Worker screening requirements

All states and territories have now commenced implementing NDIS Worker Screening Check arrangements.  If you are a worker delivering NDIS supports and services you may need to have an NDIS worker screening clearance.

What is worker screening?

Worker screening is a way to help check that the people who are working, or wish to work, with NDIS participants don't present an unacceptable risk to people with disability. Worker screening is an important tool in the recruitment, selection and screening processes of an NDIS provider, and assists in the ongoing review of the suitability of workers.

For an overview and further information on NDIS Worker Screening and the NDIS Worker Screening Database, view the presentation we delivered to NDP’s ‘Cultivating your Disability Workforce’ virtual conference. 

NDIS Worker Screening Check

The NDIS Worker Screening Check forms part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguarding Framework.

The NDIS Worker Screening Check replaces the different arrangements that previously operated in each state or territory, setting a minimum national standard that all workers engaged in risk assessed roles must meet. Some states and territories may still have additional requirements in some circumstances, e.g. people working with children may need to undertake additional screening.

Registered NDIS providers need to ensure that the workers they engage in risk assessed roles have an NDIS worker screening clearance or an acceptable check that meets requirements under the transitional and special arrangements that apply in the state or territory where they provide NDIS supports and services to people with disabilities.

For a list of the current requirements in your state or territory, visit our transitional and special arrangements page.

What is the NDIS Worker Screening Check?

The NDIS Worker Screening Check is an assessment of whether a person who works, or seeks to work, with people with disability poses a risk to them. The assessment will determine whether a person is cleared or excluded from working in certain roles with people with disability.

The NDIS Worker Screening Check will be conducted by the Worker Screening Unit in the state or territory where a person applies for the Check. The Worker Screening Unit also makes the decision about whether a person is cleared or excluded. Registered NDIS providers are required to ensure that they only engage workers who have been cleared in certain roles, called risk assessed roles.

When will the NDIS Worker Screening Check start in my state or territory?

All states and territories have now commenced implementing the new NDIS Worker Screening Check arrangements as part of a national approach to worker screening.

The NDIS Worker Screening Check enables a registered NDIS provider to engage a worker with a valid clearance from any state or territory to deliver NDIS supports and services in a risk assessed role.

When do I need to have an NDIS Worker Screening Check?

If you work for a registered NDIS provider

You will need to have either an acceptable check that meets the transitional and special arrangements, or undertake an NDIS Worker Screening Check and obtain a clearance if you are or will be engaged in a risk assessed role for a registered NDIS provider.

For a list of the current requirements for an acceptable check in your state or territory, visit our transitional and special arrangements page.

A risk assessed role is:

  • a key personnel role of a person or entity, as defined in s11A of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (for example, a CEO or a Board Member)
  • a role for which the normal duties include the direct delivery of specified supports or specified services to a person with disability
  • a role for which the normal duties are likely to require more than incidental contact with people with disability, which includes:
    • physically touching a person with disability; or
    • building a rapport with a person with disability as an integral and ordinary part of the performance of normal duties; or
    • having contact with multiple people with disability as part of the direct delivery of a specialist disability support or service, or in a specialist disability accommodation setting.

Your employer is responsible for assessing whether or not your role is a risk assessed role.

If you work for a registered NDIS provider but are not engaged in a risk assessed role, it is not mandatory to have an acceptable check or an NDIS worker screening clearance, but your employer can still require you to get one.

If you work for a self-managed participant or unregistered provider

If you are working for a self-managed participant or an unregistered provider, it is not mandatory for you to obtain an NDIS worker screening clearance or have an acceptable check under the transitional and special arrangements. However, self-managed participants and unregistered providers can request workers who are providing supports and services to demonstrate they have an NDIS worker screening clearance or an acceptable check, or request that the worker applies for one.

How do I apply for the NDIS Worker Screening Check?

Workers engaged to provide NDIS supports and services to registered NDIS providers, unregistered NDIS providers and self-managed participants will be able to apply for an NDIS Worker Screening Check through a state or territory agency. 

Each agency has a ‘worker screening unit’. The worker screening unit is responsible for accepting and processing NDIS Worker Screening Check applications from workers, and will undertake risk assessments to determine whether a worker receives a clearance.

When a worker makes an application for an NDIS Worker Screening Check there will be a fee payable which is set by the state or territory in which the application is made.

For more information about how to apply for a Worker Screening Check, including application fees, please visit the WSU webpage for the state or territory where you live or work:

Exceptions

Secondary school students on a formal work experience placement with a registered NDIS provider do not need an NDIS worker screening clearance or acceptable check to be engaged in a risk assessed role. This is provided they are directly supervised by another worker who has an NDIS worker screening clearance, or who has an acceptable check.

Working before you have an NDIS worker screening clearance

Depending on the laws in each state or territory, a worker may begin working in a risk assessed role once they have submitted an application for an NDIS Worker Screening Check, but before they have been granted a clearance. In these circumstances, registered NDIS providers must ensure that the worker is appropriately supervised by a person with an NDIS worker screening clearance. It is not sufficient for the person to be supervised by someone that only has an acceptable check.

Registered NDIS providers must develop and maintain a satisfactory written risk management plan for protecting people with disability while a worker or any other personnel is in the process of obtaining a clearance.

Further, registered NDIS providers should check the requirements in each state and territory in which they deliver NDIS supports and services, as some states and territories do not permit a worker to commence employment until they hold a clearance.

However, if the person being engaged by a registered NDIS provider in a risk assessed role has applied for an NDIS Worker Screening Check and also has an acceptable check under the relevant state and territory transitional and special arrangements, the registered NDIS provider does not need to meet the above requirements.

Working before you have an acceptable check under transitional and special arrangements

Depending on the laws in each state or territory, a worker may begin working in a risk assessed role once they have submitted an application for an acceptable check(s) under transitional or special arrangements. Visit our transitional and special arrangements webpage for more information about the arrangements for each state and territory.

I work for a registered NDIS provider in more than one state or territory. Do I only need one check?

Now that the NDIS Worker Screening check has commenced, a registered NDIS provider needs to ensure that you have either an:

  • NDIS worker screening clearance; or
  • acceptable check in each state or territory where you are engaged in a risk assessed role to provide NDIS supports and services.

Example 1: You are engaged by a registered NDIS provider in a risk assessed role and provide NDIS supports and services in NSW for 2 days per week and in ACT for three days per week. The registered NDIS provider that has engaged you needs to ensure that you have either an NDIS worker screening clearance issued in any state or territory, or an acceptable check that meets the requirements in NSW, and an acceptable check that meets the requirements in ACT.

Example 2: You are working in a risk assessed role in South Australia for a registered NDIS provider that provides supports and services to people with disability in South Australia and Tasmania. You have an acceptable check in South Australia. You accept an offer from your employer to take up a different role which will require you to move to Tasmania and is also a risk assessed role. Before you commence your new role in Tasmania, your employer will need to ensure that you have an acceptable check that meets the requirements in Tasmania.

Alternatively, you could apply for an NDIS Worker Screening Check in any state or territory and, if you receive a clearance, you will be able to work in any state or territory e.g. in both South Australia and Tasmania in this example.

I am a tertiary or TAFE student who will be in placement with a registered NDIS provider. Do I need a check?

Tertiary and TAFE students employed or otherwise engaged by a registered NDIS provider are required to have an NDIS Worker Screening clearance or an acceptable state or territory check under the transitional and special arrangements to work in a risk assessed role with NDIS participants. The NDIS Worker Screening Check is available only to those delivering NDIS supports and services to NDIS participants. 

Only secondary school students on a formal work experience placement are able to engage in risk assessed role without having an NDIS Worker Screening clearance or an acceptable check under the transitional and special arrangements, provided the students are directly supervised by another worker who has an NDIS Worker Screening clearance or acceptable check under the transitional and special arrangements.

Workers (including tertiary and TAFE students) can apply for an NDIS Worker Screening Check through the Worker Screening Unit in the state or territory that they live or work in.

Additional requirements of some states/territories

Refer to the Worker Screening Unit in your state or territory for details of any additional requirements:

Queensland

In Queensland, it is an offence for registered NDIS providers to engage a person:

  • without a clearance
  • subject to a suspension, interim bar or exclusion.

Victoria

It is important for disability workers and their employers to be aware of the prescribed offences and the consequences of a disability worker committing a prescribed offence.

The Victorian Disability Worker Commission's website provides information about all grounds for prohibition orders, including prescribed offences, at: www.vdwc.vic.gov.au/prohibition-orders and www.vdwc.vic.gov.au/making-complaints/the-complaints-process.

The Victorian Disability Worker Commission can also be contacted by emailing info@vdwc.vic.gov.au or calling 1800 497 132.