The NDIS Practice Standards Staff Training Essentials

Uncategorized Jun 13, 2024

The NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators set clear expectations for how providers can demonstrate high-quality and safe supports and services. The Core Module, apart of the Quality indicators, which is applicable to all providers emphasises staff training as an essential part of high quality support. 

In this blog, we will dive into eight key indicators as outlined in the Core Module, helping you ensure your team is getting the right training. 


Safe Environment
The standards emphasise the need for a risk-averse environment where safety protocols are transparent, and staff are competent and qualified. To create a safe environment for all participants and prevent the spread of infections; each worker must be trained in infection prevention and control standard precautions including hand hygiene practices, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette. This includes regular updates on best practice and annual refresher courses.

Additionally, each worker must be trained to respond to medical emergencies and those outlined in the participant’s support plan, as well as how to distinguish between urgent and non-urgent health situations.


Feedback and Complaints
Participants have the right to have their feedback and complaints acknowledged, addressed, and resolved in a fair, respectful, and timely manner.

All workers must receive appropriate training about the company’s complaints procedure, their role in the matter, and how to support participants and carers in making complaints during onboarding, periodic staff training and through the staff newsletter.

The provider should also promote awareness among employees about the importance of complaints management and maintaining a culture that encourages open communication, feedback, and continuous improvement.


Incident Management
An incident in the NDIS context refers to any event during service delivery that results in or has the potential to cause harm to a participant. Support workers are often the first person to identify that an incident has occurred and thus play a key role in incident management.

Workers must be trained recognise and respond to various incidents, such as medical emergencies and accidents. Training should cover different scenarios like handling a fall or recognising signs of neglect. Staff must follow established procedures for reporting and documenting incidents, which involves detailed records to understand and address the causes.


Emergency and Disaster Management
An emergency or a disaster is an unexpected, and usually dangerous situation that poses a risk to health, life, property, or environment.

Staff must be trained to handle a variety of emergencies, including natural disasters like floods and bushfires, medical emergencies, power outages, and pandemics. Additionally, workers should receive specialised training tailored to the specific needs of participants, such as individualised emergency plans for those with conditions like epilepsy in consideration of the participant’s mobility, physical and mental condition.

Providers should also designate frontline personnel and conduct training in emergency response procedures, including evacuation protocols, first aid, CPR, and the use of emergency equipment. Conduct regular drills simulating natural disasters or medical emergencies to reinforce this training, ensuring staff are prepared to act swiftly and effectively.


Responsive Support Provision
Responsive Support Provision can be defined as an organisation's dedication to offering NDIS participants with support that is responsive, timely, competent, and fitting, thereby enabling the realisation of their unique needs, aspirations, and objectives.

Where a participant has specific needs that require monitoring and/or daily support, workers must be trained in and understand the participant’s needs and preferences, ensuring that they deliver personalised and skilled support.

For example; if a participant is particularly at risk of falls and related injuries, then their support worker should undergo specific training like fall prevention techniques so they are able to prevent falls from happening, identify and address potential fall hazards, near misses, and the strategies to help someone who has fallen.


Manual Handling
Manual handling is any activity where you lower, push, pull, hold, or restrain an item. This includes physically supporting a person with disability.

Due to the repetitive nature of these tasks, manual handling incidents are one of the most common causes of injury to support workers. Although not directly mentioned in the NDIS Practice Standards, manual handling training is applicable to all staff. According to WorkSafe Victoria, manual handling training must be given to new employees or contractors as part of their induction. This includes anyone who supervises or manages manual handling tasks.

At a minimum, workers should know the basics of manual handling techniques and how to reduce their risk of injury when moving people or objects. However some participants will have more complex mobility needs or require certain equipment; in such cases additional training may be required.

For instance; A participants uses hoists and needs assistance from workers to complete transfers safely. The provider should ensure that workers supporting this participant are trained in how to implement their manual handling plan, trained in the environment they will work in using the same model of hoist they will operate. Workers should also receive regular refresher training as per recommendations from a qualified health professional, supervision, and have their attendance recorded. They should also be familiar with when to act and report issues associated with equipment to prevent injury.


Management of Medication
Medications are substances that are taken into or applied on to the body for the purpose of relieving symptoms, treating illness or disease. Proper medication management is vital for participants' health and safety.

Staff assisting with medications must complete thorough training on medication administration, storage, handling, and the potential risks associated with medications. They must also pass competency assessments conducted by qualified personnel before administering medications, ensuring that staff understand the importance of correct dosage, timing, documenting, and methods of administration.


Mealtime Management
Proper mealtime management means ensuring participants receive safe, hygienic, and enjoyable meals that meet their dietary needs and preferences.

Workers responsible for mealtime management must be trained in food safety standards, which include safe food preparation, cooking, and storage practices. Training on cross contamination prevention and food safety ensures that meals are free from contaminants and prepared in a way that minimises the risk of food-borne illnesses.

As discussed in safe environments, proper hygiene practices, such as hand-washing, the use of gloves, and the maintenance of clean workspaces, are also critical in preventing contamination.

Additionally, staff must be trained to recognise and mitigate risks related to mealtime difficulties for the participant they are assisting, for example choking hazards or allergic reactions.


Management of Waste
Waste is anything that is no longer needed or required. In the context of disability support, it can be anything from un-used or expired medications, swabs, masks or needles.

Proper waste management involves collecting, processing, recycling, and disposing of waste to minimise environmental and health impacts. It includes practices like sorting, recycling, and proper disposal to reduce pollution and conserve resources.

Each worker involved in the management of such waste must be adequately trained in the safe handling, processing, and disposal of various types of waste, including general, medical, and hazardous waste. This training should cover the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), proper segregation of waste, use of colour-coded bins, and safe disposal methods.


By adhering to these training standards as specified in the NDIS Practice Standards, providers ensure that their staff are well-equipped to meet the needs of participants effectively and safely. Continuous education, regular updates, and practical training are crucial in maintaining high standards of care and ensuring that participants receive the best possible support.



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