Irabina Autism Services Independent Review Scope

Irabina Autism Services has operated as a disability service provider in Victoria since prior to the establishment of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (the Commission). The corporate structure of Irabina has changed over time. The Commission understands that at present, it continues to operate under the Aruma corporate arrangements.

Matters relating to reportable incidents, complaints, restrictive and prohibited practices in relation to Irabina have come to the attention of the NDIS Commission from time to time since transition arrangements in Victoria (1 July 2019). The current Commissioner has recently had cause to look at the regulatory arrangements and actions with regard to Irabina and seeks to independently to confirm that the Commission's regulatory response has been and is appropriate, proportionate and consistent with the quality and safeguarding functions and powers of the Commissioner. The Independent Reviewer is asked to consider and/or determine:

  1. The nature and types of supports and services provided by Irabina, particularly with regard to the Severe Behaviour Program offered in Melbourne, but encompassing any services that involve restrictive or prohibited practices.
  2. The NDIS Commission’s receipt of information pertaining to Irabina operations and activities from 1 July 2019 including:
    1. How the information was received and the type of information received
    2. The risk or triage approach applied
    3. The flow of information including process arrangements between teams/functions within the Commission
    4. Resulting communication with the provider, participant, complainant
    5. The internal management and disclosure of information within the NDIS Commission
  3. How the NDIS Commission carried out its regulatory response, as a result of the process and actions undertaken and described in 2 above.
  4. Whether the regulatory response was appropriate and proportionate, and whether the process and actions leading to the response were appropriate in the circumstances
    1. In undertaking a review of the regulatory response, both previous (point in time) and current arrangements should be examined
    2. Whether alternative or additional actions could, or should now, be taken
    3. Outline additional steps that could, or should now, be taken to ensure the safeguarding of NDIS participant
  5. Whether Commission officers or teams have fulfilled their duties as outlined in the NDIS Act 2013 and APS Code of Conduct.
  6. Any other matters the Reviewer thinks relevant for the Commissioner.

In conducting the review, the Independent Reviewer will not be subject to direction of the NDIS Commission officers, including the Commissioner.

A written Report containing the results of the review is to be provided to the Commissioner no later than 31 December 2023 unless agreed in writing by the Commissioner and extended in accordance with this contract. The report must include an outline of the matters considered in the investigation, a summary of the evidence gathered, recommendations as to any findings and recommendations about any actions to be taken. The Reviewer must also provide all working papers gathered during the course of the investigation to the Commissioner.

It is intended that a summary of the review will be made available internally as part of the continuous learning approach at the NDIS Commission. The summary should be drafted by the Reviewer and supplied as an appendix to the Report. The drafting of the summary should be done so as to avoid the need for redactions, not prejudice any regulatory or civil proceedings and to protect the privacy of any individuals (including NDIS Commission staff, Irabina workers and Participants).

Upon receipt of the review the Commissioner will give due consideration to the findings and recommendations to inform regulatory responses with regard to Irabina and other matters