The Victorian Disability Worker Commission administers the Disability Worker Regulation Scheme. It commenced on 1 July 2020.
Victorian Disability Worker Commission's role
The Victorian Disability Worker Commission's role is to administer the Disability Worker Regulation Scheme. The scheme forms part of the government's 'zero tolerance' approach to the abuse of people with disability.
As part of the scheme, the Victorian Disability Worker Commissioner and the Disability Worker Registration Board of Victoria have been appointed, and will be supported by the Victorian Disability Worker Commission. The scheme aims to:
- ensure people with disability receive high quality services
- ensure workers have the necessary skills, experience and qualifications to provide quality services
- Ssop 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.
The Victorian Disability Worker Commission is your contact point for the scheme, and all enquiries or matters related to the scheme need to be directed to the Commission.
Responsibilities for disability service providers
Disability service providers have ongoing responsibilities to make sure their employees are screened for their suitability to provide supports and services to people with disability. Providers must recruit, manage and retain a safe and appropriately skilled workforce to meet the community’s expectations, and to comply with existing laws and funding requirements.
The scheme supports disability providers to meet these obligations by providing:
- access to an online Register of Disability Workers to support thorough recruitment practices
- access to a register of workers who are prohibited from providing disability services, including unregistered workers, to check that your workforce is safe and compliant
- the regulator with the ability to set, monitor and enforce minimum registration standards for disability workers reflecting continuing professional development, English language, physical and mental health, and currency of practice requirements.
- the introduction of a Code of Conduct which sets minimum standards of conduct for all unregistered disability workers
- legal protection for the use of reserved professional titles, thereby recognising and rewarding those disability workers (and their employers) for undertaking accredited training and meeting professional registration standards
- a system for receiving, investigating and responding to complaints and notifications about disability workers, with the ability to resolve complaints through conciliation and agreement where appropriate
- the ability to undertake health and performance assessments of registered disability workers and to place conditions on workers' registration, if necessary, to protect the public.
More information on the Victorian Disability Worker Commission and the scheme is available on the Victorian Disability Worker Commission website.
Disability worker registration
The voluntary registration of Victorian disability workers was introduced on 1 July 2021.
Registration is part of new safeguards to strengthen the disability sector and ensure disability workers are a safe choice, in response to recommendations of the Victorian Parliament’s 2016 Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services.
Registration makes it easier for workers to show their commitment to their work in disability. It also makes it easier for people looking for services to find workers they know have been independently assessed as safe, skilled and professional.
For the first registration year – 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2022) – there is no registration fee.
Disability workers that register by October can have prior experience recognised, even if they don’t have a qualification. In future years, workers will be required to hold certain qualifications.
To become registered, disability workers must also meet requirements on criminal history, continuing professional development and competency in English.
A public register will be available on the Victorian Disability Worker Commission website providing a quick and easy way to find a registered worker online.
More information on disability worker registration is available on the Victorian Disability Worker Commission website.