- NDIS Practice Standard 2: Provider Governance andOperational Management
- 1.0 Purpose
- 2.0 Scope
- 3.0 Policy
- 4.0 Procedure
- 4.1 Process for filling a vacant position
- 4.2 Procedure for a new employee
- 4.3 New Staff Supervision
- 4.4 Position descriptions
- 4.5 Code of Conduct and Privacy and Confidentiality Agreement
- 4.6 Staff information
- 4.7 Staff uniform
- 4.8 Record keeping
- 4.9 Staff supervision and support
- 4.10 Performance development reviews
- 4.12 Staff development opportunities
- 4.13 Staff performance dispute procedure
- 4.14 Staff grievance procedure
- 4.15 Leave
- 4.16 Workers compensation
- 4.17 Employee exit procedure
- iSeekSupport Policy and Procedure - Published 09.02.2022
NDIS Practice Standard 2: Provider Governance and
Operational Management #
1.0 Purpose #
iSeekSupport’s policy objective is to safely and effectively manage our staff. Our goal is to create a structured, fair, safe and supportive environment that supports our staff to meet organisational requirements and facilitate high levels of participant service and satisfaction.
2.0 Scope #
Human resources are used to describe both the people who work for our organisation and the management of resources related to our staff members. This policy is designed to incorporate many aspects of human resources and to comply with the Fair Work Act 2009 and NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission requirements.
3.0 Policy #
3.1 Human resource management principles #
Our human resource management principles are as follows:
- Recruit and employ staff with appropriate qualifications, skills and competence
- Employ staff who hold the NDIS Worker Screening Check, NDIS Worker Orientation Program, and other state requirements before commencing work
- Maintain adequate levels of staff members to ensure quality support that meets the assessed needs of participants and organisational requirements
- Support workers to understand capability expectations at different levels,
- Provide constructive feedback, and create informal and formal opportunities for them to develop their capabilities and build a career
- Improve staff skills and competency levels through ongoing supervision and support combined with the implementation of comprehensive training programs and annual performance reviews
- Ensure staff hold current legislated work checks, professional registrations, licences, insurances and any other employment requirements (as needed).
- Performance manage poor staff performance or allegations of misconduct
- Continually review and improve human resource management procedures
- Access expert external advice and information on human resource management when required.
- Comply with relevant legislation and be comparable with industry standards and working conditions
- Create annual performance reviews and develop training plans, including the annual training in reporting disclosures or risk of harm
- Set clear expectations of what best practice looks like, provide access to support and coaching, and develop worker awareness and capabilities to deliver quality supports and services
- Inform staff that they may be selected to undertake an interview as part of our NDIS audit compliance, seek consent for any NDIS interview
- iSeekSupport will apply the following principles to all aspects of our relationship with our employees:
- Equity and fairness
- Respect for individuals, their privacy and confidentiality
- Accountability for actions and performance
- Encourage and support professional development
- Workplace flexibility and understanding of personal needs.
3.2 Corporate governance management #
A review of all persons who influence our governance is instigated. All these key personnel will be assessed using the Suitability Assessment Process Guide – Information for NDIS Providers and their ‘key personnel’ July 2018 to ensure that they meet the required NDIS standards.
All key personnel knowledge and skills will be:
- Analysed to confirm they hold the relevant experience and knowledge to undertake their role
- Analysed against suitability assessment process
- Undertake a gap analysis if there are areas of knowledge and skills that require additional training and education
- Arrange for the relevant education or training necessary
- Record analysis and training provided.
3.3 Staff recruitment #
Individuals are appointed based on their ability to meet criteria consistent with their role and position description. We employ staff who offer a range of skills and experience to manage our organisation effectively, and our services meet the needs of all participants. Roles are outlined in the organisational structure within iSeekSupport’s Corporate Governance Policy and Procedure.
To ensure that we select the correct person, we have clear position descriptions that identify the skills and experience required to fill the position. We will review the NDIS Workforce Capability Framework to ensure that staff employed understand their role and work with participants.
According to our Equal Employment Opportunity Policy (see below – 3.4. Equal Employment Opportunity Policy). All permanent vacancies are advertised externally and internally. Only those who successfully pass the NDIS Worker Screening Check and NDIS Worker Orientation Program will be employed by ISeekSupport and our managers are responsible for the recruitment and administration of all employees.
3.4 Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy #
iSeekSupport commits to:
- Providing equal employment opportunity to all prospective and current employees
- Promoting a fair and equitable work environment
- Complying with all relevant anti-discrimination legislation
- Creating and maintaining an environment in which diversity is valued, human dignity is respected, and people are treated with equity and tolerance
- Ensuring staff and visitors are free from any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation.
Our organisation chooses the best person for the job, regardless of:
- Nationality or ethnic origin
- Disability (physical, intellectual or psychological)
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status
- Family status and responsibility (including pregnancy)
- Religious or political beliefs
- Activities or practices.
3.5 Code of Conduct #
All employees who are engaged by iSeekSupport must abide by both the NDIS Code of Conduct and iSeekSupport’s Code of Conduct.
3.5.1 NDIS Code of Conduct #
- Act with respect for individual rights to freedom of expression, self-determination and decision-making, following applicable laws and conventions.
- Respect the privacy of people with disabilities.
- Provide supports and services safely and competently and with care and skill.
- Act with integrity, honesty and transparency.
- Promptly take steps to raise and act on matters that may impact the quality and safety of supports and services provided to people with disabilities.
- Take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to all forms of violence, exploitation, neglect and abuse against people with disabilities.
- Take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct against people with disabilities.
3.5.2 ISeekSupport Code of Conduct #
- Abide by the philosophy of our organisation.
- Observe all the rules of our organisation.
- Provide supports to participants in a safe, ethical manner with care and skill.
- Work safely and competently, following the policies and procedures of our organisation.
- Respect the dignity, culture, values and beliefs of all individuals.
- Do not discriminate against participants on any basis.
- Respond in flexible and innovative ways to support participant decision-making.
- Do not discuss confidential issues with people outside the organisation; regard all information provided by a participant as confidential, and never disclose personal information to a participant.
- Do not harass other staff members of our organisation.
- Do not alienate participants from their families or representatives.
- Do not smoke whilst at work.
- Do not take illegal drugs or consume alcohol when on duty or the organisation or participant’s premises.
- Never accept gifts or purchase items from participants.
- Do not engage in sexual misconduct with participants.
- Staff are never to take a participant to their (staff member’s) home or engage in a relationship with a participant outside of a professional association.
- Always positively represent our organisation.
- Always wear clean and appropriate work clothes, or uniform, while at work.
- Adhere to all our record keeping and accounting procedures.
- Provide quality services.
3.6 Emergency and Disaster Planning #
Staff with relevant skills and capabilities to assist in responding to an emergency or disaster are identified. These capabilities may include the capability to:
- Assist with contingency planning:
- Collaborating with relevant management or staff about crisis management
- Participant emergency plan review and adjustments
- Adjusting any contingency plan to suit changing circumstances
- Train and supervise staff in infection prevention measures:
- Use and disposal of personal protective equipment
- Cleaning environment to remove infectious agents
- Hygiene practices
- Work with management in controlling staff infection practices
- Reviewing and adjusting controls to manage the current situation
iSeekSupport governance includes forward planning and emergency and disaster management. To ensure that we can supply services during an emergency or disaster, management staff are required to:
- Identify the emergency or disaster (e.g. flood, epidemic)
- Review the needs of current participants
- Use this data to determine staffing numbers, qualifications and experience required
- Identify any gaps in service provision due to lack of numbers
- Start a recruitment process to source staff (see 4.1 Process for filling a vacant position)
- Ensure that recruiting staff are supported and assist in the onboarding and induction process to allow staff to be ready quickly.
4.0 Procedure #
4.1 Process for filling a vacant position #
4.1.1 Review the position #
- Clarify the role and the need for the position.
- Develop or review the position description.
- Review position against requirements for the relevant registration group.
- Develop essential and desirable selection criteria, as per the position description.
- Determine how each of the selection criteria is assessed (e.g. written application and interview).
4.1.2 Advertise the position #
Positions are advertised internally and externally.
4.1.3 Interview applicants #
- The CEO or their managers will conduct the interviews and uses the appropriate interview form.
- All applicants will be asked the same questions. The questions will explore the applicant’s relevant skills and experience to perform the required duties.
- When interviews are completed, the preferred applicant will be selected.
- Recruitment decisions and reasons for decisions made are documented.
- Pre-employment/reference checks take place.
- The successful applicant will be notified, and feedback provided to unsuccessful applicants.
- An offer of employment will be made to the successful applicant, conditional on pre-employment checks:
- Reference checks (if the position is a risk assessed role)
- Mandatory worker screening (i.e. worker screening and working with children check as per state requirements)
- Registration check (as applicable to the role)
- Insurances (as applicable to the role)
- Licences (as applicable to the role)
- NDIS Worker Orientation Program Certificate
- Once appropriate checks are completed and satisfactory, an offer of employment will be sent to the applicant for signing before commencing employment.
4.2 Procedure for a new employee #
1. The CEO or their managers will complete an orientation procedure with all new employees that include:
- Codes of Practice
- NDIS Rules and Practice Standards (such as NDIS principles – human rights, celebrating diversity and respecting the voice of those with lived experience)
- Risk management strategies and procedures – all areas, i.e. environment, work role, working with participants of different age ranges
- Incident management procedures
- Complaint management procedures
- Infection prevention and control training
- Workplace task procedures
- Documentation procedures
- Participant’s rights, including United Nations Rights
- Reporting violence, abuse, neglect, discrimination and exploitation
- Professional development
- A Staff Orientation Checklist will be completed by the new employee and signed off by the CEO.
- All forms and documents signed by the employee are filed in a personnel file with copies provided to the employee, as appropriate.
4.3 New Staff Supervision #
- New staff members are inducted into their roles and supervised appropriately.
- New senior staff members are monitored by the CEO.
- New staff all allocated a supervisor who will support and train them in our practices.
- The orientation process will vary according to the experience of the new staff member but is usually for a minimum of two (2) shifts.
- Supervisors must discuss the progress, knowledge and skills of the new staff member with the CEO to confirm that they are ready to work unsupported.
4.4 Position descriptions #
- All employees are provided with a position description that specifies their roles and responsibilities.
- Position descriptions are reviewed and updated regularly.
- Every employee is provided with a copy of their position description before commencing employment and if their position description is changed.
- Position descriptions are used as part of performance management and will be reviewed and adjusted due to changes in work practices, as required
- Position descriptions for staff working directly with participants refer to the NDIS Workforce Capability Framework
- Position descriptions are used as part of the Risk Assessed Role determination.
4.5 Code of Conduct and Privacy and Confidentiality Agreement #
All staff must comply with the Code of Conduct, which encapsulates the respectful, safe, and professional delivery of support to our participants, representatives, community, and other stakeholders.
Employees must sign a Code of Conduct Agreement and a Privacy and Confidentiality Agreement on employment commencement. Disciplinary action will be taken if employees do not abide by these agreements.
4.6 Staff information #
iSeekSupport’s policies and procedures contain critical information that all staff must know to complete their roles safely and effectively. Staff are informed on how we will use their information as per Information Management Policy and Procedure.
New employees are provided the time to read all policies and procedures and are reminded during staff meetings and through communication with the CEO or their managers to do so. A Staff Handbook is provided to all new employees to be used as a reference guide only.
4.7 Staff uniform #
All staff representing iSeekSupport are required to wear our uniform or other provided form of identification (e.g. name tags), so participants easily identify them as belonging to our organisation. Staff uniforms must be clean and neat before commencing work.
4.8 Record keeping #
An employee personnel file is maintained and may include:
- Employment application
- Criminal record check
- Working with children check
- Worker screening record
- Professional registrations
- A signed offer of employment
- Photocopy of driver’s licence, car registration and insurance (wherever applicable)
- Signed Code of Conduct Agreement
- Signed Privacy and Confidentiality Agreement
- Training offered
- Training provided
- Mandatory training attendance record
- Evaluation of training events
- Annual refresher training (Child Protection), as required
- Mandatory NDIS worker screening check
- Mandatory NDIS Worker Orientation Certificate
- COVID 19 Infection control training
- Annual infection control training.
All employees are entitled to view their file at any suitable time; this can be arranged directly with the CEO or the HR manager.
iSeekSupport must never employ a person as a staff member unless satisfied that all regulatory checks are current and in place.
The following details must be kept current for each worker:
- Contact details
- Details of any secondary employment (if any)
4.9 Staff supervision and support #
Supervision and support are essential to making our employees feel supported in their work and ensuring they perform satisfactorily. iSeekSupport will supervise work performance issues at our office/s, in participants’ homes and within the community. Participants will be contacted to determine if the worker is fulfilling their role professionally and safely. Additionally, supervision sessions provide an opportunity to follow up on development issues noted in an employee’s development and performance reviews.
Upon employment, all employees are provided with iSeekSupport’s contact details. The CEO or the HR manager is available to be contacted over the phone by the employee. Alternatively, the CEO or their HR manager is available to meet with an employee if they require time to discuss any issues or concerns.
Employee supervision relates to monitoring employee work practices against the expectations, needs, and support services identified in the Service Agreement and our policies and procedures. The supervision requirements are determined by the employee’s role and their current work knowledge and skills. The observation timeframe can vary from fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annually per our Staff Supervision Roster.
iSeekSupport will use a variety of data gathering methods, including but not limited to:
- Observing using a Staff Observation Checklist:
- Contacting and gaining feedback from participant
- Speaking with our supervisors
- Speaking with relevant providers who work with our participants
- Undertaking performance reviews
A staff member’s annual competency assessment, education and training, and performance appraisal provide other avenues for our organisation to provide staff support and supervision. All staff can attend meetings and care conferences to ensure they are aware of participant support changes and to take the opportunity to provide input and feedback
4.9.1 Stress in the workplace #
Work-related stress can lead to illness, injury and decreases in performance. Stress can come from many sources, both work and non-work. iSeekSupport has a legal obligation to minimise workers’ exposure to work-related factors that can increase the risk of stress. This obligation is the same for self-employed people and contractors.
We aim to eliminate or minimise staff members’ risk of harm from potential stress at work. Our strategies include:
- Informing staff that if feeling stressed to inform their supervisor
- Allocating a staff member to support the person
- Monitoring staff for stress
- Training any supervisor or management personnel in how to handle a person who seeks assistance and how to refer the stressed staff member to the delegate support person
- Actively listening to the person and devising a plan of action to eliminate or minimise their stress
- Determine if the stress is a result of work or home:
- If work-related, then formulate a plan of action to eliminate or minimise their stress
- If home-related, consult with the person to identify if there are any ways to support the individual
4.10 Performance development reviews #
- iSeekSupport is committed to supporting staff to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. All staff members are expected to perform their duties to the best of their ability and show a high level of personal commitment to always providing quality and professional service.
- Performance development reviews are conducted annually in consultation with individual staff members.
- Performance development reviews are based on the position description and an agreed work plan.
The aims of the review are to:
- Conduct an honest and confidential discussion regarding work performance and the workplace between the staff member and the CEO or their managers
- Discuss job performance in the context of a position description
- Discuss work problems and develop appropriate solutions
- Discuss possible ways of improving work performance, including identifying training and development needs or changes to work practice.
Diagram 1. Staff recruitment and management process
iSeekSupport will set and meet high-quality service standards that promote life-long learning and development and supports career development for workers in disability and the wider care sector.
iSeekSupport provides appropriate training and development opportunities for all staff; this includes:
- Establishing what high-quality standards looks like for the staff member
- Promoting learning opportunities relevant to the position
- Establishing processes to measure and adjust services
- Training staff in outcome from continuous improvement
- Updating staff skills due to the changing nature of their work
- Providing staff clear practice guidelines on what is required
- Using our performance reviews to determine additional training requirements
- Identifying training needs through annual performance development reviews and ongoing staff and management input
- Providing appropriate training to meet identified needs
- Providing mandatory training as per state requirements (e.g. Child Protection)
- Providing training opportunities for all staff
- Providing refresher infection prevention and control training for staff working directly with participants, at least annually or more frequently as required
- Evaluating training to ensure it meets the needs of the staff member and assists to improve our operations and services
- Completing a training needs analysis
- Devising appropriate training plans to meet staff performance requirements.
4.12 Staff development opportunities #
iSeekSupport creates staff development opportunities, as follows:
- Staff attendance (for up to three (3) days per year) at workshops, seminars and conferences.
- Flexible working hours, so staff can participate in accredited study courses at recognised educational institutions.
- Provision of learning resources for staff education, e.g. videos, research literature.
- Training needs are discussed with each staff member upon recruitment during annual performance reviews and supervision sessions.
4.13 Staff performance dispute procedure #
Outlined below is the procedure used to deal with a staff performance dispute not involving misconduct. Misconduct is an action by a staff member that results in instant dismissal.
4.13.1 Verbal warning #
The staff member is told, as soon as possible, of any complaint concerning their work performance and is provided with an opportunity to discuss the complaint.
The CEO or the HR manager, in consultation with the employee, will outline how the employee must improve their performance. Any assistance needed by the employee to improve their performance is identified and provided wherever possible.
A date to review the employee’s performance will be set, considering adequate time to resolve the issue and reduce risk to the organisation.
4.13.2 First written warning #
If the employee’s performance is still unsatisfactory at the second review, further discussion will occur. This review will include the employee, a representative of their choice (optional), the CEO or the HR manager.
The complaint against the employee and plans for improvement will be put in writing and will clearly state that a lack of development by a given date will result in a final written warning being issued. A copy of the first written warning will be provided to the employee.
4.13.3 Final written warning #
Further discussion will be conducted if the employee’s performance has not improved at the given date set. This review will include the employee, a representative of their choice, the CEO and the HR manager.
The complaint against the employee and plans for improvement are recorded in writing, clearly stating that a lack of growth by a given date will result in termination of employment. A copy of the final written warning will be provided to the employee.
4.13.4 Termination of employment #
If the problem persists, the staff member’s employment may be terminated after the date set in the final written warning. The CEO must approve the termination.
If the termination is not approved, an alternative process for managing the performance issue will be developed. Detailed notes of performance dispute management are recorded and kept in the employee’s personnel file.
4.14 Staff grievance procedure #
If a staff member has a grievance related to their employment or concerning another staff member, the following processes apply:
4.14.1 Discussion #
The staff member may approach the CEO or their managers to discuss the issue and seek advice on the issue. The consultation will be confidential. The staff member may write the matter to their supervisor and request that the issue is raised with management. A decision on the issue and a discussion with the staff member will occur within seven (7) business days.
If the staff member considers that the discussion has not addressed their concerns adequately, they can seek external advice (e.g. union representative or another independent body).
4.14.2 Misconduct #
Misconduct includes severe breaches of our policies and procedures or unacceptable behaviour that warrants the immediate dismissal of a staff member. Examples of misconduct include:
- Theft of property or funds from our organisation
- Wilful damage of property belonging to our organisation
- Intoxication through alcohol or other substances during working hours
- Verbal or physical harassment or discrimination of any other staff member or participant
- Disclosure of confidential information regarding the organisation to any other party, without prior permission
- Disclosure of participant information, other than information that is necessary to assist participants and to ensure their safety
- Conducting a private business from our premises or using the organisation’s resources for private business without permission
- Falsification of any records belonging to the organisation
- Failure to comply with the iSeekSupport’s Code of Conduct.
4.14.3 Seek advice #
The CEO or the HR manager must be informed immediately following receipt of an allegation of misconduct. If necessary, the CEO will obtain external professional advice. The staff member should consider seeking advice from their union or another independent body.
4.14.4 Suspension of duties #
A staff member is informed, as soon as possible, of any allegation of misconduct. The staff member may be suspended, with full pay, pending an investigation of the claim. A letter outlining the time, date and alleged misconduct will be provided to the staff member.
4.15 Leave #
4.15.1 Application for leave #
Any staff member taking leave must complete an Application for Leave Form, using Employment Hero application. If the application form is not completed, payment will not be made for leave taken.
The application must be completed and approved before annual leave, long service leave, or unpaid leave.
4.15.2 Sick leave #
A doctor’s certificate is required for sick leave of more than two consecutive days. When sick leave is required, the CEO or the managers should be informed as soon as possible and, at a minimum, at least two hours before the staff member’s usual start time. An Application for Leave Form, using your Employment Hero portal must be completed immediately upon the employee returning to work after sick leave.
The Continuity of Support Policy and Procedure will be implemented to support participants during staff absences.
4.15.3 Personal/carer’s leave and compassionate leave #
Personal/carer’s leave and compassionate leave are defined in the relevant award (this only applies if staff are under an award). To qualify for personal leave, an individual’s reason for leave must meet the definition of personal/carer’s leave and compassionate leave within the award.
An Application for Leave Form using the Employment Hero Portal must be completed immediately after a staff member returns to work. When leave is required, this should be communicated to the CEO or your manager as soon as possible and, at a minimum of at least two hours, before the usual start time of the staff member.
4.15.4 Recording annual leave #
Annual leave taken and owing to staff is tracked on our HR system software which is Employment Hero.
4.15.5 Timesheets #
Each staff member is required to maintain up-to-date timesheets. Timesheets must be submitted to the the HR manager, as per the work agreement. The CEO or their delegate will check timesheets against the roster hours to determine accuracy before forwarding them to the payroll department for payment.
4.16 Workers compensation #
When a staff member suffers an injury or suffers from a disease, and work is a substantial contributing factor to that illness or injury, iSeekSupport ensures that financial benefits and other assistance are provided, as required by the relevant state legislation and regulations.
4.17 Employee exit procedure #
When an employee leaves iSeekSupport, the following procedure applies:
The CEO or the HR manager will conduct the exit interview, and the employee is asked to provide useful feedback.
- The exit interview is documented.
- Completed documentation is viewed as relevant and used, if appropriate, integrated into the organisation’s continuous improvement process.