Reforming Queensland’s authorisation framework for the use of restrictive practices in NDIS and disability service settings

Consultation Open

  • New roles and responsibilities under the NDIS

    On 1 July 2019, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) commenced full scheme operation in Queensland. The NDIS represents a fundamental change to how supports for people with disability are funded and delivered across Australia.

    Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (the NDIS Act), the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (the NDIS Commission) has a behaviour support function to provide leadership in behaviour support and in the reduction and elimination of the use of restrictive practices by NDIS providers. This includes overseeing the use of behaviour support and restrictive practices, and assisting states and territories to develop a regulatory framework, including in relation to nationally consistent minimum standards for restrictive practices.

    In recognition of the high level of safeguards achieved by the Queensland authorisation framework, minimal changes were made to that framework as part of Queensland’s transition to full scheme NDIS from 1 July 2019. The main change was that while Queensland remained responsible for the authorisation of restrictive practices in relation to NDIS participants, the NDIS Commission became responsible for all other aspects of the regulatory framework. Existing safeguards were maintained for specialist disability services provided outside the NDIS.

    Queensland's existing authorisation framework

    The level of approval required in Queenslands existing authorisation framwork varies dependent on circumstanses. The dot points below outline the level of approval required for each restrictive practice type dependent on whether they are short term, general, or related to respite or community access:

    Short term approval

    • Containment or seclusion - Public Guardian
    • Chemical, mechanical or physical restraint and restricted access to objects - Chief executive of Disability Services

    General approval

    • Containment or seclusion - Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)
    • Chemical, mechanical or physical restraint - Guardian for restrictive practice (general) matter appointed by QCAT such as a family member, friend or adult guardian
    • Restricted access to objects - Guardian for restrictive practice (general) matter appointed by QCAT or, if there is no guardian appointed by QCAT, an informal decision-maker for the adult (such as a family member or friend, but not a paid carer for the adult within the meaning of the GAA)

    Respite/community access services (where either or both are the only disability services accessed by the adult)

    • Containment or seclusion - Guardian for restrictive practice (respite) matter appointed by QCAT
    • Chemical restraint (generally) - Guardian for restrictive practice (respite) matter appointed by QCAT
    • Fixed (daily) dose chemical restraint in respite services only - Guardian for restrictive practice (general) matter appointed by QCAT or, if there is no guardian appointed by QCAT, an informal decision-maker for the adult
    • Physical or mechanical restraint - Guardian for restrictive practice (respite) matter appointed by QCAT or, if there is no guardian appointed by QCAT, an informal decision-maker for the adult
    • Restricted access to objects - Guardian for restrictive practice (respite) matter appointed by QCAT or, if there is no guardian appointed by QCAT, an informal decision-maker for the adult

    Key elements of Disability Services' role in Queensland's existing authorisation framework

    Scope - Queensland’s authorisation framework only applies to adults with an intellectual or cognitive disability.

    In Queensland, restrictive practices are defined and include:

    • containment and seclusion
    • chemical, mechanical and physical restraint
    • restricted access to objects.

    The locking of gates, doors and windows in response to an adult with a skills deficit is not considered a restrictive practice under Queensland legislation.

    In Queensland, the chief executive of Disability Services is responsible for:

    • providing short term approvals for the use of physical, mechanical or chemical restraint, and restricted access to objects
    • deciding whether multidisciplinary assessments for the use of containment or seclusion will be conducted
    • developing and changing positive behaviour support plans that include the use of containment or seclusion.


 

 

 

 

Cultural Acknowledgement

We pay our respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestors of this land, their spirits and their legacy. The foundations laid by these ancestors - our First Nations peoples - gives strength, inspiration and courage to current and future generations towards creating a better Queensland.

We walk together on our shared journey of reconciliation where all Queenslanders will be equal and the diversity of Aboriginal cultures and Torres Strait Islander cultures and communities across Queensland are fully recognised, respected and valued by all.