There is no mistaking the fact that the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is changing the landscape of the disability sector.  Under the NDIS the client is King!
Unshackled from the archaic constraints of the welfare model where funding went directly to the service provider with no incentive to provide anything more than a one size fits all approach, the client is now truly the customer in every sense of the word.
The figures attached to the NDIS are mindblowing – $22 billion to cover 460,000 people by the end of the decade and an estimated 50-76% increase in workforce by 2020.
An article in The Age this week drew attention to the fact that unions and disability advocates are concerned that the current NDIS pricing structure and an influx of new providers to the industry could lead to less qualified, less experienced people inundating the market.
As a disability sector professional for over 11 years I would argue that qualifications and experience only make up a small part of what it is to be an outstanding Disability Support Worker.  Some of the best, most dedicated DSWs I have hired have come from outside the industry – they have had no previous experience providing support yet they “get it”.  They are able to make that connection with the client – the human connection.  Once a person can make that connection in-house, on the job training, and peer guidance will teach them what they need to know about providing support.
The significant shortage of qualified workforce to meet the demands of the NDIS rollout challenges service providers to not only hang on to the staff they have but to mix things up a little.  To be prepared to do things differently; to look outside the industry, to ask different questions when interviewing.
Does it really matter if a candidate has a Certificate III in Disability and experience using a hoist? Or is it more important that they are interested in making a connection with a client?
The online training courses and the peer supported competency assessments offered by Empowability provide confidence when hiring the right people.  Not only do they allow pre-boarding of new staff without expensive induction programs, but they also cover all training that a new person to the industry requires, enabling organisations to find the right person rather than the one with qualification.

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Author Empowability

Empowability provides disability service providers and independent individuals with best practice, mobile-ready learning solutions that empower people with the flexibility to learn on-the-go.

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