Complaints Management for Registered NDIS Providers


This training brochure applies to all organisations who are registered national disability insurance scheme (NDIS) providers.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (Complaints Management and Resolution) Rules 2018 (Cth)

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (Complaints Management and Resolution) Rules 2018 (Cth) (the new Rules) commenced on 1 July 2018.

The purpose of the new Rules is to require all registered NDIS providers (being persons or entities who are registered under section 73E of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth) (the Act)), to implement and maintain a complaints management and resolution system to manage and resolve complaints about the supports and services they provide.

Importantly, rules 8 to 12 of the new Rules prescribe the specific requirements of a compliant complaints management and resolution system. These requirements are discussed below.

Minimum requirements of a complaints management and resolution system

In short, rule 8 of the new Rules sets out the minimum requirements for a registered NDIS provider’s complaints management and resolution system. These requirements include:

  • enabling any person to make a complaint (including an anonymous complaint) to the registered NDIS provider about the supports or services provided by the provider; and
  • providing for an easy and accessible process for making and resolving complaints; and
  • ensuring appropriate support and assistance is provided to any person who wishes to make, or has made, a complaint.

In addition, rule 8 of the Rules requires the registered NDIS provider’s complaints management and resolution system to ensure that:

  • the complaints are acknowledged, assessed and resolved in a fair, efficient and timely manner; and
  • appropriate action is taken in relation to issues raised in complaints; and
  • reasonable steps are taken to ensure that any person who makes a complaint to the provider, and each person with disability affected by an issue raised in such a complaint, is advised how that complaint or issue may be raised with the Commissioner of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (Commissioner); and
  • appropriate support and assistance in contacting the Commissioner in relation to a complaint is provided to any person who makes a complaint and each person with disability affected by an issue raised in a complaint.

System must afford procedural fairness

Rule 9 of the new Rules provides that the complaints management and resolution system of a registered NDIS provider must require that people are afforded procedural fairness when a complaint is dealt with by the provider.

Documentation, record keeping and statistics

Rule 10 of the new Rules sets out how a complaints management and resolution system must be documented and how records of complaints must be kept. For example, rule 10 requires a complaints management and resolution system to provide that appropriate records of complaints received by the registered NDIS provider are kept by the provider, including the following, where appropriate:

  • information about complaints;
  • any action taken to resolve complaints;
  • the outcome of any action taken.

In addition, these records are required to be kept for 7 years from the day the record is made.

Rules, responsibilities, compliance and training of workers

In order for a complaints management and resolution system to operate effectively, people employed or otherwise engaged by a registered NDIS provider play a crucial role in implementing the system. To that end, rule 11 of the new Rules sets out how workers play a role in implementing a complaints management and resolution system. By way of example, rule 11 provides that a complaints management and resolution system must set out the roles and responsibilities of persons employed or otherwise engaged by a registered NDIS provider in relation to the receipt, management and resolution of complaints made to the provider.

Referring complaints

Rule 12 of the new Rules provides that a complaints management and resolution system must require a complaint to be referred or notified to any other bodies in accordance with any requirements under relevant Commonwealth, State or Territory laws.

Penalties incurred

Finally, it is important to note that failure to comply with the new Rules constitutes a breach of a condition of registration under section 73F of the Act, (as a registered NDIS provider) and is subject to a penalty of 250 penalty units (currently $52,500) being incurred pursuant to section 73J of the Act.

Conclusion

Organisations who are registered NDIS providers should ensure they familiarise themselves with the new requirements discussed above and as outlined in full in the new NATIONAL –Registered NDIS Providers module.

In addition, to avoid incurring a sanction, such organisations should ensure they implement and maintain a complaints management and resolution system that fully complies with the new Rules.

Contact

For further information please contact the Law Compliance team:

Phone: 1300 862 667

Email: info@lawcompliance.com.au