Disability Services Regulations 2015 - Compliance Project

What is the Disability Services Regulations 2015 - Compliance Project?

Disability and Community Services (DCS) is undertaking a state wide project on compliance with the Disability Services Regulations 2015 (the Regulations). The objectives of the project are to:

  • deliver better outcomes for people with disability, their families and carers
  • support continuous improvement across organisations
  • raise awareness of the regulations and the need to comply with them
  • understand future sector training needs
  • assist organisations to comply with the National Standards
  • assist organisations with NDIS readiness
  • establish the level of compliance across the state.

What are the Regulations and why are they important?

  • The Regulations were introduced in April 2015 to support the Disability Services Act 2011 (the Act). They apply to all DHHS funded disability services providers and cover the design, administration and provision of specialist disability services in Tasmania.
  • They were enacted as part of a national process to adopt the Australian Governments National Standards for Disability Services (National Standards).
  • Like the National Standards, they address the six key areas of: rights; participation and inclusion; individual outcomes; feedback and complaints; service access and service management.
  • They also support the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) with a focus on human rights, person centred approaches and greater choice and control for people with disability, their families and carers. The Regulations can be viewed in full at www.thelaw.tas.gov.au.
  • For people who access disability services, they provide assurance that commitments made by Tasmania as signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities are enshrined in law and are part of funding and regulatory requirements.
  • As a funded disability services provider in Tasmania, there is a requirement for you to comply with the Act (and hence the Regulations) as part of your funding agreement with the Department.

How will the Project help my organisation comply?

  • This project will help you understand where your organisation is at in regard to compliance so that:
    • you know where to target continuous improvement activities
    • DCS better understands the current level of compliance and how best to target future sector training.
    • providers are better prepared for the introduction of the NDIS National Quality and Safety Framework
  • In order to help you comply, Disability and Community Services (DCS) has developed some resources including a Tasmanian Disability Services Regulations 2015 Self Assessment Tool and a sample response to assist you in assessing your organisations level of compliance against the Regulations (the sample response shows an example of just one part of the Self Assessment Tool).
  • This tool is largely based on a self-assessment worksheet developed by the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services (DSS) to support the National Standards.
  • A copy of the Self Assessment Tool and sample response is enclosed for your convenience but is also available for download on the Department's website

What’s the difference between the National Standards and the Regulations and which do I need to comply with?

  • The National Standards and the Regulations are closely aligned.
  • The current National Standards were endorsed by Disability Reform Council in December 2013. They are a nationally consistent set of quality standards that apply to the disability services sector that with a focus on person centred approaches and promotion of choice and control by people with disability.
  • Whilst only organisations funded directly through the Australian Governments Department of Social Services are required to comply with the National Standards, all disability service providers are encouraged to comply.
  • All disability service providers funded by DHHS are required to comply with the Regulations (and hence the National Standards).
  • Because of the close alignment between the Regulations and the National Standards, if your organisation already complies with one set, there will be few issues demonstrating compliance with the other.
  • The six National Standards (NS) described in Table 1 below are mapped against the Regulations for greater clarity:

Table 1

NS No

National Standards (NS) Description

Regs Clause No

Disability Services Regulations 2015 Description

1

Rights:
The service promotes individual rights to freedom of expression, self-determination and decision-making and actively prevents abuse, harm, neglect and violence.

4

Standards for rights: this regulation prescribes the standard that a funded disability provider must meet in respect of the rights of a consumer of the funded disability services provider.

A funded disability services provider must, wherever possible:

  1. (a) Promote the rights of each consumer of the funded disability services provider, such as freedom of expression and self determination and actively:
  2. prevent and   report abuse, harm, neglect and violence    that the funded disability service provider is aware of
  3. provide support   for any consumer affected by the abuse, harm, neglect or violence

2

Participation and Inclusion:
The service works with individuals and families, friends and carers to promote opportunities for meaningful participation and active inclusion in society.

5

Standards for participation and inclusion: this regulation prescribes the standard that a funded disability provider must meet in respect of the participation and inclusion of a consumer of the funded disability services provider in society.

A funded disability services provider must, wherever possible, work with:

(a) a consumer of the funded disability services provider and

(b) the families, friends, carers and advocates of the consumer to promote opportunities for the consumers meaningful participation and active inclusion in society

3

Individual Outcomes:Services and supports are assessed, planned, delivered and reviewed to build on individual strengths and enable individuals to reach their goals.

6

Standards for individual outcomes: this regulation prescribes the standard that a disability services provider must meet in respect of the individual outcomes for a consumer of the funded provider.

A funded disability services provider must, wherever possible, only provide services, support or programs to a consumer that:

(a) are assessed, planned delivered and reviewed to build on the strengths of the consumer and

(b) support the consumer to reach his or her goals

4

Feedback and Complaints:
Regular feedback is sought and used to inform individual and organisation-wide service reviews and improvement.

7

Standards for feedback and complaints: this regulation prescribes the standard that a disability services provider must meet in respect of feedback and complaints in respect of the funded disability services provider.

A funded disability services provider must, wherever possible:

(a) seek regular feedback on the services, support and programs provided by the funded disability services provider and

(b) use the feedback to review and improve those services, support and programs

5

Service Access:The service manages access, commencement and leaving a service in a transparent, fair, equal and responsive way.

8

Standards for services access: this regulation prescribes the standard that a disability services provider must meet in respect of access to the services of the funded disability services provider.

A funded disability services provider must, wherever possible manage in a transparent, equitable and responsive way:

(a) access to the services, support and programs provided by the funded disability services provider and

(b) the commencement and cessation of the provision of those services, support feedback to review and improve those services, support and programs

6

Service Management:
The service has effective and accountable service management and leadership to maximise outcomes.

9

Standards for services management: this regulation prescribes the standard that a disability services provider must meet in respect of the management of services of the funded disability services provider.

A funded disability services provider must, wherever possible ensure it operates under effective and accountable service management and leadership so as to maximise positive outcomes for consumers of the funded disability services provider.

What resources are available to help?

  • In addition to the Self Assessment Tool there are a number of other resources available that support compliance with the Regulations, including those developed by the Australian Governments Department of Social Services (DSS).
  • The DSS resources support compliance with the Regulations because of the close alignment between the two.
  • In particular the National Standards for Disability Services - Evidence Guide helps in understanding and applying the National Standards (and therefore the Regulations) to your work and organisation. The standards are described in detail along with guidance on how you can show that you meet the standard.
  • A copy of this document is enclosed for your convenience and can be downloaded, along with other useful resources, from the Department of Social Service's website.
  • DCS has also developed a suite of Complaints Handling resources available for download from the Departments website. These resources are directly relevant to Clause 7 of the Regulations – Standards for feedback and complaints.
  • Also, in April 2017, the Departments Senior Practitioner undertook an Individual Plans Survey to better understand where support providers are at in regards to understanding and complying with their legislative and contractual obligations.
  • Recommendations from this survey are still being finalised but are likely to include the development of a Person Centred Planning framework and resource kit for providers alongside a tailored training program. These resources will assist organisations to meet Clause 3 of the Regulations – Individual Outcomes.

What do I need to do?

  • Familiarise yourself with the resources suggested in the above section.
  • Work through the attached Self Assessment Tool, completing each section (which relates directly to the Regulations) providing examples of evidence to demonstrate compliance.
  • Once completed, please send a copy of the results back to DCS for analysis by 1 September 2017. Note a pre-paid envelope has been included for your convenience.
  • Completed forms should be marked for the attention of:

Carolan Hands, Senior Program Officer
Disability and Community Services
PO Box 125, Hobart 7000or emailed to carolan.hands@dhhs.tas.gov.au

Where can I get further information?

  • Information sessions on the Project will be held across the state to provide guidance to providers as follows:
  • Information sessions on the Project will be held across the state to provide guidance to providers as follows:

Hobart

Friday 21 July 2017

11:30 am – 12.30 pm

Lower Woodhouse
St Johns Park, New Town

Launceston

Wednesday 2 August 2017

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

11 Cameron Street

Burnie

Thursday 3 August 2017

11:00 am –  12:00 pm

Ground Floor Meeting Room
Parkside

  • Your Funding Agreement Manager at your local Area Office is also available to help with any queries and will talk to you about this Project as part of the regular site visit process. Contact details for Area Offices can be found at the Department's website.
  • For more information about the Project please contact Senior Program Officer Carolan Hands on 6166 3575 or carolan.hands@dhhs.tas.gov.au.

Printable Version

Assessment Tool

Sample Assessment Tool