Man in wheelchair playing with his daughter

Tender to deliver disability accommodation and respite services

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) represents a historic opportunity to transform the way we help Victorians with a disability to ensure that they get the support and services they need and deserve.

In Victoria, this means that over 105,000 people will be accessing the NDIS when it is fully implemented, and this is supported by an investment of over $2.5 billion by the Victorian Government to ensure that they can exercise choice and control over day to day decisions in their lives, just like any other Victorian.

There will be an additional $26 million to support Victoria’s disability workforce, on top of more than $20 million in transition support funds for providers, advocacy organisations, people with disability and their families.

The next phase in delivering the NDIS promise

In February 2018, the Victorian Government announced it is proceeding to a tender process for non-government providers to deliver disability accommodation (also called Supported Independent Living) and respite (Short Term Accommodation and Assistance) services in Victoria, which closed in April 2018.

As part of the Expression of Interest (EOI) process in 2017, Government assessed EOI submissions through comprehensive evaluation.

The response to EOI was strong, and demonstrated that a number of high quality providers are well placed to take on accommodation and respite services and share our commitment to people with disability, families and the workforce.

The tender will further test shortlisted providers’ ability to embed Government’s strict conditions of transfer, including that:

  • they have the capacity and expertise to deliver quality services
  • strong and enduring safeguards are in place to protect people with disability
  • the right services are in place for people with disability
  • employees are seconded and transferred on fair terms of employment

To ensure these conditions endure, the Government has designed the transfer of services to enable a smooth and successful transfer, and to minimise disruption for participants and their families.

We will evaluate tender proposals from shortlisted providers and are expected to announce the successful providers from mid-2018, and transfer services from 1 January 2019.

There will be no change to services until this process has concluded. More information about the tender process is outlined below.

The Government is finalising the EOI process for Behaviour Intervention Services (BIS) and Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECIS) and is considering the next steps.

Read more about the EOI process undertaken in 2017.

About the tender process for accommodation and respite services

We have now entered the next phase where Government requested detailed proposals from selected prospective providers and is assessing them against a targeted set of evaluation criteria. This is through a formal tender process.

Prospective providers have been shortlisted from the EOI process and are being further assessed on their ability to deliver high quality services that are person centred, individualised and safe, and are delivered by skilled and committed staff employed on fair conditions.

Quality and safety continues to be rigorously tested throughout the tender process, with the evaluation criteria shaped by people with disability and their families as well as the disability workforce.

Tender_evaluation_criteria_fact_sheet.DOCX Tender evaluation criteriaDOC (241.31 KB)
Visit our transfer overview page for an online version or download the factsheet at the link below.

Fact sheet - Transfer overview Fact sheet - Transfer overviewPDF (1.61 MB)

Visit our transfer frequently asked questions page for an online version or download the factsheet at the link below.

Frequently asked questions - Ensuring a smooth and successful transfer of accommodation and respite services Frequently asked questions - Ensuring a smooth and successful transfer of accommodation and respite servicesDOC (43.69 KB)

Key dates

The tender was open until the end of April 2018.

We are evaluating proposals and are expected to announce the successful providers from mid-2018. There will be no changes during 2018.

We will then start getting ready to transfer these services and staff to successful non-government providers.

The first stage of the transfer process will see participants supported to transfer from 1 January 2019, with employees seconded to a successful provider. The secondment period will be for up to two years and during this time staff will remain employees of DHHS.

Following the secondment period, the workforce will be supported to formally transfer to their new provider on 1 January 2021 through an offer of employment. The offer will be based on each worker’s substantive (ongoing) position and their current employment terms. The replacement Disability Services Enterprise Agreement (DSEA) and all terms, conditions, protections and accrued entitlements will transfer with them.

Ensuring a smooth and successful transfer

We understand that transferring to new providers is a significant change and we are committed to ensuring the transfer is well planned and smooth for people with a disability, families and the disability workforce.

The two stage transfer process has been designed to make sure participants continue to receive high quality and safe services, and maintain trusted relationships with the staff who support them every day.

We will put in place strong and enduring safeguarding arrangements as part of the conditions of transfer, including:

  • performance obligations stating that:
    • all participants continue to receive their current services
    • all eligible staff will transfer to new providers in their current roles and house supervisors will be retained
    • transport services must continue to be provided
    • advocacy services must continue to be accessed
  • a contractual monitoring and performance regime based on safety, service quality, fair workforce conditions, reporting and compliance
  • regular feedback processes with participants, families and the workforce. These will be designed in partnership with participants, families and the workforce and we will monitor the information collected

Visit our participants and families page for an online version or download the factsheet at the link below.

Fact sheet - Participants and families Fact sheet - Participants and familiesPDF (733.38 KB)

View a message from Martin Foley MP, Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, to participants and families.

Video transcript - tender process for disability accommodation and respite services, Martin Foley MP Video transcript - tender process for disability accommodation and respite services, Martin Foley MPDOC (25.25 KB)

Supporting participants and families

Throughout the transfer process, our commitment is to provide information as soon as we can. We want to ensure you receive regular information about the issues important to you, and the key steps in the transfer whether by post, through face-to-face discussions, via staff or online.

We held a series of forums through February and March to ensure participants and families have the information they need about the tender process, and the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback about what is important to them.

View the presentation provided at the forums:

Family_information_session_slides.pdf Family information session slidesPDF (1.12 MB)

We have developed Questions and answers which respond to many of the common questions families asked during the forums.

Family_information_session_slides.pdf Questions and answers - familiesDOC (365.61 KB)

Families also asked how providers will be assessed and selected. Read details of the tender evaluation criteria and how they were developed.

Tender_evaluation_criteria_fact_sheet.DOCX Tender evaluation criteriaDOC (241.31 KB)

We held further workshops with participants and families, as well as staff, in April and May to help better understand what they expect of the transfer.

Feedback received from these workshops will be turned into a ‘transfer framework’ and included in the successful providers’ contracts for implementation. All participants and families will also be sent a copy of the framework, which will detail what you can expect during the transfer including the steps involved, information you will receive and timings.

In addition, the government has engaged VALID to keep participants and families informed about the transfer through regular newsletters and small meetings at group homes and local venues. Subscribe to the VALID newsletter, or get information and support, by calling 1800 655 570.

Supporting the workforce

We are committed to protecting the ongoing employment standards of public sector disability workers, and to ensuring that people with disability and their families can continue to enjoy the relationships and rapport they have with the staff they know and trust.

To that end, the Government and the Health and Community Services Union have agreed to a significant package for our accommodation and respite services workforce.

The wages, incentive payments, job security and protection of terms and conditions offered represent Government’s strong and ongoing commitment to the workforce, ensuring they will be supported to transfer to non-government providers on fair terms and conditions.

The Government acknowledges and values the commitment and hard work of thousands of disability workers, and will continue to support them to deliver quality service as the disability sector expands.

We remain committed to working with the workforce, their industrial representatives and other partners to provide safe and strong disability services to support the best outcomes for people with disability, families and the workforce.

Working together with NDIS participants, families and staff

We have been actively consulting with people with disability, families and staff to better understand the implications of the NDIS for service delivery, and to ensure the needs of people with disability and staff are at the centre of the transition to the NDIS.

Since early 2016 we have engaged with:

  • people with disability and their families
  • disability workers across the state
  • service providers in metropolitan, regional and rural areas regarding the future delivery of disability services

Interviews and small workshops have been conducted as part of a co-design approach to understand participants’ lived experiences and their hopes for the NDIS, with a focus on quality of care, safety and choice.

A summary of findings from this work is available below:

Co-design report Co-design report - April 2017 PDF (1.16 MB) Co-design factsheet Co-design fact sheet - April 2017DOC (62.5 KB) Co-design factsheet Co-design fact sheet - April 2017PDF (218.06 KB)

Visit our Co-design report January 2018 for an online version or download the report at the link below.

Co-designing the future of Victoria's disability services Co-design report January 2018PDF (683.34 KB)

Co-design fact sheet February 2018 Co-design fact sheet February 2018PDF (927.48 KB) Co-design fact sheet February 2018 Co-design fact sheet February 2018DOC (30.52 KB)

Hearing people’s personal stories and understanding their different needs is helping us move closer to bridging the gap between plans and everyday experience.

This ongoing consultation goes beyond talking and listening. It’s about understanding what people value most about their services and the opportunities they hope the NDIS can provide. We see it as a collaboration – a form of community partnership that will influence the way the scheme is implemented in Victoria.

The information gathered during these discussions shaped the strict conditions placed on the transfer of services and both the EOI and tender process evaluation criteria, all designed to measure and test the quality of potential service providers.

The Government will continue to work in partnership with participants and families, workers, advocacy groups and service providers to shape we can best support them to transfer to new providers.

More information

For more information about the background and to access fact sheets visit our Resources page.

View the EOI media release - Getting Victorian's disability services ready for the NDIS.

Read more about how the Government is investing in and advocating for the disability sector in order to deliver on the promise of the NDIS in Victoria - Victorian Disability Reforms fact sheet.

Victorian disability reforms fact sheet Victorian disability reforms fact sheetPDF (1.63 MB)