Targeting practices related to independent assessments, the NDIS announced on the 7th of September, the release of its latest capacity framework.

This update is essential for the continuity of the NDIS service base as assessments are a vital part of the plan development and review process, support package provisioning and independent support to name a few, ensuring the free and fair accessibility to services for the Australian population facing disabilities.

This update follows a review and subsequent suggestions by the Productivity Commission at the NDIS’s establishing and again earlier by the Tune review more commonly known as the NDIS Act Review. The release includes documentation on the suggestions and will be followed by accepted recommendations coupled with supporting material.

The Agency completed an in-depth review of how functional assessments and assessment tools are currently used, to implement a best practice approach,” Mr Hoffman said.

“This paper details that important work that provided the foundation for the new Functional Capacity framework in line with recommendations. Shortly we will also publish a further paper explaining the specific assessment tools we have selected and why.”

The Review further recommends using the NDIS approved format for assessments as published in the NDIS Assessment form in order to effectively counter:

  • Higher costs and processing fees for participants
  • Inaccessible channels of publication and communication
  • Lack of objectivity when processing a participants request

The NDIS reached out to University of Sydney’s Dr Ros Madden AM, Honorary Research Fellow and Nick Glozier, Professor of Psychological Medicine for consultation in regards to these new recommendations.

“The NDIA has taken on one of the difficult technical and implementation problems in the disability field worldwide,” Dr Madden and Professor Glozier said.

“They have outlined a framework on which to build a fairer and more consistent disability assessment – to enable the rights of people with disability to participate across society. This diagnosis-neutral framework combines both the need to evaluate capacity and the determining role of the environment in helping or hindering participation. “

To tie it all up, the Agency wished to support and better independent assessments, hoping that:

  • Participants will have greater flexibility in choosing providers from NDIS approved panels of providers
  • Greater access for participants in availing their personal assessment material
  • Greater ease for participants in having concerns and/or discrepancies in assessment reviewed and corrected
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