For Practitioners: Behaviour Support in the NDIS Commission - video transcript

My name's Tracey Harkness, and I'm the Director of the National Behaviour Support Team in the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

This video will cover the requirements of behaviour support practitioners, who develop behaviour support plans for participants in the NDIS.

The role of the NDIS Commission in Behaviour Support is to provide clinical leadership in the area of positive behaviour support, and reduce and eliminate restrictive practices. People with disability have often had overly restrictive environments in which they live, and improving their quality of life reduces the need to have restrictions on their freedoms and their access to different activities which will be overall a benefit for people with disability to have much more choice and control over their own lives.

The definition of a restrictive practise is any practice or intervention that restricts the person's freedom of movement, or access to particular preferred activities.

The NDIS Commission has five regulated restricted practices that we monitor and have our oversight over. The NDIS Commissioner, through the practitioner also has a responsibility to work towards nationally consistent definitions of restrictive practices. Overtime we'll be working with the states and territories to reform national definitions, so that we'll have the same definitions across all the different jurisdictions.

The behaviour support function in the NDIS Commission will look at reducing and eliminating restrictive practices by a few ways. For behaviour support practitioners and providers you need to be registered with registration group 110 which is specialist behaviour support with the NDIS Commission. You'll also need to be considered suitable in order to develop behaviour support plans by the behaviour support team in the NDIS Commission.

At first, all positive behaviour support practitioners will be deemed provisionally suitable. Ongoingly we will have the capability framework so that providers can self assess their skills and capabilities in order to do positive behaviour support. The capability framework in determining suitability assesses the skills and knowledge of behaviour support practitioners to ensure they provide services in a high quality whilst reducing and eliminating restrictive practices.

Another key requirement for practitioners is to develop positive behaviour support plans in a form approved by the Commissioner.

There are two types of behaviour support plans, there is an interim plan which is focused on the mitigation of the risks of the person's behaviours of concern, and a comprehensive plan which includes a behavioural assessment.

A comprehensive plan must be developed in consultation with the person with a disability, their support network, and implementing provider. They must be based on a behaviour support assessment including a functional behaviour assessment. They must contain contemporary evidence-based behavioural strategies including environmental adjustments to constructively reduce behaviours of concerns, and be aimed at reducing and eliminating restrictive practices. They also need to work with the implementing provider to ensure that staff or any other person implementing the plan are adequately trained.

The timeframe for an interim plan is to be developed within one month, and the timeframe for a comprehensive plan is to be developed within six months. Each behaviour support plan needs to be reviewed every 12 months.

All behaviour support plans that contain restrictive practices need to be lodged online with the NDIS Commission. Any behaviour support plan that does not contain restrictive practices does not need to be lodged with the Commission. Having behaviour support plans lodged with the NDIS Commission allows the commission to have national oversight of the quality of behaviour support plans, as well as the prevalence of restrictive practices. This allows us to develop guidance materials, and professional development activities that will improve the practise in the sector.

The NDIS Commission will also be conducting random audits on the quality of behaviour support plans using the Behaviour Intervention Plan Quality and Evaluation Tool Number 2. These audits will assist us in ensuring that all plans that contain restrictive practices are of a high quality and improving their quality of service prevision to participants.

Behaviour Support practitioners and providers can contact the Behaviour Support Team either by phone via the contact centre, or via our email inbox. We are able to take inquiries that can talk about the specific requirements of behaviour support practitioners with the NDIS Commission.

The NDIS Commissions Behaviour Support Function will raise the bar of clinical practise, and increase the professionalisation of the sector. The Behaviour Support Team will work with practitioners to improve the outcomes of people with a disability, and reduce the need to use restrictive interventions.