The Victorian Disability Worker Regulation Scheme (the Scheme) was established in response to recommendations of the Victorian Parliament’s 2016 Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services.
The Scheme forms part of the Victorian Government’s zero tolerance approach to abuse of people with disability. It is made up of several services and safeguards to protect people with disability when using disability services. These include:
- A free and independent complaints service
- Mandatory notifications
- Voluntary registration of Victorian disability workers
- The register of disability workers
- Code of conduct
A free and independent complaints service:
The Victorian Disability Worker Commission can take complaints about any disability worker in Victoria, no matter how their service is funded (for example whether they work for an NDIS or non-NDIS funded service). Complaints can be made online at www.vdwc.vic.gov.au or via the phone on 1800 497 132.
If you are not sure whether your concern is something you can make a complaint about, you can contact the Commission team to discuss it further. They can also help you to lodge your complaint if you would like assistance. To contact the Commission team, phone 1800 497 132.
Service providers and disability workers must report to the Victorian Disability Worker Commission if they have a reasonable belief that a disability worker is engaging in serious misconduct.
Voluntary registration of disability workers:
Registered disability workers need to meet independent standards for safety, skills and professionalism.
Disability worker registration is individual to the worker. Whether they work for an organisation, are a sole trader or are privately employed, any Victorian disability worker can apply for registration. Registered Victorian disability workers are independently assessed as safe, skilled, and competent by the Disability Worker Registration Board of Victoria.
It is free for disability workers to register in the first year and service recipients do not pay for the worker to be registered.
Disability workers can apply to register online. Support is available from Service Victoria to assist disability workers to apply.
More information about the benefits of registration and the registration process can be found here.
The register of disability workers:
Registered disability workers will be listed on the searchable public register of Victorian registered disability workers, available from 1 October 2021 at: www.vdwc.vic.gov.au.
The register will display information including:
- The disability worker’s gender
- The date the worker registered and when registration expires
- Whether they are a registered disability support worker or disability practitioner
- Details of relevant qualifications
- Any languages other than English spoken
The register will also show any suspensions or cancellations of registration, conditions or disciplinary history.
The Code of Conduct:
All Victorian disability workers must abide by the Code of Conduct, regardless of whether they are registered or unregistered and no matter how their service is funded. Whether the worker is registered under the NDIS or not, they must abide by the same code.
The Victorian Disability Worker Commissioner has the power to ban unregistered disability workers from the sector for breaches to the Code of Conduct.
More information about the Scheme and the Victorian Disability Worker Commission can be found at www.vdwc.vic.gov.au.