Reforming Queensland’s authorisation framework for the use of restrictive practices in NDIS and disability service settings

Consultation Closed

  • Draft national principles 

    On 24 July 2020, the then Disability Reform Council (now the Disability Reform Ministers Meeting) agreed to the draft national principles to guide the development of nationally consistent restrictive practices authorisation arrangements. Queensland has provided in-principle support for these principles, noting that significant work still remains to explore what they mean for Queensland.

    Principle 1:

    Authorisation arrangements for the use of restrictive practices on people with disability are provided for in legislation and support the reduction and elimination of restrictive practices as agreed by all Australian governments.

    Principle 2:

    Authorisation arrangements, and the systems surrounding them, should be designed to support positive outcomes for people with disability who are subject to restrictive practices with the objective of reducing and ultimately eliminating those practices.

    Principle 3:

    People with disability who are subject to restrictive practices have the same protections and rights to be free from abuse, neglect and exploitation regardless of their disability, age and where they live.

    Principle 4:

    People with disability and their support networks are actively supported in the decision-making process about the use of restrictive practices, and alternative practices that may improve outcomes for the person with disability through the reduction of their use.

    Principle 5:

    Authorisation decisions made under state and territory regulatory frameworks are informed by independent advice from experts with relevant training, skills and experience in positive behaviour support and restrictive practices.

    Principle 6:

    Authorisation frameworks should ensure that any conflicts of interest between key parties involved in decision making on the use of restrictive practices, being people with disability, their support networks, and service providers are effectively mitigated.

    Principle 7:

    Authorisation arrangements promote independence and dignity of risk while also considering the interests and protection of rights of the person with disability.

    Principle 8:

    Decisions made on the use of restrictive practices are able to be reviewed if required through relevant state or territory mechanisms.

    Principle 9:

    Authorisation arrangements are streamlined and take into account the impact of administrative burden on providers enabling resources to be focused on quality service delivery to people with disability.

    Principle 10:

    Commonwealth state and territory governments will continue to work together to apply these principles in practice, using the NDIS governance arrangements to monitor progress in achieving national consistency.

    Queensland is generally compliant with most of the national principles. The main potential discrepancies between the authorisation process in Queensland and the national principles are in relation to:

    • Principle 3 (scope) – Queensland’s authorisation framework does not currently apply to children with disability, or adults with a disability other than an intellectual or cognitive disability.
    • Principle 6 (guardianship) – Guardians for restrictive practice matters currently have a decision-making role in Queensland’s authorisation framework, which potentially creates a conflict of interest with other aspects of their role as a person’s guardian. For example, a guardian may be responsible at the same time for protecting the rights of the person with disability while also authorising the use of practices which can substantially limit those rights.
    • Principle 8 (review of decisions) – Queensland’s authorisation framework does not currently allow for strict administrative review of all decisions.
    • Principle 9 (streamlining) – Queensland’s authorisation framework is complex, especially in comparison to other jurisdictions, and can be difficult for people, including guardians and providers, to navigate.