The newly formed NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is an independent agency that has been established to regulate the NDIS market, provide national consistency, promote safety and quality services, resolve problems, and identify potential improvements that can be made.
Our CEO, Sean, shares his thoughts on the introduction of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, drawing a comparison to the recent Banking Royal Commission and the lessons the disability sector can learn from its findings.
There are some important lessons to be learned from the Banking Royal Commission – and the disability sector cannot afford to ignore them.
The Banking Royal Commission has brought unprecedented focus to the internal workings of many of Australia’s most trusted companies and the behaviours of the people that were trusted to manage them. And while the longer-term impact of Kenneth Hayne’s recommendations remain to be seen, there is no doubt that the public now expects a higher standard of behaviour from organisations and their people. The learnings for businesses, both new to the disability sector and the well-entrenched, are significant.
When the National Disability Insurance Scheme launched, it was the largest systemic change to social services in Australia’s history. Almost overnight, the disability sector ballooned from a decentralized, State and Territory funded and regulated industry worth $7 billion, to one that will exceed $20 billion in funding in the short-term.
As the immense scale and scope of the NDIS became clear, a raft of new businesses emerged to meet the growing demand of this brave new world. While many of these businesses were driven by a desire to enrich the lives of people living with disability under the new framework, there is a growing risk that individuals and organisations with ulterior motivation will be searching for opportunity. Even established and credible disability service providers face issues transitioning to the new way of operating, while remaining economically sustainable.
The complexity of operating in the disability sector is compounded by the fact that each State and Territory has a different regulatory body with different registration processes, rules and requirements for delivering services under the NDIS. For those navigating the Scheme – be it as a participant, a service provider, or an organisation like Plan Partners – these inconsistencies lead to uncertainty, confusion and frustration and most certainly add a layer of complexity and cost to doing business.
Enter the newly formed NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.
The Commission will take over the regulation of providers to the NDIS from State and Territory Governments. The Commission aims to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services through education, capacity building, compliance and more.
It’s been interesting to observe how the industry has reacted to the creation of a centralised regulator - to say it’s mixed would be an understatement. But, as someone who has dealt closely with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission to ensure Plan Partners is compliant with the new regulations, I say this: Compliance is your friend and the requirements now made of all providers will benefit the most important people in all of this – people with a disability.
By embracing the Commission and its national approach, we can create a basis for a successful NDIS, in turn creating better experiences and more opportunities for people with disability to live the life they want. Early adopters also have a genuine opportunity to establish themselves as innovative and forward-thinking businesses, rather than one that resists change.
Some of the questionable practices unearthed by the banking Royal Commission seemed to have a particular sting - not just because of their scale, but because they felt like a betrayal of the trust we put in the people who manage our money. Given trust is arguably one of the most important facets of the disability sector, it’s important we learn from the Royal Commission, embracing compliance and ensuring we meet – or better yet, exceed – the standards that people expect from our sector.
Find the original post on LinkedIn here.
Learn more about the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission here.