Applying online through Service Victoria is the fastest way to get your NDIS Check.
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). If you make an offline application instead, due to the unexpectedly large volume of applications currently being received, offline application processing is up to 8 weeks.
The National Police Checking Service (NPCS) is currently experiencing an unprecedented use of the system, and due to a number of factors outside of their control there may be significant delays in processing of checks.
Police checking in Australia is a partially manual, name-based process, involving many stakeholders. The NPCS aims to return checks as quickly as possible, however turnaround times are not guaranteed.
There are many reasons as to why some checks take longer than others to process, including:
- the check subject having a common name, or a name that matches with many potential Persons of Interest on policing systems
- the check subject having old police information that requires manual collection and processing of hard copy records
- the relevant police agency having inaccurate or incomplete records which need to be investigated properly before the check can be finalised
- transferring information between the various state and territory police agencies before the information can be vetted and/or released, and
- workloads within each police agency.
The NPCS facilitates over 5 million checks each year, which may result in over 7,000 referrals to police each day. Resourcing constraints within an affected agency will also likely impact upon the ability to turn around these check results more quickly, particularly during peak periods.
The NPCS completes around 70% of police checks within minutes, providing a result back to the submitting agency. The remaining 30% of checks are referred to one or more police agencies for manual processing. When responding to concerns about timeframes, the NPCS team escalates concerns to the relevant police jurisdiction, however as there is no definitive amount of time it takes to process a police check, it is always advisable to allow as much time as possible.
You can help reduce any unnecessary referrals to our police partners by ensuring that application data is submitted accurately and in full.
Thank you for your continued understanding.
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.
- 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.
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:
- 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)
- involves the direct delivery of specified supports or services to a person with disability
- is likely to require ‘more than incidental contact’ with people with disability, which includes:
- physically touching a person with disability
- building a rapport with a person with disability as an integral and ordinary part of the performance of normal duties
- 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:
No clearance, no start
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.
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.
How to apply for your NDIS Check
You can apply for your NDIS Check online at Service Victoria.
- register or login to your Service Victoria account
- verify your identity
- submit your identification documents for your police check and any other background checks
- enter your work details, you must have the Employer Id of the individual or organisation that you need the NDIS Check for
- review and provide consent for the checks
- pay for your application.
Your application will then need to be verified by the employer you have named in your application. 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.
Important information about your application will be sent to you by email. Make sure the email address in your application is correct and regularly checked.
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 organisation or person that you currently, or intend to, work for. This is the employer that you need the NDIS Check to work with and may be:
Your application cannot be processed without the correct Employer ID. If your application is not verified by an employer it will be withdrawn.
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 participants:
- 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 by using their unique worker screening ID. You may need to ask your provider or participant for their worker screening ID. If you are working for a self-managed participant, you will need to search for them by the participant's surname.
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, your application will be withdrawn.
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 employer or you can email the Worker Screening Unit with the correct Employer ID.
Your employer can also use your National Worker Screening Database (NWSD) Id to search for you on the NWSD Database and link you to their account.
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission website has quick reference guides for using the worker screening portals.
NDIS registered providers can access the NWSD through the NDIS Commission Portal.
Unregistered providers and self-managed participants need to request access to the NWSD.
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 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.
Applying online through Service Victoria is the fastest way to get your NDIS Check.
If you are having problems completing your application online, you can contact Service Victoria’s customer support team to get support.
At certain points in the online application, you will also have the option to download the manual application form directly.
You will need to use the Service Victoria manual NDIS application form if:
- you are having technical difficulties with your online application, or
- you don’t have the ID documents listed on the Service Victoria website that can be digitally verified.
The full list of identity documents that can be processed through a manual application is in the list below.
Cost of the NDIS Check
The fee for an NDIS Check is $128.20. An NDIS Clearance is valid for 5 years from the date of the notice unless it is surrendered or revoked.
To meet legislative requirements, some individuals will be required to get both an NDIS Clearance and a WWC Clearance as they may be engaged in child related work as part of their NDIS role. If, under legislation, you are required to apply for a WWC Check and hold a NDIS Check, you may have your WWC fee waived.
You must hold a NDIS Clearance before you can get the WWC Check fee waived.
Refunds are not available to those that are not required to hold a WWC Check under the Worker Screening Act 2020. For instance, where your organisation requires you to hold a WWC Check under their policy.
If you have an NDIS Clearance and have already paid for a your WWC Check, you can request a refund by completing the below Refund Request form. This form can be returned by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request for refund form:
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). If your application is not verified it may be withdrawn.
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.
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.
Changing your phone number or residential, postal or email address.
These can be done through your Service Victoria account, if you have your NDIS clearance linked in your Service Victoria dashboard.
Alternatively, you can email or call the NDIS workers screening unit to assist in making these changes.
phone: 1300 652 879
Changing your employer
Your NDIS Clearance status will be recorded on the NDIS Commission’s National Worker Screening Database (NWSD). Employers can check the status of your NDIS Clearance on the NWSD at any time.
Registered NDIS providers are required to link new and existing workers to their organisation through the NDIS Commission portal.
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.
Penalties for not complying
|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:
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:
|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 may work if you have applied for an NDIS Clearance under another state or territory’s NDIS screening law and:
You may work if your NDIS Clearance has expired (after 5 years) and you have applied for a new NDIS Check if:
You may work if you are a secondary student on a work experience placement who:
|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:
|128(1)||2 years imprisonment, a fine of 240 penalty units*, or both|
Applying for an NDIS Check when you are:
|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||2021-2022 Financial Year|
If you need help submitting an application or applying for an application, please contact Service Victoria.
For all other enquiries, including status updates on submitted applications, please contact the Victorian NDIS Worker Screening Unit by:
National NDIS Check and provider obligations can be found on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission Worker Screening website.
To stay updated subscribe to our NDIS Worker Screening updates.