The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, after 4.5 years, has provided its report to Australian Governments. The Royal Commission has made 222 recommendations, mostly directed at Australian Governments.

Many of the recommendations, if accepted and then implemented by the Commonwealth and States and Territories, could impact the private sector, as employers and service providers or more particularly for those who provide disability supports and services.

We have set out below a summary of the key recommendations relevant to each of these focussed on the following areas:

Summary of recommendations


  • States and Territories to develop and fund specialised multi-disciplinary health and mental health services for people with cognitive disability including specialist assessment and clinical services and training and support. (See Recommendation 6.33)
  • The Australian Government to better support transitions out of institutional settings (such as hospitals and prisons) into safe and appropriate housing.  For NDIS participants, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) would be the lead agency to better support developing and implementing individual plans to support transitions. (See Recommendation 7.39)
  • The deprioritisation of group funding.  Reform of NDIS participant funding models, including Supported Independent Living (SIL), Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) and Individualised Living Options to provide greater flexibility.  In particular, this flexibility should ensure that administrative and pricing mechanisms do not favour group home living over other models of inclusive housing. (See Recommendation 7.42)
  • The phasing out of group homes over 15 years (recommended by 4 of the Commissioners only). (See Recommendation 7.43)
  • Recommendations in relation to SDA supports the build of SDA in alignment with demand and that SDA be available to persons with significant functional impairment.  Funding models are established that encourage best practice builds. (See Recommendation 7.43)
  • A favouring of block funding over individual funding in relation to First Nations persons.  The NDIA should provide block funding for First Nations Community Controlled Organisations to flexibly deliver support and services to First Nations people with disability. (See Recommendation 9.5)
  • Greater emphasis on and availability of return trips to the country for First Nations NDIS participants. (See Recommendation 9.8)
  • Allowing family members to provide NDIS support in remote communities. The NDIA, the First Nations Advisory Council and First Nations Community Controlled Organisations should co-design policy guidelines on funding for First Nations family members to provide support to participants in remote communities. (See Recommendation 9.9)
  • Develop a rule prohibiting NDIS support co-ordinators from providing  any other funded supports. (See Recommendation 10.2)
  • High risk participants be given funding for support coordination. (See Recommendation 10.3)
  • For particular thin markets such as remote communities, to develop funding arrangements to facilitate a “provider of last resort” scheme – to ensure services are available in those communities. (See Recommendation 10.10)
  • Continued funding of the National Disability Data Asset (NDDA). (See Recommendation 12.8)


  • An amendment to the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) to reverse the burden of proof so that an entity that is subject to a complaint of direct discrimination on the grounds of disability has the onus of proving that the treatment was not on the grounds of disability. (See Recommendation 4.23)
  • The establishment of a Disability Rights Act, which may in future be extended to the private sector, including NDIS providers.  The Act would provide a series of economic and social cultural rights.  Any future extension to the private sector would need to be considered to determine the extent that it would go beyond the existing rights and obligations under anti-discrimination law. (See Recommendation 4.4)
  • Governments should adopt procurement policies that favour businesses providing employment opportunities for people with  disability. (See Recommendation 7.23)
  • Various supports to be put in place to encourage persons with disability entering open employment settings rather than specialist disability settings.  This includes support through NDIS planning to facilitate the participation in open employment settings. (See Recommendation 7.29)
  • Australian Government to introduce a scheme to ensure that employees with disability are paid at least half the minimum wage, including government subsidies. (See Recommendation 7.31)
  • A National Inclusive Employment Roadmap to be introduced with a range of features including to facilitate disability employment for entities who contract with Government; and to move to the payment of at least minimum wages by 2034. (See Recommendation 7.32)
  • Organisations entitled to represent the industrial interests of members of the disability support workforce covered by the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services (SCHADS) Industry Award 2010, along with the Australian Government and employers, should consider a joint application to vary the modern award in accordance with section 158 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). (See Recommendation 10.9)

Service levels

  • Removing the “reasonableness” to indirect discrimination and replacing it with an “unjustifiable hardship” defence. (See Recommendation 4.24)
  • Amending the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) to impose a positive duty to:
    • make adjustments to accommodate people with disability;
    • take steps to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of disability. (See Recommendation 4.26)
  • An obligation to keep records, and disclose reasons, where a decision is made to discriminate on the grounds that avoiding discrimination would impose an unjustifiable hardship. (See Recommendation 4.32)
  • Minimum services standards and monitoring and oversight of boarding houses and related accommodation types. (See Recommendation 7.38)
  • A review mechanism to prevent the same provider from providing both Supported Independent Living (SIL) and Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) services, with interim arrangements to oversee and monitor potential conflicts of interest. (See Recommendation 7.41)
  • Service providers who support First Nations people with disability should incorporate disability-inclusive cultural safety standards into their practices. (See Recommendation 9.12)
  • The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) should commission a capacity-building program to support disability service providers to embed human rights in the design and delivery of their services.  The program should be co-designed with people with disability, disabled people's organisations, disability representative organisations including member-led First Nations Community Controlled Organisations, and peak bodies. (See Recommendation 10.1)
  • NDIS Commission to examine the quality and consistency of support coordination services supplied in the market. (See Recommendation 10.4)

NDIS regulation

  • NDIS Commission to amend the guidelines to facilitate better supported decision making in relation to disability services they receive. (See Recommendation 10.6)
  • The Australian Government should establish a national disability support worker registration scheme by 1 July 2028.  Depending on how it is framed this could have a significant impact on service providers and the types of service providers that will be able to provide lower-level disability supports who may currently not be the subject of significant regulatory oversight. (See Recommendation 10.8)
  • NDIS Commission to provide increased feedback to providers about how they handed reportable incidents and improvements to the portal. (See Recommendation 10.11)
  • Amend the rules to permit certain types of lower-level incidents not to be required to be reported to the NDIS Commission. (See Recommendation 10.12)
  • NDIS Commission to develop model policies and procedures such as incident management and complaints handling to help support NDIS service providers. (See Recommendation 10.14)
  • Commissioner of the NDIS Commission should issue a guideline, by notifiable instrument, addressing accessible and responsive complaint handling and investigative practice. (See Recommendation 10.15)
  • A requirement for providers to consider providing redress to participants if they have been exposed to violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation by the service provider. (See Recommendation 10.16)
  • NDIS Commission to improve complaint handling procedures and responses. (See Recommendation 10.18)
  • NDIS Commission to be provided with the power to require a provider to carry out an investigation into a complaint. (See Recommendation 10.19)
  • NDIS Commission to share information with quality auditors. (See Recommendation 10.21)
  • NDIS Commission to conduct a review of registration processes focussed on simplifying processes, improving IT portals, and permitting reduced certification in thin market locations. (See Recommendation 10.21)
  • Amend Core Module rules to include further standards on complaints handling and incident management and governance, worker capacity and training. (See Recommendation 10.22)
  • NDIS Commission to strengthen its regulatory activities to move from educational and capacity building to greater regulatory compliance and enforcement.  This includes increasing the use of enforcement powers for service providers who show a history of non-compliance or disregard for safety. (See Recommendation 10.25)
  • NDIS Commission to develop an intelligence until to enhance its capacity to collect intelligence and identify and respond to risks including systemic issues. (See Recommendation 10.27)
  • States and Territories adopt community visitor schemes if they have not done so already, conducting frequent visits to persons who may have an elevated risk of abuse and ensuring information can be shared with the NDIA and NDIS Commission. (See Recommendation 11.12)


  • State and territory governments to:
  1. immediately adopt the mandatory Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) Livable Housing Design Standard for all new dwellings if they have not done so already, and developing a plan for the full implementation of the standard, including timeframes and outcomes measures; and
  2. adopt the voluntary ABCB Livable Housing Design Standard for all new social housing construction. (See Recommendation 7.35)
  • Market research into housing preferences of NDIS participants with a view to driving the building of more suitable housing. (See Recommendation 7.42)

If you have any questions or require further information regarding these recommendations or how they may affect your operations, please contact our team below.


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