Commission has clarified that

There are significant differences between the behaviour support requirements in aged care and those in the NDIS.

The transitional arrangements will help facilitate orderly processes for the NDIA to add funding for behaviour support to NDIS participant plans where required, for the development of positive behaviour support plans for participants, and to obtain state and territory authorisation for the use of regulated restrictive practices.

It is anticipated that transitioned providers will: (*) by 1 January 2021, have to notify the NDIS Commission on the use of a regulated restrictive practice for an NDIS participant; where no positive behaviour support plan exists for the NDIS participant: (*) by 1 June 2021, take all reasonable steps to obtain a comprehensive behaviour support plan and obtain authorisation for the use of the regulated restrictive practice from state and territory bodies.

View information about reasonable steps

Comprehensive positive behaviour support plans for NDIS participants who need one will need to be in place by 1 December 2021.

Any restrictive practice not authorised (however described, by the state/territory) and not in accordance with a behaviour support plan is an unauthorised restrictive practice and needs to be reported to the NDIS Commission as a reportable incident within 5 business days. (18-11-20).
cheerful senior mother and adult daughter using smartphone together
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

As a registered NDIS provider of specialist behaviour support, ATS welcomes referrals from the aged care sector for reviews and assessments of behaviour support needs. To get in touch, please review this website and use our contact page. Additional information and FAQ are found on the Contact page.

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