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Working within A Legal and Ethical Framework

Overview

The NDIS Legal and Ethical framework refers to the broad system of rules and standards that govern and regulate decision making, support provision and service delivery by providers to participants. This framework is encompassed in various standards from both the NDIS and the provider organisation that your support worker represents. There is the National Standards for Disability Services that has been put out by the Australian Government. There is also the NDIS Code of Conduct as well as A Code of Ethics normally drafted by provider organisations for their staff. All these are meant to guide support workers on how to respond to various legal and ethical issues that arise while performing their duties.

 

Code of Conduct vs Code of Ethics

The Ethics and Compliance Initiative describes a code of conduct as a standard “intended to be a central guide and reference for users in support of day to day decision making. It clarifies an organisation’s mission, values and principles; linking them with standards of professional conduct”. On the other hand, a code of ethics is described as a “set of core ethical principles that informs and guides ethical practice within a profession. It defines the values and responsibilities that are fundamental to a particular profession”.

 

The NDIS Code of Conduct

The NDIS code of conduct was developed for the following reasons, to:

  • Engage providers and workers in being part of a quality and safe NDIS workforce through shared values and behaviours
  • Regulate and oversee – through the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission – the quality of services rendered by workers and providers
  • Support the Australian Government’s commitment to protecting the human rights of people with disability
  • Educate people with disability and their families on how the NDIS can support them
  • Meet community expectations and deal with unsafe practices

 

What Does the NDIS Code of Conduct Constitute?

As a participant of NDIS, you should expect your providers and support workers assigned to you to observe the code of conduct. As such, we feel that it is important you understand what exactly it constitutes.

  1. Respect of Rights

Their words and action should demonstrate that they respect your individual rights to self-determination, freedom of expression and decision making. These rights are not only set out by the NDIS and Australian Government, but also the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

  1. Respect of Privacy

Your providers and support workers should respect and protect your rights to privacy. This applies to sharing or revealing personal information of any nature.

  1. Quality Support Provision

As an NDIS participant, you have a right to receive quality support and services that are provided in a safe, competent manner and in accordance with the set standards and regulations.

  1. Integrity, Honesty and Transparency

You should expect accurate information on your support staff and the services they deliver as well as any perceived conflicts of interest.

  1. Addressing Concerns Impacting Services

Your provider or worker is expected to immediately raise and act on concerns that may compromise the quality and safety of supports they provide.

The legal and ethical framework serves to help you exercise choice and control while minimising the risk of harm. It also makes sure high-quality supports are provided through the NDIS.

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