vic_logo

Transitional arrangements will apply from 1 February 2021

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

The transitional arrangements which apply to you will depend on whether you hold a valid:

NDIS workers in a risk assessed role as of 1 February 2021 Transitional Arrangements

Workers who hold a valid:

  • Police check, and
  • Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme (DWES) Check
You will have until 31 July 2021 to get an NDIS Worker Screening Check Clearance (NDIS Clearance).
Workers who hold a valid:
  • Police check, and
  • DWES Check, and 
  • Working with Children (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

The National Disability Insurance Scheme Worker Screening Check (NDIS Check) is an Australian-wide safety check.

It is a way to ensure that people who work with NDIS participants do not present an unacceptable risk to people with disability.

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.

Who needs an NDIS Clearance

All new workers in risk assessed roles for registered NDIS providers will need to get 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 employee

Risk assessed roles 

There are 3 types of risk assessed roles:

  1. key personnel, for example, a CEO or board member
  2. any role that directly delivers a set of specified supports or services defined in the NDIS (Practice Standards – Worker Screening) Rules 2018
  3. any role where normal duties are likely to require ‘more than incidental contact’ with people with disability including physically touching, building rapport with or having contact with multiple people with disability, the direct delivery of a specialist disability support or service, or the delivery of supports or services in a specialist disability accommodation setting.

Registered NDIS providers are responsible for identifying which roles are risk assessed roles. More information on risk assessed roles can be found on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission's (the Commission) website

How to apply

You can apply for your NDIS Check online at Service Victoria from 1 February 2021.

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
  5. review and provide consent for the checks
  6. pay for your application

Your application will then be sent to the NDIS Worker Screening Unit in Victoria who will assess your application. The NDIS Worker Screening Unit will send you an email confirming that your application has been received and explaining what will happen next.

What you will need

For your application, you will need at least 3 different identity documents. This includes at least 1 commencement document, for example a birth certificate, an Australian passport, an ImmiCard, or a foreign passport linked to a valid Australian visa.

If the name on your documents do not match, you will need an additional document showing your change of name.  

You will also need to use a smartphone with a camera to confirm you are the person in your identity documents. The Service Victoria application process will guide you through this process. 

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.  

Cost

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

After you apply

Your employer or self-managed NDIS participant will have 30 days to confirm that you work or intend to work for them.

It will usually take up to 3 weeks for us to assess your application. If you have a common name, a criminal history record, or a finding made against you by a relevant disciplinary or regulatory entity it may take up to 12 weeks to determine your application.

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 you have been given an NDIS Clearance.

Your 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.

Your employer can check the status of your NDIS Check with the NDIS Commission at any time. 

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 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.

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 a 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 a NDIS Clearance; and
    • you have not:
      • at any time been given an NDIS Exclusion, or an interstate NDIS Exclusion; or
      • having been given a 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 a 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 information required under section 142(1) within 28 days or any longer period specified in the notice. You have a reasonable excuse 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 on NDISworkerscreening@justice.vic.gov.au

Reviewed 15 January 2021

Was this page helpful?