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Who needs to have an NDIS Clearance

All individuals starting work for registered NDIS providers in certain types of roles called risk assessed roles will need an NDIS Clearance before they can start work. 

This includes:

  • volunteer workers
  • workers engaged through third parties such as labour-hire agencies
  • sole traders who, for the NDIS Check, are both the provider and the worker.

Individuals engaged before 1 February 2021 by the NDIS registered provider they still work for must either have an NDIS Clearance or meet Victoria’s transitional arrangements. 

A volunteer must be in a risk assessed role to be eligible for the volunteer fee waiver. 

Identifying risk assessed roles

Registered NDIS providers must comply, amongst other requirements, with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Practice Standards—Worker Screening) Rules 2018 (NDIS Practice Standards).

Registered NDIS providers have a requirement to:

  • assess all roles and identify risk assessed roles
  • keep a written list of all of the organisation's risk assessed roles.

A risk assessed role is one that:

  1. is a key personnel role of a person or an entity as defined in s 11A of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (for example, a CEO or a Board Member)
  2. involves the direct delivery of specified supports or services to a person with disability
  3. is 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.

Providers can contact the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission's Worker Screening Helpdesk for more information on risk assessed roles and compliance requirements. 

To contact the NDIS Worker Screening Helpdesk:  

    • There are 3 types of risk assessed roles outlined in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Practice Standards—Worker Screening) Rules 2018.

      Below are examples of roles that may be considered risk assessed roles. Please seek your own independent legal advice on your specific circumstances.

      1. Key personnel

      For example:

      • A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a registered NDIS provider.
      • A board member of a registered NDIS provider.

      2. Any role that directly delivers a set of ‘specified supports or services

      For example:

      • A nurse directly delivering community nursing care through a registered NDIS provider.
      • An exercise physiologist or personal trainer delivering services through a registered NDIS provider.

      3. Any role where normal duties are likely to require ‘more than incidental contact’ with people with disability.

      For example:

      • A disability support worker working for a registered NDIS provider.
      • A customer service representative who as a part of their role builds a rapport people with disability and has contact with multiple people with disability.
      • An allied health professional such as an occupational therapist or psychologist delivering services to people with disability.
      • A cleaner delivering services through the NDIS who as a part of their role needs to build a rapport with people with disability.

    Victoria’s transitional arrangements 

    The transitional arrangements are in place for NDIS workers who were already working for registered NDIS providers in risk assessed roles before 1 February 2021.

    The transitional arrangements that apply to you will depend on which safety screening checks you had through your organisation before 1 February:

    The NDIS Check does not replace Victoria’s WWC Check. If you are continuing to work with children, you will need to renew your WWC Clearance.  

    NDIS workers in a risk-assessed role as of
    1 February 2021  
    Transitional Arrangements
    Workers whose safety checks included:
    •    Police check, and
    •    Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme (DWES) check
    You will have until 31 July 2021 to get an NDIS Worker Screening Clearance (NDIS Clearance).
    Workers whose safety checks included:
    •    Police check, and
    •    DWES check, and 
    •    WWC Clearance  
    You will have until your WWC Clearance expires to get an NDIS Clearance.
    Workers who meet the transitional arrangements for providing Early Intervention Supports for Early Childhood (ECIS) and community mental health services in Part B of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Safety Screening Policy for registered NDIS providers operating in Victoria.

    You will have until 31 July 2021 to get an NDIS Clearance

    If you have a WWC Clearance, you will have until it expires to get an NDIS Clearance. 

    Residential Aged Care providers who both:
    •    Support NDIS participants in their facilities, and
    •    transitioned to registration with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (the Commission) on 1 December 2020.
    Please see the Commission’s webpage on NDIS participants in residential aged care.

    Victoria is taking a ‘no clearance, no start’ approach to the NDIS Check.

    This means that a person is prohibited from being employed or otherwise engaged by a registered NDIS provider in a risk assessed role unless the person has an NDIS Clearance or is subject to a transitional arrangement.

    Your employer, as a registered NDIS provider, must make sure all staff who need an NDIS Clearance have one.

    • In December 2016, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) endorsed the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguarding Framework (the Framework) setting out a new nationally consistent approach to regulation under the NDIS. The NDIS Worker Screening Check (NDIS Check) is an important part of the Framework that works with other components to support the dignity, safety and wellbeing of NDIS participants.

      The Framework aimed to establish nationally consistent worker screening that would enable screened workers to deliver NDIS services and supports in any state or territory, with any employer delivering services under the NDIS.

      The National Disability Insurance Scheme (Practice Standards – Worker Screening) Rules 2018 (NDIS Practice Standards) outline the requirements for registered NDIS providers in relation to worker screening.

      Victoria’s Safety Screening Policy for registered NDIS providers operating in Victoria (Safety Screening Policy) implemented by the then Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) outlined Victoria’s transitional arrangements leading into the national NDIS Worker Screening Check. This Safety Screening Policy was in operation from 1 July 2019 and required NDIS registered providers to ensure workers in risk assessed roles were screened in line with the policy and that their safety screening was current in accordance with the requirements of the policy. You can request a copy of the Safety Screening Policy from the DHHS by emailing qualityandsafeguards@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

      The Safety Screening Policy was in operation until Victoria’s NDIS Worker Screening Unit was operational. Originally this was planned to be until July 2020 but due to the impacts of Covid-19 the commencement date for NDIS Worker Screening in Victoria was delayed until 1 February 2021.

      The NDIS Worker Screening Check now replaces the different arrangements currently operating in each state or territory, setting a minimum national standard that all workers engaged in risk assessed roles must meet.

      A list of the current requirements in each state or territory, is on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission’s webpage on transitional and special arrangements.

    How to apply for your NDIS Check

    You can apply for your NDIS Check online at Service Victoria.

    Apply now at Service Victoria

    To apply:

    1. Register or login to your Service Victoria account
    2. Verify your identity
    3. Submit your identification documents for your police check and any other background checks
    4. Enter your work details, you must have the worker screening Id of the individual or organisation you are engaged with for your application to get verified
    5. Review and provide consent for the checks
    6. Pay for your application.

    Your application will then need to be verified by the provider or participant you have nominated. After your application has been verified, the NDIS Worker Screening Unit in Victoria will assess your application. 

    The Worker Screening Unit will send you an email confirming that your application has been received and explaining what will happen next.

    You can download an NDIS worker screening application process flow chart from the NDIS Commission’s website

    Getting your application verified

    Your NDIS Check application must be verified by the person or organisation that you currently, or intend to, work for. This may be:

    Your application cannot be processed if you do not provide your organisation or self-managed participant’s unique worker screening ID.

    The provider or participant you wish to nominate would have received their unique ID when they requested access to the NDIS worker screening database (NWSD). This will be the provider or participant’s:

    • Registration ID – for NDIS registered providers 
    • Employer ID – for unregistered NDIS providers 
    • Participant WS ID – for self-managed NDIS participants. 

    In your application, you will need to search for and select your provider or self-managed participant by using their unique worker screening ID. You may need to ask your provider or participant for their worker screening ID. 

    After you have completed your application, the provider or participant that you nominate will receive notification from the NDIS Commission that they have 30 days to verify your application. 

    If your application is not verified, the Worker Screening Unit cannot process your application. 

    If you have entered the wrong provider or participant, and your application has not yet been verified, you can log into your Service Victoria account and add another provider or participant using the update your details option. 

    If your application has already been verified, your provider or participant will need to link you to them on the NWSD. 

    Tips for providers:

    What you will need to apply

    For your application, you will need at least 3 different identity documents. If the name on your documents does not match, you will need an additional document showing your change of name.  

    • You will need the following identity documents:

      One of these documents:

      • current Australian passport (or expired less than 3 years ago)
      • Australian birth certificate (make sure it’s a full birth certificate, not an extract)
      • foreign passport linked to a valid Australian visa
      • ImmiCard

      One of these documents:

      • current Australian driver licence
      • Medicare card

      One of these documents (that is different to the 2 you’ve chosen above):

      • current Australian passport (or expired less than 3 years ago)
      • Australian birth certificate (make sure it’s a full birth certificate, not an extract)
      • foreign passport linked to a valid Australian visa
      • ImmiCard
      • current Australian driver licence
      • Medicare card
      • marriage certificate issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages (not the one you got on your wedding day)

      If your names on the 3 documents don’t match you will also need to provide:

      • change of name certificate, or
      • marriage certificate issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages (not the one you got on your wedding day).

    You will also need to use a smartphone with a camera to confirm you are the person in your identity documents. After you have verified your identity, you will be able to move onto the next step in the application process. You will also be able to save your application and come back to it later.

    If you cannot access a smartphone to verify your identity, you can use Service Victoria’s offline application process.

    Service Victoria can help you with your application through Service Victoria’s virtual assistant Vicky or through the Service Victoria Send a Message form.

    Manual applications

    You will need to contact Service Victoria and ask for the Service Victoria offline NDIS application form if:

    • you are having technical difficulties with your online application and
    • you have the identification documents listed on the Service Victoria website

    If you apply offline, processing may take up to 12 weeks.

    Applying through Service Victoria is the fastest way to get your NDIS Check. If you can meet the Service Victoria identity requirements, you must apply through Service Victoria.

    Apply now at Service Victoria

    If you do not have enough identity documents to complete an online or offline application through Service Victoria, you may need to submit a paper-based manual application to the Worker Screening Unit.

    The Worker Screening Unit is currently receiving large volumes of manual applications resulting in some temporarily extended waiting times. It can take up to 8 weeks for us to process and assess your manual application. This time may be extended if:

    • Your application is incomplete or incorrect,
    • Your employer is not correctly identified with their Organisation ID,
    • Your employer takes longer to verify your engagement with them,
    • You have a common name, or
    • A criminal history record or a finding has been made against you by a relevant disciplinary or regulatory entity.
    Your application will take longer to process if it is incorrect or incomplete

    Before mailing your manual application to the Worker Screening Unit, you must check that you have:

    • Attached certified copies of your identity documents,
    • Had the authorised person who certified your documents also complete ‘Section G: Certifying Officer’s Declaration and Signature’ of the form,
    • Included your Organisation ID or Self-Managed Participant ID, and
    • Signed and dated your application form.

    If you cannot apply online or offline through Service Victoria and you need to make a manual application direct to the Victorian Worker Screening Unit, you will need to follow these steps: 

    1. Download and print the manual application form and guide.
    2. Complete sections A to C of the form by entering your details.
    3. Complete section D of the form with the details of the provider or self-managed participant you are or intend to work for – you will need to enter their unique ID for your application to get verified.
    4. Read and sign the applicant consent and declaration in Section E.
    5. Take copies of your identity documents and your application form to an authorised person to be certified
    6. Have the certifying officer complete the certifying officer's declaration in Section G of the application form.
    7. Fill in the payment section of your form.
    8. Post your completed application and certified copies of your identification documents to the Worker Screening Unit.

    You will need to contact Service Victoria and ask for the Service Victoria offline NDIS application form.

    The form and guide for manual applications direct to the NDIS Worker Screening Unit can be downloaded below. 

    The NDIS Worker Screening Unit manual application form and certified copies of your identity documents need to be mailed to: 

    NDIS Worker Screening
    Department of Justice and Community Safety
    GPO Box 1915
    MELBOURNE VIC 3001

    Cost of the NDIS Check

    The fee for an NDIS Check is $119.40. An NDIS Clearance is valid for 5 years from the date of the notice, unless it is surrendered or revoked.

    Some individuals will be required to get both a WWC Clearance and an NDIS Clearance.

    If you have an NDIS Clearance and you also need a WWC Clearance, you can apply for your WWC Check fee to be waived. You will need to have an NDIS Clearance before you can get have the fee waived. You can request WWC fee waiver when you complete a manual WWC Check application form. 

    • If you are a volunteer currently or intending to work in a risk assessed role for a registered NDIS provider, you may apply to have the NDIS Check application fee waived.

      Volunteer eligibility criteria

      • be involved in an NDIS risk assessed role
      • be engaged with a registered NDIS provider
      • not be engaged in work experience or a placement
      • be deemed a ‘volunteer'.

      Further to this:

      • the role must be an ongoing volunteer role and not for a one-off event
      • the role provider is not deriving a financial or material benefit from the volunteer work.

      You must apply for the volunteer fee waiver before you apply for an NDIS Check.

      To start your fee waiver application, complete the ‘Volunteer Fee Waiver Form' below.

      After you have completed the 'Volunteer Fee Waiver Form', you will need to send it to the Victorian NDIS Worker Screening Unit for assessment. 

        Applying for NDIS Check after receiving a fee waiver

        1. If you have been given a volunteer fee waiver, you will receive a manual NDIS Check application form by email or post.
        2. You will need to follow the instructions for completing a manual application direct to the worker screening unit.

        Your provider will be able to check your NDIS Clearance status on the Commission's NDIS Worker Screening Database.

        You must not rely on a volunteer NDIS Clearance to work for a registered NDIS provider in a paid role.

      After you apply

      Your employer or self-managed NDIS participant will have 30 days to verify your application and confirm that you currently work (or intend to work) for them through the Commission’s National Worker Screening Database (NWSD).

      After your application has been verified it can take up to 3 weeks for us to assess your application. In most cases, this will be a much shorter period (for example, if there is no criminal history to assess).

      However, if there is a need to assess information, it may take up to 3 weeks for us to assess an application. This time may be extended if:

      • an employer takes longer to verify an applicant's engagement with them
      • you have a common name
      • a criminal history record or a finding has been made against you by a relevant disciplinary or regulatory entity. 
      • you lodge a manual application directly to the Worker Screening Unit
      Applying through Service Victoria is the fastest way to get your NDIS Check. If you make a manual application directly to the worker screening unit instead, due to the unexpectedly large volume of applications currently being received, manual application processing is temporarily delayed up to 8 weeks.

      You cannot work in an NDIS risk assessed role until you have received an NDIS Clearance, unless you are subject to a transitional arrangement.

      If your check is successful

      You will receive an email to advise that you have been given an NDIS Clearance. Your NDIS Clearance status will be recorded on the NDIS Commission’s National Worker Screening Database (NWSD).

      You will not receive a card or certificate. Your employer can check the status of your NDIS Clearance on the NWSD at any time. Registered NDIS providers are required to link workers to their organisation through the NDIS Commission portal.

      An NDIS Clearance is valid across Australia for 5 years unless it is surrendered or revoked.

      Your Clearance may be suspended or revoked if you are charged with or found guilty of a relevant offence, or if an adverse finding is made against you by a relevant disciplinary or regulatory entity.

      If we need more information

      We may ask you for more information to process your application if: 

      • your application form is inaccurate or incomplete 
      • you have failed to provide the correct proof of identity documentation 
      • you have previously been charged with or found guilty of a relevant offence 
      • you have previously failed to pass a WWC check
      • the Secretary of the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (formerly DHHS) has an adverse finding against you
      • an adverse finding has been made against you by a relevant disciplinary or regulatory entity

      If you fail to respond to our request within 28 days or any longer period we specify in the request, your application will be withdrawn.

      We may also seek additional information about you from other sources when assessing your application, including: 

      • state, territory and federal police forces 
      • courts, tribunals and prosecuting authorities 
      • authorised worker screening agencies 
      • health treating professionals 
      • government agencies 
      • disciplinary or regulatory entities 
      • employers and other organisations

      If you fail the check

      You will be given an Interim Exclusion if your application is a category A application.

      If your application is a category B application, you will be given an Interim Exclusion, unless we determine that there are exceptional circumstances having regard to the factors set out in the Act.

      If your application is a category C application – and we determine that giving you an NDIS Clearance would pose an unacceptable risk of harm to people with disability – you’ll also be given an Interim Exclusion.

      You will then have the opportunity to explain why you believe you should pass the check and to respond to the information we have about you that has resulted in the Interim Exclusion.

      Following our assessment of your response to the Interim Exclusion, you may receive an NDIS Clearance.

      If after assessing your response to the Interim Exclusion, it is found that there are still not exceptional circumstances, or that you pose an unacceptable risk of harm to people with disability, you will be issued with an NDIS Exclusion.

      A list of NDIS Category A and Category B offences can be found in Schedule 1 and 3 of the Worker Screening Act 2020.

      You cannot work in a risk-assessed role whilst you have an Interim Exclusion. 

      NDIS Exclusions

      If you are given an NDIS Exclusion, this means you cannot work in an NDIS risk assessed role for the purposes of the NDIS.

      If you are given an NDIS Exclusion, you cannot apply for an NDIS Check again for five years, after the date of the notice, unless your circumstances change. If you apply after this time, you are still not permitted to work until you receive your NDIS Clearance.

      In limited circumstances, you may ask for an Internal Review of the decision to give you an Exclusion. 

      If the Internal Review upholds your Exclusion, you may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)for a review of the decision in accordance with the Act, within 28 days following your internal review.

      Keeping your details up to date

      You must keep your personal details up to date after you have made an application and whilst holding an NDIS Clearance. If any of your circumstances change during this time, you must update them within 21 days. You can update most of your details online via  Service Victoria

      You must also let us know (via email or in writing) within 7 days if you experience any of the following circumstances: 

      • you are charged with, convicted, or found guilty of a category A or category B offence listed in Schedule 1 or 3 of the Act
      • you become subject to reporting obligations imposed by the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004
      • you become subject to a supervision order, a detention order or an emergency detention order under the Serious Offenders Act 2018
      • a relevant disciplinary or regulatory finding is made against you
      • you receive a Working with Children Check Exclusion

      Penalties apply for failing to notify us of these changes in your circumstances.

      NDIS offences and penalties

      The NDIS Commission monitors NDIS registered provider compliance. Providers who do not meet the national requirements for NDIS Checks can face penalties under federal laws. 

      Certain penalties apply to individuals and organisations who commit an offence against Victoria’s Worker Screening Act 2020. These offences include engaging in a risk-assessed role without an NDIS Clearance and providing false or misleading information. 

      The full list of NDIS related offences and penalties against the Worker Screening Act 2020 are listed below.

      • Offences Defences/Exceptions Section Reference in Act Maximum Penalty

        Failing to notify the department, in writing within 7 days of a relevant change in circumstances whilst holding an NDIS Clearance or having applied for an NDIS Clearance.

        A relevant change in circumstances is if:

        • You are charged with an offence listed under Schedule 1 or 3 of the Act
        • You are convicted or found guilty of an offence listed in Schedule 1 or 3 of the Act, or the charge has been finally dealt with
        • You become subject to:
          • reporting obligations under part 3 of the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004
          • a supervision order, a detention order, or an emergency order
        • A relevant disciplinary or regulatory finding is made against you
        • You are given a WWC Exclusion.

        It is a defence to a charge of failing to notify the department of how your charge has been finally dealt with if you can prove that:

        • you notified the department of the filing of the charge sheet; and
        • the department re-assessed your eligibility to have an NDIS Clearance, and
        • your NDIS Clearance was not revoked following the re-assessment, and
        • the charge was finally dealt with in any of the following ways:
          • the charge is withdrawn
          • the charge is dismissed
          • you are discharged following a committal hearing
          • you are acquitted or found guilty of the offence
          • you are discharged by the Magistrates’ Court after completing a diversion program under section 59 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009
          • you are discharged by the Children’s Court after completing a diversion program under section 356D of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.
        34(1) A fine of 60 penalty units*
        Engaging in a risk-assessed role without an NDIS Clearance or interstate NDIS Clearance.

        Victoria is a no clearance, no start state. You must not work whilst your first NDIS Check is being decided.

        It is a defence to a charge of engaging in a risk-assessed role without an NDIS Clearance or interstate NDIS Clearance if you can prove that, at the time of the alleged offence:

        • you did not know that the work was in a risk-assessed role; or
        • you did not know that you did not hold an NDIS Clearance or interstate NDIS Clearance, and were not reckless as to whether or not you held one.

        You may work if you have applied for an NDIS Clearance under another state or territory’s NDIS screening law and:

        • the application has not been finally decided or withdrawn, and
        • you are permitted to work under the NDIS worker screening law of that state or territory

        You may work if your NDIS Clearance has expired (after 5 years) and you have applied for a new NDIS Check if:

        • your application has not been finally decided or withdrawn, and
        • you have not been given an Interim NDIS Exclusion, and
        • you have not:
          • at any time been given an NDIS Exclusion, or an interstate NDIS Exclusion, or
          • having been given an NDIS Exclusion you have since been given an NDIS Clearance, and
        • you are not subject to a relevant obligation or order, and
        • you have not been charged, convicted, or found guilty of an offence under Schedule 1 or 3 of the Act committed or alleged to have been committed when you were an adult

        You may work if you are a secondary student on a work experience placement who:

        • is exempt from the requirement to hold an NDIS Clearance; and
        • you have not:
          • at any time been given an NDIS Exclusion or an interstate NDIS Exclusion; or
          • having been given an NDIS Exclusion you have since been given an NDIS Clearance; and
        • you are not subject to a relevant obligation or order.
        118(1) 2 years imprisonment, a fine of 240 penalty units*, or both
        Giving false or misleading information to the department in your application or when the department is reassessing your eligibility or conducting an internal review.

        You believed on reasonable grounds that:

        • the information was true; or 
        • the information given was not misleading.
        128(1) 2 years imprisonment, a fine of 240 penalty units*, or both

        Applying for an NDIS Check when you are:

        • a registrable offender under section 3 of the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004
        • subject to a supervision order, a detention order, or an emergency order.
        n/a 129 2 years imprisonment, a fine of 240 penalty units*, or both
        Failing to provide the information required under section 142(1) within 28 days or any longer period specified in the notice. You have a reasonable excuse for why you didn't provide the information. 142(2) A fine of 60 penalty units*

        * Penalty Amounts

        Penalty units 2020-2021 Financial Year
        1 $165.22
        5 $826.10
        60 $9,913.20
        240 $39,652.80

      Additional information

      More information about the national NDIS Check and provider obligations can be found via the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission Worker Screening website.

      To stay updated subscribe to our NDIS Worker Screening updates.

      You can contact the Victorian NDIS Worker Screening Unit by phone on 1300 652 879 or by email to NDISworkerscreening@justice.vic.gov.au.

      Reviewed 23 April 2021