The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services found a long history of widespread abuse and neglect of people with disability. The Inquiry determined that more effective safeguards and oversight measures were needed to ensure disability workers deliver high quality care.
Aims of the Victorian regulation scheme
In August 2018, the Victorian Parliament passed the Disability Service Safeguards Act 2018 (the Act) to improve the quality of disability care and service standards across the community. The Act established a regulation scheme with approved accreditation standards and an approved Code of Conduct for unregistered disability workers.
The scheme started on 1 July 2020 and forms part of the Victorian Government’s ‘zero tolerance’ approach to the abuse of people with disability.
The disability worker regulation scheme aims to:
- ensure workers have the necessary skills, experience and qualifications to provide quality services
- stop people who pose a serious risk of harm from providing disability services in Victoria
- enable people with disability to exercise greater choice and control in their lives, and
- ensure people with disability receive high quality services.
Improved quality of care and service standards across the community
When registration commences from 1 July 2021, for disability workers, registration will lift care and service standards across the entire disability community. Only suitable workers will obtain registration, creating greater trust and confidence in the profession.
Registered disability workers will be better positioned to promote themselves by providing evidence of the safety and quality of their services to employers and funders of disability services.
People with disability and their families can be confident that registered workers will be appropriately screened to provide quality services. Registered workers will have had to meet certain requirements under the Act to obtain registration, such as having: undertaken fit-for-purpose training, and met registration standards. Registration standards may include professional development or physical and mental health requirements.