Information for training providers

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is transforming the way disability services are funded and delivered across Australia. It provides participants with choice and control over what, how, when and where their supports are provided.

In Queensland, the scheme was rolled out from July 2016 to June 2019 and is now fully operational.

Around 97,000 Queenslanders with disability are expected to be supported under the NDIS, with the state's workforce expanding significantly over the next 4 to 5 years.

In the NDIS consumer-driven market, training providers may see:

Key information

Growing local workforces

It is important that solutions to grow disability sector workforces are appropriate for local needs. Your organisation will have the opportunity to train a diverse workforce that will, in turn, provide the services and supports that local people with disability will want to purchase.

The majority of the new roles created through the NDIS will be in the non-government sector.

An NDIS workforce strategy for non-government organisations has been developed by WorkAbility Queensland to support the sector in strategically preparing their workforces for NDIS implementation.

Sector needs and values

The NDIS is bringing about wide-ranging changes for disability service providers in terms of the types of jobs and skills required. Needs are expected to extend across business management and service provision, with increased focus on areas like customer service, workforce flexibility, innovation and technology.

NDIS findings to date suggest that sector jobs and training pathways are diverse. Occupations range from support workers, allied health professionals and support coordinators to managers and administrators, local area coordinators, planners and assessors.

Both training providers and prospective disability sector workers will need to understand the NDIS intent and operational approach.

Early findings also indicate that NDIS participants are seeking workers with values and attributes they can relate to. This means a demand for workers from a variety of backgrounds, who reflect the demographic diversity of clients, and values that put people with disability at the centre of decision-making.

Inclusive practices in training are critical towards ensuring this diversity in workforce and value base is achieved.

For prospective disability sector workers, CareCareers, a not-for-profit initiative, has information for people thinking about entering disability, aged care and community services fields, including a career quiz.

Workers in the disability sector must also meet regulatory requirements. NDIS quality and safeguard requirements apply to any organisation or person delivering services under the NDIS, and these are regulated by the NDIS Commission. In Queensland, workers currently require a Blue Card (working with children and young people) and/or a Yellow Card (working with adults with disability). It is recommended that, as a training provider, you confirm prospective students can meet regulatory requirements at the pre-enrolment stage.

NDIS Training and Skills Support Strategy

A high-quality, accessible and responsive vocational education and training (VET) system is essential to support the rapid jobs growth and the quality of workforce required to meet the needs of NDIS participants across Queensland.

The NDIS Training and Skills Support Strategy (NTSSS) is an industry-led, multifaceted approach to developing a quality workforce, and represents an additional $5 million investment over 3 years for targeted training, support and workforce development activities.

WorkAbility Queensland has developed the NTSSS, in partnership with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, and will provide the leadership for the NTSSS.

The NTSSS will address a range of training and skills objectives, including supporting the optimum use of current programs and government investment under the VET investment budget as well as growing skilled workforces to meet the demand for labour from NDIS providers in Queensland's regions.

Updates on the NTSSS will be published on the WorkAbility Queensland website.

Responsive funding

The majority of subsidised training is currently managed through demand-driven funding arrangements under the VET investment budget. The budget enables the government to respond to evolving training and skilling needs, as identified by industry.

The Priority Skills List contains the qualifications and skill sets that attract a government subsidy, while the User Choice qualification and price list details subsidised apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications. Both lists contain training applicable to the disability sector workforce, including the Certificate III in Individual Support – the starting point for many, but not all, community services industry employees.

Queensland Government subsidised training is only available through registered training organisations approved as Queensland Skills Assure suppliers (SAS).

SAS must demonstrate the training being delivered is responsive to skills needs identified by industry and employers. By maintaining strong industry and employer networks, SAS:

  • deliver training that directly links to local job vacancies and employment outcomes
  • facilitate vocational or work placements
  • support students to transition into the workforce or advance in their chosen career.

Each SAS is assessed on successful training completions and whether the training resulted in graduates achieving a measurable employment outcome, enrolment in further higher-level training or career progression.

As disability service providers adapt to the NDIS and new providers enter the market, there is benefit in SAS meeting with local National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) staff and other key staff in disability service organisations regularly to ensure emerging needs are appropriately met.

Learn more about becoming a SAS.

Supporting learners with disability

Regardless of whether a person is eligible for the NDIS or not, training providers continue to have an obligation to make reasonable adjustment for people with disability under the Disability Standards for Education 2005.

Under the standards, an adjustment refers to a measure or action (or a group of measures or actions) by a training provider that assists a student with disability to access services on the same basis as a student without disability, including:

  • applying for admission or enrolment
  • participating in a course or program
  • using facilities or services.

An adjustment may include an aid, facility or service that the student requires and is considered reasonable, provided it balances the interests of all affected parties.

SAS must maintain compliance with all relevant federal and state policies and guidelines, which includes:

  • ensuring consumers are fully informed of their training options prior to enrolment
  • tailoring training and assessment to suit an individual's learning and support needs
  • incorporating inclusive practices in training.

The department applies the following inclusive practices to support learners with disability:

  • Skills Disability Support, a targeted initiative providing specialised technology and services to SAS to assist their learners with disability to gain nationally recognised skills and qualifications
  • higher concessional subsidies to encourage people with disability to undertake vocational qualifications
  • skills development projects for disadvantaged job seekers funded by the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative
  • foundation skills training to ensure Queenslanders enrolling in vocational qualifications are equipped with the required language, literacy, numeracy and employability skills.

Training pathways

The Queensland Skills Gateway allows Queenslanders to search and browse VET information, including available courses, training providers, government funding and career pathways. It also includes a tool to check eligibility for government subsidised training in Queensland.

The gateway can assist you when working with individual learners and organisations with workforce development needs.

Further information on NDIS

For general NDIS information, news and enquiries:

The NDIS is now fully operational in Queensland. Visit the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors website to:

For more information on training in Queensland and to contact your regional training office, phone 1300 369 935.

Last updated 15 July 2020

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