Disability Service Safeguards Act 2018

The Disability Service Safeguards Act 2018 came into operation on 1 July 2020. The Act provides for the voluntary registration of disability workers and students, and the regulation of registered and unregistered disability workers.

This page provides general information and should not be considered as legal advice. Seek legal advice if you are unsure about your legal rights. Be aware that the law can change.

From 1 July 2020, the Victorian Disability Workers Commissioner may make orders:

  • prohibiting an unregistered disability worker from providing all disability services, or imposing conditions on the provision of disability services by an unregistered disability worker, for up to 12 weeks (interim prohibition order)
  • prohibiting an unregistered disability worker from providing all disability services, or imposing conditions on the provision of disability services by an unregistered disability worker, for a specified period or permanently (prohibition order)

The commencement of voluntary registration of disability workers has been delayed until 1 July 2021.

Cases we can hear

VCAT can review a decision by the Commissioner to impose an interim prohibition order or prohibition order on an unregistered disability worker.

Cases we can't help with

We can’t accept some cases where one party lives in another state or is a Commonwealth government organisation.

Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications

Section 215(1)(p) of the Disability Service Safeguards Act 2018

If you have a decision document, use it to help you complete the VCAT application form and attach a copy of the document to your application.

Time limits

You must make your application within 28 days from when:

  • the decision was made, or
  • if you have requested a statement of reasons under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act, the statement of reasons is given to you or you are informed that a statement of reasons will not be given.

You may be able to apply for an extension to this time limit.

What does VCAT take into account when making a decision?

When undertaking a review, VCAT needs to be satisfied that it is necessary to make the interim prohibition order or prohibition order for any of the following reasons:

  • to avid a serious risk to the life, health, safety or welfare of a person
  • to avoid a serious risk to the health, safety or welfare of the public.

As part of the review, we must also determine that one of the following applies to the unregistered disability worker:

  • has contravened an approved code of conduct
  • has been convicted or found guilty of a prescribed offence
  • has been refused an National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) worker screening check clearance or has had an NDIS worker screening check clearance suspended or revoked by an NDIS worker screening agency
  • is the subject of an interim bar in relation to an NDIS worker screening check clearance
  • is the subject of a prohibition order in relation to health services, disability services or other services involving the care of children that is made under another Act or a banning order issued under the NDIS legislation.

What can VCAT order?

VCAT can:

  • affirm the original decision, in which case the original decision will stand
  • vary the decision
  • set aside the decision and substitute our own decision
  • set aside the decision and remit (send back) the matter for reconsideration by the decision maker giving directions or recommendations
  • invite the decision-maker to reconsider their decision at any time during the case.

Apply

We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.

We cannot give you legal advice. This means we cannot tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.

Seek legal help if you are unsure about your options or need advice about your claim.

Make an application

You may have to pay a fee to apply to VCAT to review a decision. Learn more about fees or apply for fee relief.

Download a print-friendly form

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission. Be aware that the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.

Find legal services that may be able to assist you.

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality.

Organisations that may be able to help you

VCAT can't offer you legal advice. Below are organisations that may be able to help with your case.

Victorian Disability Worker Commission

Regulation of registered and unregistered disability workers in Victoria and investigation of complaints.