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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Update on new worker screening register and code of conduct reforms

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In response to the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, the Federal Government has announced its intention to implement a nationally consistent pre-employment screening process and a code of conduct across the aged care, veterans’ care and disability support sectors.

Changes to the Aged Care Act 1997 and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 will be made to enable these reforms.

Worker screening register

The Government’s plan includes the establishment of a single register of workers in disability support, aged care and veterans’ care services across Australia, who have been either cleared or excluded during a nationally-consistent pre-employment screening process.

This register, which will be accessible to providers, will support employment decisions across the care and support sector by enabling confirmation that individuals hold the necessary clearance to work in the relevant sector.

Code of conduct

It is also intended that a new code will be developed for aged care, disability support and veterans’ care workers and providers, based on the existing National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Code of Conduct.

Breaches of the new code may result in a worker being prevented from being engaged in any part of the care and support sector.

The Commission will be responsible for enforcing this code for aged care workers and providers, while the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission will continue its current enforcement role for NDIS workers and providers.

Stakeholder engagement and consultation on this initiative is expected to commence shortly and is likely to include publication of a consultation paper, online survey and targeted virtual forums providing an opportunity for input from a diverse range of interested parties from the aged care, veterans’ care and disability support sectors.

Further information about this will be provided shortly by the Department of Health.

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