Registration will increase the level of safety across the entire disability community. It will create greater trust and confidence in the profession because only suitable and competent workers will obtain registration.
Registered disability workers will be able to demonstrate the safety and quality of the services they provide.
For disability workers
Registration is voluntary and will apply after the full implementation of the scheme on 1 July 2020. Once registered, you will be a member of a regulated profession (like other professions such as teachers, nurses or doctors), and your name will appear on the online Register of Disability Workers, enabling public verification of your suitability and competence to work as a disability worker.
You will need to renew your registration annually at which time you will need to make declarations about whether you continue to meet the standards of practice set by the Board.
It will be an offence in Victoria for a person who is not registered to use a protected title, or to pretend to be registered as a disability worker when they are not. We have the power to receive and investigate complaints about false representations and to prosecute offences, thereby deterring fraudulent practices and strengthening public confidence in the profession and the title you hold.
A person with disability you support, or your employer, may request that you register because of the benefits it brings to them, and the sector more broadly.
While registration is voluntary, participation in the scheme is encouraged to help lift the safety and quality of care for people with disability, and the levels of professionalism across the entire disability workforce. You should talk to your employer and clients about registration, and any additional employment practices they may be considering to integrate with the scheme.
If you decide not to apply for registration, by law you will still be required to comply with the Victorian Code of Conduct for unregistered disability workers. The Victorian Disability Worker Commissioner will have the power to monitor compliance with the Code of Conduct, investigate and respond to complaints, and in serious breaches of conduct to prohibit an unregistered worker from working in the sector.
For disability providers
For disability service providers, access to a public register of registered workers will reduce the administrative costs of pre-employment checks because the regulator has thoroughly vetted the qualifications and probity of the worker.
Managing poor performing workers will be easier when the Disability Worker Registration Board of Victoria (the Board) has responded to conduct, performance or other issues which may affect the capacity of registered workers to deliver safe and appropriate services.
The Board can place conditions upon registration, where it considers those conditions are necessary or desirable in the circumstances. In certain circumstances, a registered worker's registration may be suspended, which may provide support employers in managing their workforce.
As a service provider, if you employ registered disability workers then your organisation will be better positioned to promote the quality and safety of your services to people with disability, their families, carers and funding agencies. Additionally, public trust and confidence in the conduct and skill of your workforce will be enhanced by the implementation of a regulation scheme for the disability profession similar to those in place for teachers, nurses and other registered health practitioners.
For people with disability and their families
For people with disability and their families, current and reliable information will be available to enable more informed choices about workers who are best placed to deliver support and services. You can be confident that registered workers will be appropriately screened to safely provide quality services. They will also have the required experience to be registered as a registered disability worker which may include training and accredited qualifications, and met the registration standards.
If an issue arises about the professional conduct of a disability worker, we can assist the person with disability to make a complaint and to find the right place to deal with that complaint. People with disability will be better protected from abuse and neglect because we have the power to investigate and resolve complaints, and to deal disability workers appropriately.