Part G: Glossary (Residential Aged Care Toolkit)

This glossary will assist you to understand the definition of key words used in this toolkit. The glossary has been separated into two sections: NDIS Glossary and Aged Care Glossary as each sector may use different terminology for similar terms or have distinct terms relevant to their sector.  A list of common acronyms used in the toolkit has also been provided for easy reference.

NDIS Glossary

NDIS participants whose plans are managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA or the Agency). Providers supporting Agency Managed participants must be registered with the NDIS Commission under the law (NDIS Act section 33(6))

An independent audit body approved by the NDIS Commissioner to undertake audits of NDIS providers. See the list of approved quality auditors.

An audit team means one or more auditors who conduct an NDIS audit. Auditors are employed or contracted by an Approved Quality Auditor.

Behaviour support creates individualised strategies for people with disability that are responsive to the person’s needs, in a way that reduces and eliminates the need for the use of regulated restrictive practices.

A plan for an NDIS participant developed by a practitioner who has been deemed or assessed as suitable by the NDIS Commissioner. A behaviour support plan must be in place when a participant is identified as having complex behaviours of concern and contain evidence-informed strategies with a goal to improve the person’s quality of life. The plan may be:

(a) a comprehensive behaviour support plan; or

(b) an interim behaviour support plan

Certification is an audit pathway that applies to NDIS providers who deliver high risk supports and services. This audit pathway applies to RAC providers supporting NDIS participants.

A complaint is when someone expresses dissatisfaction with an NDIS support or service.

Auditors must look at a range of evidence to assess that a provider meets the requirements of the relevant NDIS Practice Standards. Evidence can include documents such as policies and procedures, records (registers, completed forms, file notes etc), interviews with staff and participants, and observations.

High intensity daily personal activities is a supplementary module (Module 1) of the NDIS Practice Standards. This Module sets out the requirements for a range of complex health or clinical supports where these are funded in a participant’s NDIS plan. These supports include Complex Bowel Care, Enteral Management, Severe Dysphagia Management, Tracheostomy Management, Urinary Catheter Management, Ventilator Management, and Subcutaneous Injections and complex wound management. A document called Skills Descriptors provides more information on managing these clinical supports where included in a participant’s NDIS plan.

Implementing behaviour support plans is a supplementary module (Module 2a) of the NDIS Practice Standards.

It sets out the requirements for providers who implement behaviour support plans which include regulated restrictive practices in the delivery of any NDIS supports and services. These providers also must comply with the NDIS (Restrictive Practices and Behaviour Support) Rules 2018.

An incident is defined as an act, omission, event or circumstance.

This document is automatically generated by the NDIS Commission’s system following completion of the online application to register as an NDIS provider, or the registration renewal process. It contains the NDIS provider’s classes of support (registration groups), applicable NDIS Practice Standards as well as other key information about the NDIS provider’s service delivery as stated by the provider on the registration application form or through the registration renewal process

JAS-ANZ is an accreditation body responsible for the accreditation of Approved Quality Auditors against the NDIS Approved Quality Auditor Scheme. This informs the Commissioner’s decision relating to the approval of the Approved Quality Auditor.

Means individuals who hold key executive, management or operational positions in an organisation, such as directors, managers, chief executive officer or anyone involved in governance. Key personnel are defined in section 11A of the NDIS Act 2013. Details of each key personnel of the organisation must be disclosed in the initial online registration application and are closely looked at by the Commission to ensure the key personnel are ‘suitable’ to provide a NDIS service.

A Mid-term audit is an 18 month monitoring audit, normally conducted on-site. It will go for less time in most cases than an initial audit or recertification audit and focuses primarily on Governance and Operational Management NDIS Practice Standards.

Is the independent Commonwealth Government agency responsible for implementing the NDIS and funding provided to participants through the NDIS.

The NDIA works with participants to

  • provide individualised plans and support to NDIS participants
  • coordinate payments, access to plans for NDIS providers
  • manage complaints about participant plans or NDIA itself.

The NDIA is not the same as the NDIS Commission.

A person the NDIS Commissioner has deemed or assessed as suitable to undertake behaviour support assessments (including functional behavioural assessments) and to develop behaviour support plans that may contain the use of restrictive practices. NDIS behaviour support practitioners are employed or engaged by registered NDIS providers who are approved to provide specialist behaviour supports (class of support or registration group 110).

The NDIS Code of Conduct sets clear and enforceable expectations for ethical conduct in the delivery of supports and services. It applies to all providers and workers who provide NDIS funded supports and services to a participant.

The NDIS Commission is an independent agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. The NDIS Commission regulates all providers who deliver NDIS supports and services, registered and unregistered.

The NDIS Commission is a separate body to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) which is responsible for developing NDIS plans and funding for participants in the NDIS.

The NDIS Practice Standards are a set of legal requirements that set a benchmark for the standard of services provided to NDIS participants. The NDIS Practice Standards consist of a core module and several supplementary modules that apply depending on the types of supports and services delivered.

Core Module

  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Governance and operational management
  • Provision of supports
  • Support Provision Environment

Supplementary modules

•            High intensity daily personal activities

•            Specialist behaviour support, including implementing behaviour support plans

•            Early childhood supports

•            Specialised support co-ordination

Specialist disability accommodation.

Each NDIS Practice Standard includes an Outcome and a set of Quality Indicators. The Quality Indicators are used by providers and approved quality auditors to assess ‘how’ a provider meets the outcome for each Standard. The ‘Outcome’ is the intended outcome for participants

NDIS providers are individuals or organisations that deliver NDIS funded supports or services to an NDIS participant.

Providers must be registered to deliver NDIS funded supports and services to participants in the NDIS whose support plan is managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

Providers delivering certain types of supports or services must also be registered with the NDIS Commission.

RAC providers supporting NDIS participants must be registered under the NDIS as a result of these requirements.

These rules identify:

  • under what circumstances NDIS registration is required for providers
  • the suitability requirements for providers and key personnel to become registered
  • how and when registered NDIS providers need to notify the NDIS Commission of changes and events
  • compliance requirements, including the NDIS Practice Standards.

These rules set out detailed conditions relating to the use and reporting of regulated restrictive practices that apply to all registered NDIS providers.

NDIS registration involves providers making an application to the NDIS Commission and demonstrating that they meet the required standards of quality and safety in the services and supports they deliver. This involves an independent audit against the NDIS Practice Standards, an assessment by the NDIS Commission of the suitability of the provider and its key personnel to provide supports and services to people with disability, and a decision on the application by the NDIS Commission.

An NDIS registration application is an online application that is submitted via the NDIS Commission website.  Applicants must provide information on:

1.           Key organisational details

2.           NDIS Supports/services

3.           A self-assessment against the required standards

4.           Suitability of the provider and its key personnel

A person with disability who has been assessed as eligible for the NDIS, which means they have a permanent and significant disability and meet other eligibility criteria. NDIS participants have an individualised NDIS plan, developed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) which provides funding for ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports to participate in social and economic life and achieve their goals and aspirations.

People must be under the age of 65 years to join the NDIS.  If a participant turns 65 after they join the NDIS, they can choose to stay with the NDIS or leave the NDIS and receive supports through the Commonwealth Aged Care System.

NDIS participants who enter RAC for the first time after turning 65, automatically lose their NDIS entitlements under Section 29(1)(b) of the NDIS Act.

A way of thinking and doing things that sees NDIS participants exercising informed choice and control, and as equal partners in planning, developing and monitoring supports in line with their legal and human rights.

A person or organisation that manages NDIS funds for the supports in a person’s support plan. This includes things like paying supplier invoices, contracting and paying providers, and preparing monthly reports on how funds are being used. Plan managers must be registered by the NDIS Commission.

Registration requirements and the NDIS Practice Standards apply in proportion to the size, scale and type of supports provided by NDIS providers. This means, that a provider with only one participant and a few workers providing their NDIS supports would not need to present the same level of evidence, compared to a national provider with a large workforce and many participants.

Registration groups (referred to as ‘classes of support’ under the NDIS (Provider Registration and Practice Standards) Rules 2018) link to the types of services and supports delivered by providers. There are 36 registration groups or classes of support. Some registration groups are high risk and some are low risk, therefore compliance requirements may be different depending on what registration groups providers deliver.

Restrictive practice means any practice or intervention that has the effect of restricting the rights or freedom of movement of a person.

A restrictive practice is regulated by the NDIS Commission if it is or involves:

  • chemical restraint
  • environmental restraint
  • mechanical restraint
  • physical restraint
  • seclusion

These regulated restrictive practices must be reported to the NDIS Commission where authorised as part of a participant’s NDIS behaviour support plan. Where the use of a regulated restrictive practice has not been authorised as part of an NDIS behaviour support plan, they must be reported to the NDIS Commission under Reportable Incident requirements.

Serious incidents or alleged incidents which result in harm to a NDIS participant and occur in connection with NDIS supports and services. Specific types of reportable incidents include:

  • the death of a person with disability.
  • serious injury of a person with disability.
  • abuse or neglect of a person with disability.
  • unlawful sexual or physical contact with, or assault of, a person with disability (excluding, in the case of unlawful physical assault, contact with, and impact on, the person that is negligible).
  • sexual misconduct committed against, or in the presence of, a person with disability, including grooming of the person for sexual activity.
  • the use of a restrictive practice in relation to a person with disability, other than where the use is in accordance with an authorisation (however described) of a state or territory in relation to the person or a behaviour support plan for the person.

An authorisation for a particular regulated restricted practice to be implemented by staff with a certain individual, in a particular service setting, under clearly defined circumstances. The decision to authorise use of restrictive practices will be based on supporting information including behaviour support documentation, such as a Behaviour Support Plan (BSP) informed by a functional assessment of behaviour. States and territories remain responsible for the authorisation of restrictive practices.

A Self-Assessment is a mandatory part of the NDIS online registration application process. It requires providers to explain how they meet the relevant NDIS Practice Standards. This includes the opportunity to upload supporting evidence.

A document developed between a NDIS provider and participant, which establishes expectations, supports to be delivered, any conditions attached to the delivery of supports, e.g.  how problems might be addressed and what a participant would do if they wanted to change services.

A ‘site visit’ is when an audit team will physically visit the location where delivery of supports are provided to NDIS participants. A site visit includes interviews with the participant and workers. 

A plan developed by each NDIS provider providing supports to a participant, in consultation with the participant and their support network. The plan is based on an assessment (including risk assessment) to reflect participant needs, requirements, preferences, strengths, goals and review dates (minimum annually).  

A provider’s Support Plan is different from a participant’s NDIS plan. The NDIS plan for a participant is developed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and sets out the supports for a participant that are funded by through the NDIS.

Specialist Behaviour Support is a supplementary module of the NDIS Practice Standards (Module 2), which sets of the requirements for Specialist Behaviour support providers whose role is to develop behaviour support plans for people with disability. These providers also must comply with the NDIS (Restrictive Practices and Behaviour Support) Rules 2018.

Specialised Support Co-ordination is a supplementary module (Module 4) of the NDIS Practice Standards. This support is delivered utilising an expert or specialist approach, necessitated by specific high complex needs or high-level risks in a participant’s situation.

A Stage One Audit is sometimes called a Desktop Audit or Document Review as it takes place usually off-site. It includes a review of provider’s completed Self-Assessment responses and associated documentation such as policies and procedures (which the auditor can access through the provider’s record on the Commission’s system).

A Stage 2 Audit is usually conducted on-site and evaluates the effectiveness and implementation of provider’s systems in addressing the relevant modules of the NDIS Practice Standards. It involves looking at records, files, talking to participants, staff, management and governing body personnel.

A worker is someone employed or otherwise engaged by a registered or unregistered NDIS provider, or someone who provides supports and services to self-managed participants. To note:

  • It includes people in paid, unpaid and self-employed roles, such as employees, contractors, consultants, and volunteers.
  • Only workers of registered NDIS providers that are engaged in certain roles (called risk-assessed roles) are required to obtain an NDIS worker screening clearance.

Worker Screening is one of a range of requirements that registered providers must comply with to minimise risk of harm to people with disability.

Worker Screening checks are mandatory for all ‘risk assessed roles’, which includes key personnel roles, the direct delivery of specified supports to people with disability, and where there is likely to be ‘more than incidental contact’ with people with disability.

There is a NDIS national Worker Screening Database, which supports the NDIS Worker Screening checks which take place in each State or Territory.

Aged Care Glossary

Accreditation is where the quality and care of services delivered by approved providers is assessed against the Aged Care Quality Standards and contributes to improved safety, quality and continuous improvements.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission accredits residential services under the Aged Care Act 1997 to provide aged care services and receive Australian Government subsidies.

The ACQSC is the national regulator of aged care services and the primary point of contact for consumers and providers in relation to quality and safety in aged care in Australia. The Commission’s role includes assessing and monitoring quality of care and services against the Aged Care Quality Standards.

The quality standards which Australian Government subsidised aged care services are required to meet.  There are eight standards:

  • Consumer dignity and choice
  • Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
  • Personal and clinical care
  • Services and supports for daily living
  • Organisation’s service environment
  • Feedback and complaints
  • Human resources
  • Organisational governance

Quality Assessors are registered by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to undertake a quality assessment against the Aged Care Quality Standards or to monitor the quality of care and services

The aim of a behaviour support plan is to reduce and potentially eliminate the use of restrictive practices in aged care.

Behaviour support plans enable providers to reference information about the consumer to improve their care provision and quality of life and ensure that restrictive practices are used as a last resort.

Residential aged care providers are required to have a behaviour support plan in place for each aged care consumer who requires, or may require, the use of restrictive practices, as part of their care. The requirements for behaviour support plans are set out in the Quality of Care Principles 2014

A care and services plan is based on assessment and planning, including consideration of risks to health and wellbeing, for an individual aged care consumer. It outlines a consumer’s current needs, goals, preferences and scheduled regular reviews.  It will be developed by the aged care provider in consultation with the consumer and/or their legal representative.

A person approved under the Aged Care Act 1997 who has been assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team to receive Australian Government funded aged care services.

Also known as aged care consumer or care recipient.

Care and services designed around an individual’s needs, preferences and background. It involves a partnership between consumers and providers.

A disqualified individual as defined under section 8A of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act if:

  1. the individual has been convicted of an indictable offence; or
  2. the individual is an insolvent under administration; or
  3.  the individual is of unsound mind.

An event or set of circumstances that resulted or could have resulted in unintended or unnecessary harm, loss or damage to a person.

Means individuals who hold key executive, management or operational positions in an organisation, such as directors, managers, chief executive officer or anyone involved in governance.

Key personnel also include persons responsible or likely to be responsible for nursing services or the day-to-day operations of the service.

The Quality of Care Principles outline the key responsibilities of approved provider in relation to the quality of aged care.

Restrictive practice means any practice or intervention that has the effect of restricting the rights or freedom of movement of an aged care consumer.

Under the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) a reportable incident is any of the following incidents that have occurred, are alleged or suspected to have occurred, in connection with the provision of residential care to a consumer an approved provider:

  • unreasonable use of force
  • unlawful sexual contact, or inappropriate sexual conduct
  • psychological or emotional abuse
  • unexpected death
  • stealing or financial coercion by a staff member of the provider;
  • neglect
  • inappropriate use of restrictive practices and
  • unexplained absence from care

From 1 December 2022, the SIRS will be extended to all in‑home care providers.

A comprehensive on-site assessment of a residential service provider’s performance against the Quality Standards

An unannounced comprehensive performance assessment against the Quality Standards undertaken for the purpose of informing a decision whether to re-accredit a residential service. It results in a decision of whether a service should be reaccredited, and if re-accredited, the further period of accreditation.


ACQSC - Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission

AQA – Approved Quality Auditor

BSP – Behaviour Support Plan

CALD – culturally and linguistically diverse

DoHAC – Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care

DSS – Department of Social Services

KPI – key performance indicator

LAC – Local Area Coordinator

NCHC - National Criminal History Certificate

NDIA – National Disability Insurance Agency

NDIS – National Disability Insurance Scheme

NDIS Commission - NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

NDS – National Disability Strategy

NPC - National Police Certificate

RAC – Residential Aged Care