NDIS Check screening process and outcomes

The Screening Unit will assess individual NDIS Check applications and make a decision based on relevant information.

There are a range of possible steps and statuses that may happen during the screening process depending on an applicant’s criminal and other relevant history.

Typically, once an NDIS Check is finalised by the Screening Unit, a worker will be:

  • granted a clearance – permitting work with people with disability in a risk assessed role for a registered NDIS provider, or
  • issued with an exclusion – prohibiting work with people with disability in a risk assessed role for a registered NDIS provider.

Refer to the NDIS Check Assessment Process infographic for a summary of the possible steps and outcomes during an NDIS Check assessment.

Automatic clearance

An applicant will be automatically granted a clearance if they do not have a criminal history record, disciplinary or misconduct record, any issues identified through self-disclosure information, any other relevant records, and have not previously been issued an NDIS Check exclusion.

Automatic exclusion

An applicant who is a ‘disqualified person’ (a person who has a conviction for a Class 1 offence under the NDIS Worker Screening Act, committed as an adult) will be issued an exclusion, with no right of appeal (except on grounds of mistaken identity or incorrect criminal record).  

For more information about Class 1 offences please refer to the Classification of Offences factsheet.

In some circumstances, where an application does not result in either an automatic clearance or an automatic exclusion, the application will undergo a risk assessment.

Risk assessment

A risk assessment is an evaluation of whether there is an unacceptable risk that the person may cause harm to people with disability in the course of carrying out NDIS work. This is based on consideration of the person’s criminal history and/or other relevant information. Refer to the Risk Assessment factsheet.

There are two types of risk assessment:

1. Presumptively disqualified person

When an applicant is a ‘presumptively disqualified person’ they will be issued an exclusion, unless there are exceptional circumstances identified. For more information about presumptively disqualified persons, refer to the Classification of Offences factsheet.

An interim bar will be issued to applicants, and a suspension issued to clearance holders who are a presumptively disqualified person, until a final decision is made about their suitability to hold an NDIS Check clearance.

A risk assessment of a presumptively disqualified person is undertaken to determine whether there are exceptional circumstances that indicate the applicant is suitable to hold an NDIS Check clearance. During the risk assessment, consideration may also be given to any other information deemed relevant to the applicant’s suitability to hold a clearance. The applicant will also have the opportunity to be heard, through a written submission, before a final decision is made to either grant a clearance or issue an exclusion. Refer to the relevant submission factsheet.

2. No Presumption

A risk assessment with no presumed exclusion is conducted for all other relevant criminal offences and/or where there is any other information considered relevant by the Screening Unit. The applicant will also have the opportunity to be heard, through a written submission, before a final decision is made to either grant a clearance or issue an exclusion. Refer to the relevant submission factsheet.

What is an interim bar and a suspension?

An interim bar is issued by the Screening Unit in certain circumstances to prevent an applicant from working in risk assessed roles until a final decision is made about whether to grant a clearance or issue an exclusion.

An interim bar is automatically issued where an applicant has certain offences. An interim bar may also be issued where there is other relevant information that indicates the applicant may pose an unacceptable risk of harm to people with disability.

The Screening Unit can issue a suspension to a previously cleared worker if new information is received by the Screening Unit that suggests they may pose an unacceptable risk of harm to people with disability. This includes where a cleared worker has certain new offences or pending charges. The suspension prevents the worker from continuing to work in risk assessed roles until a final decision is made about their suitability to retain their clearance.

An interim bar or suspension will remain in place until the Screening Unit removes it, or until an application is finalised. A person may seek an internal review of an interim bar or suspension after it has been in place for a period of six months.

For more information, refer to the Appeals and Disputes Process factsheet.

Can I provide information during the risk assessment process that I think is relevant to my suitability to hold a clearance?

During a risk assessment, the Screening Unit may issue a ‘proposal to issue an exclusion’ to an applicant. A proposal is not a final decision and other information can still be considered before a final decision is made.

When proposing to issue an exclusion to an applicant, the Screening Unit will:

  • explain, in writing, the reasons for the proposal (except where the Screening Unit is required under Commonwealth, State or Territory law to refuse to disclose the information to the individual)
  • allow the applicant a reasonable opportunity to be heard by providing them with an invitation to make a written submission
  • consider the applicant’s submission before making a final decision.

Refer to the relevant submission factsheets and Guide for Referees document.

Withdrawal or cancellation

The Screening Unit may withdraw or cancel an application in certain circumstances, for example, where an employer fails to verify an applicant’s employment or proposed employment.

An applicant may also withdraw their own application, at certain stages of the application process. However, applications cannot be withdrawn once an interim bar or a ‘proposal to issue an exclusion’ letter has been issued.

What are my responsibilities as an applicant and a clearance holder? 

Under the NDIS Worker Screening Act, you must notify the Screening Unit of any changes in your personal particulars. This includes your name, contact information or employer details. You can notify the Screening Unit of a change by logging into your DoTDirect account.

You must also notify the Screening Unit if there is a ‘relevant change’ in your criminal record. A relevant change, under the NDIS Worker Screening Act, is when there is a charge or conviction for a Class 1 or Class 2 offence. You can do this by emailing the Screening Unit at NDISCheck@communities.wa.gov.au.

Penalties apply to both applicants and clearance holders who do not advise the Screening Unit of changes to their particulars, or of relevant changes to their criminal record.

What are my responsibilities when I have an exclusion?

Workers who are issued an exclusion are prohibited from being employed or engaged in a risk assessed role for a registered NDIS provider.

Ongoing monitoring

From the time that an initial criminal history check is undertaken for an NDIS Check applicant, and for the entire period of time that a clearance remains valid, a person will be subject to continuous checking. This includes, but is not limited to, any relevant information from law enforcement agencies, such as charges and court outcomes related to relevant offences, and information from the NDIS Commission.

Should an adverse event occur, such as a relevant change in criminal history (relevant charges or offences), or where there is new information relevant to suitability to continue to hold a clearance, a worker’s clearance status may be re-assessed. The worker may be issued a suspension of their clearance until a re-assessment is undertaken and a final decision can be made about their suitability to continue to hold a clearance.

The worker may be issued with a ‘proposal to cancel a clearance’. A proposal is not a final decision and other information can still be considered before any final decision is made about their suitability to continue to hold a clearance.

Where there is a proposal to cancel a clearance, the Screening Unit will:

  • explain, in writing, the reasons why the cancellation is proposed (except where the Screening Unit is required under Commonwealth, State or Territory law to refuse to disclose the information to the individual)
  • allow the individual a reasonable opportunity to be heard by providing them with an invitation to make a written submission
  • consider the submission response before making a final decision.

Refer to the relevant submission factsheets and Guide for Referees document.

Can I withdraw my consent for ongoing monitoring?

Once you have a valid clearance you can only withdraw your consent to ongoing monitoring by:

  • stopping any NDIS work in a risk assessed role, and
  • contacting the Screening Unit, in writing, to have your application withdrawn or for your NDIS Check clearance to be cancelled.

Will my employer be able to see my criminal record?

No. Your employer will not be provided with any details regarding your criminal record.

Are there penalties related to the NDIS Check? 

Under the NDIS Worker Screening Act, a number of penalties apply to workers who do not comply.

It is an offence to:

  • start or continue to work in a risk assessed role for a registered NDIS provider without holding a valid clearance, without having applied for an NDIS Check clearance, or if you are subject to an exclusion, suspension or interim bar. The penalty for this offence is five (5) years imprisonment and a fine of $60,000.
  • not notify the Screening Unit in writing of a relevant change in particulars (name, residential address, contact details, change in employer) as soon as practicable after the relevant change occurs. The penalty is a fine of $5,000.
  • not notify the Screening Unit in writing of a relevant change in your criminal record (a charge or conviction for a Class 1 or Class 2 offence). The penalty for this is five (5) years imprisonment and a fine of $60,000.
  • give knowingly false or misleading information to the Screening Unit. The penalty for this is two (2) years imprisonment and a fine of $24,000.

How does the Screening Unit protect my privacy?

The Screening Unit is committed to ensuring the privacy of your personal information and complies with all relevant State and Commonwealth legislation.

For further details about how your information is used and stored by the Screening Unit, please see our Privacy Policy.

Can I request a review of the Screening Unit’s decision?

In certain circumstances, an individual may seek an internal review and then an external review of a decision by the Screening Unit. 

For more information, see the Appeals and Disputes Process factsheet.

What if there is wrong information in my criminal record?

If you believe there is incorrect information in your criminal history, you can lodge a dispute to the Screening Unit.

For more details, see the Appeals and Disputes Process factsheet.

Page reviewed 12 April 2021