Navigating the NDIS Worker Screening Check: What You Need to Know

Caoimhe Walsh

Written on 10 November, 2023
ndis-worker-screening-check
Understanding the NDIS worker screening check is key to maintaining staffing levels, so you always have a qualified, vetted team ready to deliver quality support.

Navigating the NDIS Worker Screening Check: What You Need to Know

Understanding the NDIS worker screening check is key to maintaining staffing levels, so you always have a qualified, vetted team ready to deliver quality support.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) introduced the worker screening check to give providers and participants assurance that support workers are always up to the task of providing skilful and empathetic support.

But for many providers and support workers, the screening check has proven a source of confusion and frustration. Participant safety is paramount, but long waiting times and unclear requirements have exacerbated support worker shortages.

Knowing the ins and outs of the screening process will help you plan ahead, support your hires in verifying their application and reduce the impact on your staffing levels. Keep reading as we share essential information about navigating the NDIS worker screening check.

What You Need to Know About the NDIS Worker Screening Check

The NDIS screening check is designed to tackle unacceptable risk of participant harm, and it is a key step in support worker recruitment.

What Is the NDIS Worker Screening Check?

The NDIS screening check is a mandatory assessment for all support workers hired or contracted by NDIS-registered disability support providers. It’s conducted by a Worker Screening Unit on behalf of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. 

The unit runs a background check on the worker to determine whether they might pose a risk to people with disabilities. If the worker passes the test, they receive their worker screening clearance.

Does the NDIS Worker Screening Include a Police Check?

NDIS worker screening is not the same as a police check. However, as part of the risk assessment, the unit considers any criminal history.

Who Needs NDIS Worker Screening Clearance?

Registered NDIS providers must receive screening clearance for any staff in a risk-assessed role. This includes:

  • Key personnel as defined by the NDIS Act, such as the company CEO

  • Anyone who directly provides disability supports or services

  • Anyone who will likely have "more than incidental contact" with people with disability

Should Unregistered Providers Require NDIS Worker Screening?

While unregistered providers do not need NDIS clearance, they can request it if they want to. Given that it’s designed to remove unacceptable risk from disability support provision, unregistered providers may find it a compelling option.

Who Applies for NDIS Worker Screening Checks?

The disability support worker or staff member must apply for their screening check. As a provider business, you can only verify their application and view the results.

What's the NDIS Worker Screening Check Process?

The worker should apply for their screening check via their state or territory's Worker Screening Unit. They must also pay a fee and enter an employer or ID number provided by a registered NDIS provider.

The screening unit will then send the provider an email requesting verification. Once verification has been received, the unit will begin their risk assessment.

After the risk assessment has been completed, both the applicant and the employer will receive the result via email.

How Much Does NDIS Clearance Cost?

The application fee varies by state and territory. For example, in Queensland, it costs $138, while in Victoria, it's $128.20 and in Western Australia, it's $145. Volunteers typically receive a free or heavily discounted screening check.

When Should You Start the NDIS Worker Screening Check Process?

Support workers can only apply for their screening check once they have a potential employer. As soon as you are seriously considering hiring a candidate, it's a good idea to request that they start the process. 

This is especially important if you're a registered NDIS provider, since you won't be able to schedule your new hire until you've received their clearance. Don't wait until you're ready to roster your new team member to request worker screening.

That said, given the cost of the clearance check, registered NDIS providers should also exercise caution. Avoid asking for a screening check from someone unless there’s a reasonable likelihood of you hiring them.

How Long Does NDIS Clearance Take?

Although applicants may receive their clearance within a few days or even hours, that's not always the case. The NDIS worker screening check can take up to four weeks.

What Can You Do to Speed Up the NDIS Worker Screening Check?

As soon as you receive email notification of your new hire’s worker screening check, log on to the NDIS Worker Screening Database to verify them. The quicker you do it, the sooner the Worker Screening Unit will begin their risk assessment.

Faster clearance will help you control your staffing levels and improve your new recruit's post-hiring experience

Does the NDIS Worker Screening Clearance Expire?

NDIS clearance expires every five years. Clearance status can also be reevaluated and revoked at any time, should the NDIS Commission or a Worker Screening Unit receive concerning information about the worker.

Take Control of Your Workforce with NDIS Employment Tools

The screening check is just the first step in onboarding and rostering your workforce. Fortunately, disability support provider tools can help you manage your team quicker and more effectively.

ShiftCare’s NDIS software comes with essential workforce management tools, including intuitive rostering, a job board so that staff can apply for open shifts, location-verified time tracking, team notifications and more. The support worker app will allow your team to set their availability, view their shift information and update progress notes. And our compliance features mean you’ll receive an automatic notification when someone’s worker screening check is due to expire.

Discover how much simpler managing your NDIS workforce can be. Try ShiftCare for free.


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