NDIS Consultation: quality and safeguarding options, our view

In developing a national approach to quality and safeguarding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Australian, state and territory governments consulted on the options for quality and safeguarding and how they will affect scheme providers and users. The consultation period closed on 30th April and along with all the submissions made, our full paper is available to view online.

As a training company committed to reducing the need for physical interventions through understanding behaviours and ensuring the best interests of some of the most vulnerable people in our society, we’d like to share a brief summary of some of our concerns and comments with you.

Greater Regulation to Increase Protection 

We welcome any strategy that provides increased protection for the most vulnerable people in our society. However, we do have concerns that if there is a lack of emphasis in staff training to understand the complex issues that surround this area of work, it could be particularly noticeable where consumers are buying their own services from the smaller providers, who may not have the infrastructure to accommodate the levels of training that may be required. 

We would like to see some regulation of the companies that offer training in Managing Behaviours that Challenge (conflict management) and the associated physical skills. The UK’s voluntary accreditation scheme1 for providers of training, run by the British Institute for Learning Disability (BILD) is accompanied by a code of practice2 for training providers and has become popular with the Care Quality Commission3 (CQC), which is the regulatory body for the care sector, as it provides a benchmark for good training. 

The establishment of a body to oversee training providers, such as the CQC in the UK, would help consumers to make informed choices of which provider to use. 

We would also welcome the introduction of an accreditation scheme, which would provide additional protection to ensure the safety of vulnerable consumers and staff alike. A system similar to the BILD scheme would provide regulation of physical skills training organisations. It could insist that an expectation to train staff to think about ways of avoiding the need to use physical skills, through an understanding of behaviour and PBS is included in the programmes being offered. In our view, this type of accreditation system would help monitor the wellbeing of consumers by making sure that staff are trained in methods of proactive support (primary strategies that attempt to address the reasons for behaviour that is challenging), secondary interpersonal skills (defusion and de-escalation and resolution), and tertiary skills of avoidance and disengagement, as well as more restrictive interventions when necessary and appropriate. 

We are aware that the Queensland government has the expertise and skills to help devise such a scheme and the Centre of Excellence hosted a group of BILD representatives at the last PBS conference. Whilst we note there is likely to be a cost in setting up such a regulatory system we feel that this is necessary to avoid inappropriate training, which may lead to adverse outcomes for consumers and support workers being provided by an influx of training companies cashing in on the demand for training in this area as a result of the implementation of the NDIS proposals. 

We are also of the mind that training is important to ensure the safety and well being of care staff who are expected to work with consumers who use behaviour that is challenging. There are instances where violent and aggressive behaviour can happen unexpectedly and in these instances it is important that staff have the skills to manage this behavior. We feel that this area has been under addressed within the current proposal and that this is an important aspect of safeguarding to implement a robust, fit for purpose system.

For a fuller picture and background to our comments please view our submission on the NDIS website

References 

1. BILD accreditation scheme 

2. BILD Code of Practice 

3. Care Quality Commission (CQC) 

 

 

 

Posted by Maybo on June 3, 2015

info@maybo.com.au

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