How long does NDIS Worker Screening Clearance take?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the Australian government’s way of supporting people with disabilities. This means all NDIS-certified providers need to be of a certain character and skill. A skillset proven by the NDIS worker screening clearance. 

As an NDIS-certified provider, you’ll have access to a host of benefits that unregistered providers simply don’t have. These include being on the national worker screening database with its ongoing monitoring, being able to provide NDIS-funded services, and having access to online NDIS-specific booking systems. Read on to discover how long it takes and what is needed to pass these checks today.

How do I know if I need an NDIS check?

Any key personnel in risk-assessed roles needs to prove that they meet the NDIS standard. This requirement means they must complete the NDIS worker screening check. This nationally-consistent assessment ensures the safety of NDIS customers and the quality of services provided by ensuring minimal risk of harm.

Once obtained, the worker screening check is recognised in all States and Territories. This means that approval gives workers the ability to provide services in any Australian state or territory.

What do you need to start your application?

Nowadays you can do the entire application online through your state or territory’s commission online portal. As part of the online application form, you’ll be asked to provide a series of identification documents. For a quick and easy screening, try and have these ready with you in advance.

  • Your email address.
  • Either your NDIS self-managed participants or your employer (or prospective employer’s) details.
  • Several Valid Forms of Original Australian Identity Documents, such as your Medicare, Passport, or Birth Certificate. The amount needed will vary from state-to-state.
  • Your application fee is provided through an online payment form. The exact amount will again vary from state to state, with costs running up to $145. If you’re a volunteer, then you’ll be able to apply for a significantly decreased concession volunteer fee.
  • Your employer or prospective employer will need to verify your application via the NDIS worker screening database accessed through Proda. They’ll have 30 days to verify before the application assessment process begins.

This documentation is important as it allows the NDIS worker screening unit to make an informed decision by being able to run the proper background checks on you. These NDIS worker screening checks involve both a national police check and a history check to ensure that your history will meet the standards of the NDIS.

How long does it take to get NDIS clearance?

The NDIS worker screening clearance process can take a while depending on certain details, with the employer or self-managed participant having 30 days to verify the application. Generally, though, processing times can take a few days to up to 4 weeks at a time. 

However, this time can be extended if:

  • Your employer takes too long to verify the application
  • You have a common name
  • You have a criminal record

Any one of these factors might extend the application process. To ensure that the process takes the least amount of time possible, try to plan and start the screening process well in advance.

What information is collected?

As part of the NDIS worker screening clearances, the NDIA collects and checks all your information using their government resources. These checks involve checking your criminal history record and employment history for any relevant offences or recorded complaints. 

This information is then used to assess whether you pose a potential risk to a person with a disability. Note that having a history of harming a client will decrease your ability to pass the clearance; however, this is assessed on a case-by-case basis. 

Any nationally coordinated criminal history check must follow a series of privacy principles to protect the employee. These include taking all steps to keep criminal records off public servers and collecting only relevant records. 

All records checked for the screening will also be kept separate from your employer unless they also request their own separate police check, which will require your agreement.

Can I apply for an NDIS check while I look for a job?

Frankly, no. Here’s why…

Without an NDIS company verifying your application, your NDIS application will never go through. This means you’ll never be able to get verified and never be able to get an NDIS worker screening clearance while looking for a job.

Although, depending on your state, some companies might let you start working in a risk-assessed role before the application process is finalised. In such an instance, your hypothetical employer would need to write a risk management plan and provide a supervisor to ensure no harm comes to anyone you’d be working with.

The big drawback to this being, that even after all these parameters are in place, your clearance may fail. If this happens, you will not be able to continue in your role and you will be unable to get any NDIS job until a five-year period has passed and you can reapply.

All this is due to some states, such as Victoria, being stricter on clearance requisites. Continuing with Victoria as an example, they require an employer accreditation necessitating an employer exist. They also require that you have the clearance already before you start working. Although they will let a potential employer verify if possible.

What happens if I fail the NDIS check?

If you fail your check and do not receive clearance status, you will receive an NDIS exclusion. 

This means you are considered an unacceptable risk to people due to a criminal offence, previous accusations, or even complaints. As a result, you will not be able to legally work in any NDIS role and cannot reapply for a five-year period.

That is unless your circumstances change significantly. One example they’ll accept for review, being a case of mistaken identity.

Essentially, failing the NDIS check will outright deny you the ability to work in the NDIS sector. This means you will need to find another way to support and care for others outside of the NDIS system if you want a career in this field. Whether that be as an unregistered provider, or in an adjacent field is up to you.






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