To assist you in applying to register as a disability worker, please look through the following key requirements checklist before you start the application process. Each section details what information and material applicants may need to provide to proceed with their registration application.

Applicants are encouraged to read the further information available on this website that supports this list.

In this list is information on:

Proving Your identity

Agreeing to a national police check

Choosing a division

Choosing a pathway

Choosing a registration type

Criminal history

Overseas residency

Current work details

Principal place of practice

Previous work experience

Competency in English and other languages

Insurance

Impairments

Disciplinary history

Other professional registrations

Information that appears in the register

Renewal of registration

Eligibility for registration

To be eligible for registration, you must work in Victoria and demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge, skills and professional competence and are a suitable person to be a registered disability worker.     

If you cannot demonstrate that you meet the requirements, your application may be refused. If the Disability Worker Registration Board of Victoria (Board) proposes to refuse registration, you will be invited to make a submission in response. Your submission will be considered when making a decision about your application.

If your application is refused, you can seek a review of this decision at Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Proving your identity

You’ll need to prove your identity so we can make sure you are who you say you are. It also protects you from fraud.

You will need three unique documents – two that prove your identity and a third for the national police check. Two of these documents must have a photo of you.

You need to show:

  • a current Australian passport (or expired less than 3 years) or
  • Australian birth certificate or
  • Foreign passport linked to a valid Australian visa or
  • Australian citizenship certificate (include copies of both the front and back pages) or
  • an ImmiCard

and a:

  • Medicare card or
  • Current Australian driver licence.

Try to use identification where your name is exactly the same.

If your names on the identification don’t match, you must also show a:

  • Change of name certificate (issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages in any Australian state or territory), or
  • Marriage certificate (issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages – not the one you received on your wedding day)

Click here to watch a video on how to do a Service Victoria online ID check

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Agreeing to a national police check

Your application includes a national police check because we need to check your criminal history.

If you’re under 18, we’ll need your parent or guardian’s consent to do a police check.

We’ll need:

  • your identification details
  • basic personal information, including all names you’ve ever used or been known by
  • a change of name or marriage certificate – if the names on your identification don’t match.

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Choosing a division

When applying for registration, you will be asked to choose the division relevant to you. There are two divisions to choose from – either registration as a disability practitioner or as a disability support worker.

Registering as a disability practitioner

Registered disability practitioners are disability workers with advanced skills, experience and qualifications. In most cases, registered disability practitioners will hold a tertiary qualification.

There are two pathways to qualify for registration as a disability practitioner:

  1. the qualification pathway or
  2. the professional experience pathway.

You will be asked to choose the pathway that you are applying under. You should make sure that you meet the requirements of that pathway and have evidence to support your application. The requirements and evidence needed to apply are set out below.

Registering as a disability support worker

Registered disability support workers are disability workers in direct support or supervisory roles.

There are three pathways to qualifying for registration as a disability support worker:

    1. the qualification pathway or
    2. the training pathway or
    3. the professional experience pathway.

You will be asked to choose the pathway that you are applying under. You should make sure that you meet the requirements of that pathway and have evidence to support your application. The requirements and evidence needed to apply are set out below.

Professional competence

All disability workers must satisfy the Board that they are professionally competent as a disability worker. No additional evidence is needed to show professional competence: to decide whether you are professionally competent the Disability Worker Registration Board of Victoria (the Board) will assess the evidence you provide to show you are qualified and suitable.

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Choosing a pathway

Disability practitioners

You may apply for registration as a disability practitioner under the qualification pathway or the professional experience pathway.

Qualification pathway

If you apply for registration under the qualification pathway you must show that you have a tertiary qualification in a professional discipline that supports people with disability. For example, disability, allied health, teaching or social work.

You must also show evidence of your work in the disability sector, and if you work in a profession that requires it, that you hold registration with the professional body governing your profession.

You must supply the following evidence:

The evidence you upload should clearly show your name, the name of the qualification, the date of the qualification or registration, and the name of the educational institution or professional body.

Professional experience pathway

If you apply for registration under the professional experience pathway you must show:

  • that you hold registration with a relevant professional body and
  • that you have completed a minimum of 1,440 hours work over at least 96 weeks (two years) between the ten years from 30 September 2012 to 30 September 2022 and
  • that the hours you worked were in a role that supported people with disability.

Relevant professional body means Australian regulators, including all Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) regulated professional Boards and the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT). Other regulators will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

You will also be asked to enter the details of your previous work into the online application form, including:

  • the name of your employer/s
  • the months you started and finished in that role/s
  • the approximate number of hours you worked in that role/s
  • the tasks you performed in that role/s

You will also be asked to provide evidence of registration with the professional body governing your profession:

  • a certificate, extract or statement of registration

Disability support worker

You may apply for registration as a disability support worker under the qualification pathway, the training pathway or the professional experience pathway.

Qualification pathway

If you apply for registration under the qualification pathway you must show that you have a qualification at Certificate III level or higher in disability or individual support, or other relevant disciplines including ageing support or community services. Other qualifications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

When completing the online application form, you must supply the following evidence:

  • A certificate of completion or
  • An academic transcript showing that the course was completed

The evidence you upload should clearly show your name, the name of the qualification, the date of the qualification, and the name of the educational institution.

Training pathway

If you apply for registration under the training pathway you must show that you have completed significant and relevant training in disability, that aligns with the outcomes of the Certificate III in Disability. You must either provide detailed evidence that shows your training aligns with the outcomes of the Certificate III in Disability or provide a personal submission including an outline of the training which describes learning outcomes, assessment details and total study hours.

Professional experience pathway

If you apply for registration under the professional experience pathway you must show that:

  •  you have completed a minimum of 1,440 hours work over at least 96 weeks (two years) between the 10 years from 30 September 2012 to 30 September 2022 and
  • this work was as a disability worker.

You will be asked to enter the details of your previous work, including:

  • name of employer/s
  • months you started and finished in that role/s
  • the approximate number of hours you worked in that role/s
  • the tasks you performed in that role/s

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Choosing a registration type

In 2021-22, the first year of registration, two types of registration are available: general or limited registration. You will be asked to select a registration type relevant to you.

General registration

General registration to practise as a disability practitioner or a disability support worker will apply to most workers. To be granted general registration, you must show evidence that you meet all requirements.

Limited registration

Limited registration may be granted to workers who do not meet all the requirements for general registration but are otherwise eligible for registration. This type of registration may be granted for a limited purpose or a limited period of time. The Disability Service Safeguards Act 2018 (the Act) says that applicants can apply for limited registration in four instances:

  • for training or supervised practice as a disability worker, or to undertake assessments or approved examinations 
  • to practise in an area of need determined by the Minister* 
  • if it is in the public interest, to practise for a limited time or limited scope 
  • to fill a teaching or research position 

*As of 1 July 2021, no area of need has been determined by the Minister.

Any application for limited registration will be considered by the Board on a case-by-case basis.

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Criminal history

You will need to advise if you have had any criminal charges against you, either in Australia or overseas. The application form will ask you for details about the offence(s). Your response will be checked against the results of your national police check.

If you have a criminal history overseas, you may be asked to provide an international police check.

Having a criminal history does not necessarily mean that you are unable to register but this information is needed to assess your application.

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Overseas residency

You will need to advise if you have lived outside of Australia for more than a year within the past 10 years. If you have then you may be asked to provide an international police check.

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Current work details

You will be asked to provide details of your current work in the disability sector. This information will not appear in the public register. 

You will be asked to provide details of your current employer, employment type, start date, number of hours and the type of work done. You will also be asked to provide a supporting document as evidence of your current work. Relevant supporting documents are:

  • Statement of service
  • Position description
  • Role statement
  • Letter from employer
  • Payslips
  • Detailed personal submission

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Principal place of practice

You will be required to enter the details of the workplace you are at the most. The suburb and postcode of this address will appear in the public register.

Please note - if you don't work from one main address then please use your home address. If your principal place of practice is a private residence, please also use your home address. Please don't use the residential address of a client with disability.

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Previous work experience

You will be asked to provide details of any relevant previous work experience in the disability sector you have done since 30 September 2012. This does not include your current work, which are collected in the ‘current work details’ section of the form.

Details of your previous work experience are used to assess your application. This information will not appear in the public register.

You will be asked to provide details of each previous role, start and end dates, number of hours and the type of work you did. You will also be asked to provide at least one supporting document as evidence of this work experience. Relevant supporting documents are:

  • Statement of service
  • Position description
  • Role statement
  • Letter from employer
  • Payslips
  • Detailed personal submission

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Competency in English

As part of the application you are required to make a declaration about your English language ability. To be registered, you must be competent to speak or communicate in English.

You will also be asked to list any other languages you speak fluently.

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Insurance

You will be asked if you have insurance relevant to your work in the disability sector when you register. It is not a mandatory requirement to have insurance in order to register in 2021-2022, the first year of registration.

If you do have insurance, you will be asked to provide supporting documents if you have them. This information is being collected to inform future registration standards, but it won’t affect your current application.

Different types of insurance may be relevant depending on the nature of the work you do and whether you are self-employed or part of an organisation.  Examples include professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance, personal accident insurance and motor insurance.

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Impairments

You will need to tell us about any impairments you have that may affect your ability to deliver disability services in a safe manner.

Impairment is defined in section 3 of the Act as: a loss or abnormality of structure or function of an intellectual, cognitive, neurological, sensory, psychological or physical nature, whether permanent or temporary.

Only impairments that detrimentally affect, or are likely to detrimentally affect, your ability to safely practise as a disability worker need to be disclosed.

An impairment is only considered in the assessment process if: 

  • it meets the definition of impairment in the Act and  
  • it may have an impact on your delivery of disability services in a safe manner. 

For example, a person who wears reading glasses has a sight impairment, but the impairment does not affect their capacity to practise safely so it would not be considered in assessing suitability to hold registration.  

If you disclose an impairment, you will be asked to provide details of the impairment, how it affects your practice as a disability worker and the measures in place to ensure it does not compromise safety. Having an impairment will not necessarily prevent you from registering. But we do need to know about impairments and what you are doing to manage any impairment. You will be asked to provide supporting evidence such as a letter or report from a treating health professional or a personal statement.

Common treating health professionals include:

  • general practitioner (GP) 
  • paediatrician 
  • orthopaedic surgeon 
  • occupational therapist 
  • speech pathologist (therapist) 
  • neurologist 
  • psychologist 
  • psychiatrist 
  • physiotherapist. 

If you do not provide enough detail of impairments and how you are managing them then you may be contacted for further information and assessment of your application may be delayed.

In some cases, a health assessment by an independent medical practitioner or psychologist may be necessary. If this is the case, you will receive a letter inviting you to undergo a health assessment, the reason for the assessment, the name and qualifications of the person appointed to conduct the assessment and where and when the assessment will take place.

Where an impairment affects your capacity to practise, conditions may be imposed to ensure that the disability services you provide are delivered in a safe manner. You will be notified if your registration has conditions on it.

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Disciplinary history

When you apply for registration you need to tell us if you have had your registration as a health practitioner or as a disability worker in another jurisdiction cancelled or suspended or you are subject to a prohibition or banning order. This information helps us to determine whether you are a suitable person for registration.

Your name will be checked on publicly available registers of health practitioners and disability workers for suspension or cancellation of your registration. The Board will also check the relevant publicly available register if you disclose that you are registered in another profession. Your name is also checked against health, disability and childcare registers of prohibition or banning orders, including the Victorian Disability Workers Exclusion List. The sources of information against which your name will be checked includes: 

  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (Ahpra) 
  • NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission Compliance and Enforcement Actions  
  • Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
  • Victorian Disability Worker Commission (VDWC)
  • Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT)

If your registration as a health practitioner or as a disability worker or in another jurisdiction has been suspended or cancelled or you are subject to a prohibition or banning order, further information may be required from you and from other regulators. The Board may also check publicly available information such as decisions made by VCAT or a Court to obtain the details and reasons for the disciplinary action taken.

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Other professional registrations

If you are currently registered, or have previously held registration, with another professional body, you will be asked to provide details. This includes the name of the professional body, when and where you were registered with them.

You will also be asked to provide evidence of registration:

  • A certificate, extract or statement of registration.

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Other information about your registration application

Information that appears in the Register of Disability Workers

The Register of Disability Workers (the register) is a public register that includes the names of all registered disability workers in Victoria and the names of all disability workers whose registration has been cancelled.

The register is available to search online on the Commission’s website and is open for inspection at the Commission’s offices during ordinary office hours. Extracts and copies of the register are available for purchase.

The register has accurate, up-to-date information about the current registration status of all Victorian registered disability workers. In addition to the disability worker’s name and registration status, the register includes the following information:

  • the disability worker’s gender
  • the suburb and postcode of their principal place of practice
  • the date they were first registered
  • the date their current registration expires
  • the type of registration held and whether they are registered as a disability practitioner or disability support worker as well as any endorsement of their registration
  • any caution or reprimand
  • the details of any condition imposed on their registration or undertaking entered into
  • any suspension of registration, including the period during which the suspension applies
  • details of any qualification relied on to obtain registration
  • the name of any language other than English they speak fluently
  • details of their disciplinary history
  • that they have declared they are competent in speaking or otherwise communicating in English
  • all other names the registered disability worker currently practises under.

Certain information will not be published on the register:

  • if the registered disability worker has a condition on their registration or they have made an undertaking in relation to an impairment, and there is no overriding public interest for the details of the condition or undertaking to be published or
  • if it would present a serious risk to the health and safety of the disability worker or another person and it is not otherwise in the public interest to publish the information.

If the Board decides not to include the details of a condition or undertaking on the register because the disability worker has an impairment, the fact that a condition or undertaking applies to the registration will be published. The contents of the condition or undertaking will not be published.

The name of a registered disability worker cannot be excluded from the public register. But the Board may decide to exclude other information from the register where including it would present a serious risk to the health and safety of the disability worker or another person.

A registered disability worker can also request to have all information, or some of their information excluded or removed from the public register. If you request to have information excluded from the register, you must provide reasons for the request which address the health and safety risks publishing the information poses.

Registered disability workers must provide written notice of a change in principal place of practice, address or name within 30 days of the change occurring. They can do so by completing a request to change personal details form to the Commission and providing evidence of the change.

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Renewal of registration

The registration period starts on 1 October each year and ends on 30 September the following year. You will be invited to renew your registration before the end of the current registration period.

After the end of the previous registration period, there is a one-month period in which to apply to renew your registration. If you do not apply to renew your registration within this period, your registration expires and your details are removed from the register. You can still apply to be registered after this time, but you need to start a new application for registration.

If you apply to renew, your registration is taken to continue in force until your renewal of registration is granted or refused. If your application to renew is granted, your details are updated on the register. If registration is not renewed or is refused, your details are removed from the register.

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