New disability worker registration a safe choice
VICTORIA’S disability workforce will be stronger and safer under a new Victorian Government disability worker registration scheme, giving regional Victorians with disability greater choice and better protections.
The first scheme of its kind in Australia, voluntary disability worker registration will open on 1 July to allow workers to be independently assessed by the Disability Worker Registration Board of Victoria.
Across the disability sector, different onboarding checks, standards and screenings in place for disability workers may vary in consistency or may not exist in some cases.
Registration fills a critical gap by ensuring registered disability workers meet rigorous standards and are assessed for safety, skills and professionalism, no matter how they are employed or how the services they deliver are funded.
By becoming registered, disability workers can demonstrate their commitment to upholding the safety and quality of the workforce for people with disability.
By registering from 1 July, disability workers will not be charged a fee in the first year and can have their experience recognised without needing a qualification.
People with disability and their carers will be able to easily check if a disability worker is registered through a public list on the Victorian Disability Worker Commission website.
Disability worker registration is a key part of the Disability Worker Regulation Scheme – a new set of regulations to strengthen protections for Victorians with disability and ensure the quality of the disability workforce.
The new safeguards were established in response to recommendations of the Victorian Parliament’s 2016 Inquiry into abuse in disability services which evidenced alarming abuse and neglect of Victorians with disability, including in regional areas.
The launch of worker registration also shadows the current Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, which has heard cases of the disturbing mistreatment of regional Victorians with disability.
Melanie Eagle, chair of the Disability Worker Registration Board of Victoria, which regulates registered workers and sets their standards, said everyone living with disability deserves a safe choice.
“For someone living with disability, knowing their worker is registered provides confidence they have the right skills to deliver high quality services,” Ms Eagle said.
“Registration supports increased professionalisation in disability work and for people seeking services to find workers they know have been independently assessed as safe, skilled and professional.”
Victorian Disability Worker Commissioner Dan Stubbs said, “I’m really pleased to be part of implementing a registration program that recognises the excellent, high-quality work so many disability workers do in Victoria.”
For more information visit vdwc.vic.gov.au/registration.