Person in wheelchair

Registration and accreditation scheme for Victoria's disability workforce

Disability Services Safeguards Bill

On 23 August 2018, the Disability Service Safeguards Bill passed through the Victorian Parliament. This Bill will strengthen Victoria’s safeguards to protect the right for people with a disability to be safe from harm and abuse.

The first component of the Bill establishes an independent, legislated registration and accreditation scheme for the Victorian disability workforce.

The second protects the rights of residents living in Specialist Disability Accommodation by creating a new section of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. This reform will ensure existing protections are continued while improving choice and control for residents by supporting them to access the mainstream tenancy agreements available to the rest of the Victorian community.

Read the Disability Services Safeguards Bill 2018.

Registration and accreditation scheme for Victoria’s disability workforce

The registration and accreditation scheme forms part of the Victorian Government’s ‘zero tolerance’ approach to abuse of people with a disability, and aims to:

  • ensure people with disability receive high quality services
  • ensure workers have the necessary skills, experience and qualifications to provide quality services
  • stop people who pose a serious risk of harm from providing disability services in Victoria
  • enable people with disability to exercise greater choice and control in their lives

The scheme design has been informed by extensive public consultation undertaken 2017 and 2018, representing a true co-design process with the disability sector.

View the 2017 consultation materials on our Engage Victoria page.

The Bill provides for two distinct regulatory mechanisms:

  • Positive licensing (registration): Protecting the use of titles that can only be used by workers who have met certain standards of practice.
  • Negative licensing (code of conduct): setting a minimum level of conduct expected of unregistered workers, with the power to prevent workers from delivering services if they present a serious risk to health and safety.

An independent regulator will be established to administer the scheme, comprising:

  • Disability Worker Registration Board of Victoria (responsible for positive licensing, including setting standards or practice)
  • Disability Worker Commissioner (head of Commission, responsible for negative licensing)
  • Disability Worker Commission (receives complaints, provide support to Board and Commissioner)

To support growth of a quality workforce, the registration scheme will:

  • Legally protect the titles ‘Registered Disability Practitioner’, ‘Registered Disability Support Worker’ and ‘Registered Disability Worker’, standardising competency of these workers
  • Set standards and guidelines for the conduct of registered workers,
  • List registered workers on a public register
  • Accredit disability qualifications as meeting the registration requirements, to ensure they are fit-for-purpose
  • Allow high-risk practices to be reserved through regulation (as required)
  • Set mandatory reporting obligations for disability workers to report misconduct

To enhance safeguards for Victorian disability services, the negative licensing scheme will:

  • Complement functions of the Quality and Safeguarding Framework
  • Set minimum expectations for workers to provide disability services in Victoria, through a Code of Conduct
  • Ensure a no wrong door complaints process with referral
  • Prohibit unfit workers from continuing to practice if they pose a serious risk

Further detail about the scheme can be found in our fact sheet about the registration and accreditation scheme and frequently asked questions.

NDIS registration and accreditation fact sheet Fact sheet - Registration and accreditationPDF (312 KB)Fact sheet - Rebalancing the off the plan stamp duty concession Fact sheet - Registration and accreditationDOC (37 KB)Registration and accreditation fact sheet Plain English Fact sheet - Registration and accreditation - Plain EnglishPDF (218.17 KB) Registration_and_accreditation_fact_sheet_-_Plain_English.DOCX Fact sheet - Registration and accreditation - Plain EnglishDOC (32.38 KB) Registration_and_accreditation_fact_sheet_-_Easy_English.PDF Fact sheet - Registration and accreditation - Easy EnglishPDF (833.02 KB) Questions and answers - Disability Services Safeguards Bill Questions and answers - Disability Services Safeguards BillDOC (70.44 KB)

What’s next

Following passage through Parliament, the regulator will be established and undertake significant consultation to develop registration standards that meet the needs of the sector. We expect this consultation to take place over 12 to 24 months, after which the scheme will start.

Do you have more questions or would like to be kept informed?

Email us disabilityworkforce@dpc.vic.gov.au