Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme

The Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme (the scheme) is a Victorian Government initiative designed to further protect the safety and wellbeing of Victorians with disability who access disability services.

The scheme requires all disability service providers registered under the Disability Act and registered NDIS providers to conduct a Disability Worker Exclusion List pre-employment check prior to making an offer of employment or engagement to a potential worker.

This safeguard strengthens existing pre-employment screening processes to better protect people with disability who access disability services.

How does the scheme apply to disability service providers?

The scheme operates in accordance with the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme (DWES) Instruction, October 2019 (see ‘Related resources’). The DWES Instruction outlines the authority for the scheme and describes the obligations of disability service providers in relation to pre-employment screening and notifications.

How does the scheme apply to registered NDIS providers?

The scheme operates in accordance with the Safety Screening Policy for registered NDIS providers operating in Victoria, October 2019. The Safety Screening Policy outlines the authority of the scheme as it applies to registered NDIS providers and the obligations of registered NDIS providers in relation to pre-employment screening and notification requirements.

For more information on the Safety Screening Policy, see NDIS worker screening on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards page of the Vic.gov.au website.

How does the scheme apply to providers that are both registered disability service providers and registered NDIS providers?

In relation to the pre-employment requirements, dual registered providers should comply with the Safety Screening Policy for registered NDIS providers operating in Victoria.

In relation to the scheme’s notification requirements, please refer to the document Reporting requirements for worker screening and incident reporting for dual registered providers (see ‘Related resources’).

The DWES Portal

Access to the DWES portal is limited to authorised persons nominated by each service provider. All existing authorised persons will continue to be authorised from 1 July 2019, unless a disability service provider or authorised labour hire agency advises the DWES Unit that an authorised person should be removed.

To appoint a new authorised person, please complete the Authorised Person Nomination form (see ‘Related resources’) and email it to the DWES Unit 

Access the DWES Portal 

The DWES portal allows organisations to:

  • Log in and lodge checks and notifications
  • View results
  • Track the status of matters

Instructions for using the DWES Portal are available in the user guide for service providers (see ‘Related resources’).

  • Information for workers

    Who does the scheme apply to?

    Workers engaged by registered disability services providers

    The scheme applies to all disability workers engaged by a disability service provider in the following ways:

    • Full-time, part-time or casual employees
    • Contractors
    • Persons engaged through labour hire agencies
    • Students on placements
    • Volunteers.

    Under the scheme, a Disability Worker means a person engaged by a disability provider who:

    • Provides, or supervises or manages a person who provides direct support to a person with a disability; and
    • Has direct contact or access to a person with a disability.

    For more information on the DWES, see the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme information sheet for disability workers (word).

    Workers engaged by registered NDIS providers

    The scheme applies to workers who are in risk assessed roles. That is, workers in a:

    1. Role for which the normal duties include the direct delivery of specified supports or specified services to persons with disability or
    2. Role for which the normal duties are likely to require more than incidental contact with people with disability or
    3. Key personnel role of a person or an entity. 

    Note: 1 and 2 may include supervisors or managers of workers.

    Note: The term worker also includes sole traders.

    For an explanation of terms, see the Safety Screening Policy for registered NDIS providers operating in Victoria on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards page of the Vic.gov.au website.

    For more information on the scheme and NDIS worker screening, see the NDIS worker screening factsheet for workers on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards page of the Vic.gov.au website.

    What is the Disability Worker Exclusion List?

    The Disability Worker Exclusion List is a list of people who have been assessed by the department as being unsuitable to be engaged:

    • As a Disability Worker or in work that involves regular direct contact with, or access to, a person with a disability
    • By a registered NDIS provider as a worker in a risk assessed role.

    Can you review a decision?

    A person can apply for a review of a decision to place them on the list by completing a Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme worker review form (word).

  • Information for service providers

    Who does the scheme apply to?

    Registered Disability Service providers

    The Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme applies to all disability services. Disability services are services provided by a disability service provider specifically for the support of people with a disability.

    Disability service provider is defined as:

    1. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (department); or
    2. A person or body registered on the register of disability service providers.

    The obligations and requirements of disability service providers registered under the Disability Act are contained in the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme Instruction – October 2019.

    For more information on the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme, see the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme information sheet for disability service providers (word).

    Registered NDIS providers

    Providers registered under section 73E of the NDIS Act that provide specified services and supports are obliged to comply with the scheme as outlined in the Safety Screening Policy for registered NDIS providers operating in Victoria (see ‘Related resources’).

    A list of specified services and supports can be found at the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission website.

    For more information about how interim arrangements for NDIS worker screening, see the NDIS worker screening factsheet for providers and FAQs on NDIS worker screening for providers on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards page of the Vic.gov.au website.

     

    What is the Disability Worker Exclusion List?

    People applying for jobs with disability service providers and registered NDIS providers should be informed that they will be checked against the Disability Worker Exclusion List before they can be engaged as a Disability Worker in a disability service or in a risk assessed role with a registered NDIS provider.

    People who are found to be unsuitable are placed on the Disability Worker Exclusion List and are not allowed to be engaged by a:

    • Disability service provider as a Disability Worker, or in work that involves regular direct contact with, or access to, a person with a disability
    • Registered NDIS provider in a risk assessed role.

    Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme consent and acknowledgement form

    A Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme consent and acknowledgement form must be provided by the service provider to the prospective worker. This must be completed and signed by the prospective worker prior to a check of the Disability Worker Exclusion List being conducted.

    Labour hire staff

    Disability service providers are required to comply with the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme Instruction and registered NDIS providers are required to comply with the Safety Screening Policy for registered NDIS providers operating in Victoria, when engaging staff through a labour hire agency.

    The organisations listed below have entered into an agreement with the department to comply with the requirements of the scheme. That is, authorised labour hire agencies have agreed that all of their workers have undertaken DWES checks and other safety requirements, including NDIS worker screening requirements.

    It is important to note the status of a labour hire agency as an ‘authorised‘ labour hire agency is not indicative of whether the agency is a registered service provider or compliant with the Human Services Standards or other department or NDIS Commission policies. It merely indicates that these organisations have entered into an agreement with the department to comply with the requirements of the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme and NDIS worker screening policy.

    • Ablecare Staffing
    • Anzuk Education
    • Austra Health
    • Belmore Nurses
    • Care Choice
    • Crossgain Care and Recruitment
    • Drake Medox
    • Edmen Community Staffing Solutions
    • Firstcall Health
    • H1 Healthcare
    • Healthcare Australia (HCA)
    • HenderCare
    • Integrated Support Personnel
    • Interchange Outer East
    • Kemp Recruitment
    • KLC Recruitment
    • McArthur Pty Ltd
    • Omega Support Group
    • ONCALL Personnel and Management Services
    • Programmed Health Professionals
    • Sendayo Pty Ltd
    • St Mary’s Health Services
    • Transitions Community Care Solutions
    • Tradewind
    • Victorian Nurse Specialists (VNS Nursing Agency).

    What happens if a non-authorised labour hire agency is used?

    The department does not endorse the use of ‘authorised’ labour hire agencies over other labour hire agencies. If a ‘non-authorised’ labour hire agency is used, service providers must conduct their own checks against the Disability Worker Exclusion List before engaging a worker from that agency.

    Further resources

    The following documents are provided to assist you with meeting the requirements of the scheme:

Contacts
Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme Unit
03 9096 3203
dwesu@dhhs.vic.gov.au

For all enquiries relating to the scheme, checks and notifications.

DWES Portal
03 9096 3200
DWESsalesforcesupport@dhhs.vic.gov.au

For all enquiries relating to the DWES Portal, access, troubleshooting.