About the Code
The Disability Service Safeguards Code of Conduct (the Code) is set out in the Disability Service Safeguards Regulations 2020, which are rules made under the Disability Service Safeguards Act 2018 (the Act).
The Code is designed to complement the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework to promote a safe and skilled disability workforce within Victoria. The Code adopts the same requirements as the NDIS Code of Conduct. This means the same requirements apply to all disability workers, regardless of whether they are funded through NDIS or other providers.
What does the Code of Conduct require?
The Code requires that disability workers, in providing supports or services to people with a disability, must:
- act with respect for individual rights to freedom of expression, self-determination and decision-making in accordance with applicable laws and conventions
- respect the privacy of people with disability
- provide supports and services in a safe and competent manner, with care and skill
- act with integrity, honesty and transparency
- promptly take steps to raise and act on concerns about matters that may impact the quality and safety of supports and services provided to people with disability
- take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against, and exploitation, neglect and abuse of, people with disability
- take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct.
Who is covered by the Code of Conduct?
The Code applies to all disability workers delivering disability services in Victoria, regardless of their funding source.
A 'disability worker' is defined as a person who either:
- directly provides a disability service to a person with disability or
- supervises or manages another person who directly provides a disability service to a person with disability.
A disability worker does not include a family member who provides disability services and does not receive a fee or reward for those services or a person who voluntarily provides disability services, unless the person provides the disability services on behalf of an organisation or agency.
To find out more about the definition of a disability worker, download a fact sheet.
What happens if a disability worker breaches the Code?
Workers are required to adhere to the Code. Workers and employers are also required to notify the Commission if they become aware that workers have engaged in notifiable conduct. You can read more about notifiable conduct in ‘notifications’.
If you suspect that a disability worker has breached the Code, you should report it to the Commission.
Anyone can make a complaint to the Commission about the conduct of a Victorian disability worker if they believe the worker has breached the Code.
The Commissioner will take a proportionate approach in interpreting and enforcing the Code, considering relevant factors, including:
- the type of services a worker is responsible for delivering
- the organisational environment in which the services are delivered
- the skills and qualifications of the worker
- the support needs of the person with disability
- other regulations that apply to the services
- other relevant circumstances.
What actions can the Commission take for beaches of the Code?
The Commission can take a range of actions if a disability worker breaches the Code.
The consequences for breaching the Code will be proportionate to the breach that has occurred.
In response to a breach of the Code, the Commission may:
- require a disability worker to improve their skills and capabilities,
- require a disability worker to work with the Commission to improve their conduct,
- for more serious breaches, issue an order that stops a person from providing disability services in Victoria. (Information about these orders will be published on the Commission's website) and/or
- if an alleged criminal act is involved, refer the matter to the police.