Intro text: The Healthy Discussions Project team facilitates information sessions for health practitioners and allied health professionals.

The Healthy Discussions Project team facilitates information sessions for health practitioners and allied health professionals.

Topics include:

  • Supported decision-making
  • Consent or refusal of medical treatment for patients with disability
  • Effective and engagement communication strategies
  • The diversity of acquired brain injury

If you or your health service would like to participate in one of our sessions, please feel free to contact us via this form.

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Intro text: If a person under guardianship does not consent to medical treatment and restraint is required to be used in order to administer the medication, appointed guardians must seek an order from VCAT
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In February 2022, VCAT published advice about when and how an appointed guardian can authorise the use of forcible physical restraint in order to administer medication to people under their guardianship.

VCAT confirmed that if a person under guardianship orders does not consent to medical treatment and restraint is required to be used in order to administer the medication, appointed guardians must seek an order from VCAT under the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 to authorise the use of forcible physical restraints.

The case and implications of this advice were explored in a 2022 Law Week webinar which is available to watch online.

Intro text: Guardianship and administration are a last resort if there is no less restrictive alternative to protect and promote the human rights of an adult with disability.
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Sometimes, even with support, a person is not able to make decision(s) about a financial or personal matter.

If there is no alternative to protect and promote the human rights of an adult with disability, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) may appoint a guardian and/or an administrator.

The guardian or administrator is appointed with legal authority to make decisions for the person about specific personal or financial matter(s). They make decisions that reflect the person’s will and preferences unless it would cause serious harm to the person.

Intro text: This page explains the changes that are being made to OPA's NDIS deeds and associated processes
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As the number of deeds being entered into continues to increase, it is timely for OPA to update the Miscellaneous Services (MS), Support Coordination (SC) and Plan Management (PM) deeds. The changes will apply to deeds created on or after 9 May 2022 but do not affect existing deeds.

This page explains the changes that are being made to the MS, SC and PM deeds and associated processes. While OPA has endeavoured to draw attention to all substantive changes, providers should review the sample amended deeds in full (available for download at the bottom of this page) and seek independent advice as required. 

We hope these changes will benefit all parties by ensuring accuracy in schedule details, allow for more efficient processing, increase flexibility for providers and make it easier to uphold responsibilities to participants. Any questions or feedback about the amended deeds can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Contents

What is changing and why?

New support coordinator and service provider warranties and responsibilities

Support coordinator to review MS and PM deeds before signing by guardian

Aligning the term of the deed to the NDIS plan - no more dates of service or automatic deed extensions

New Deed Amendment Schedules to amend Schedule 2 details during the term of MS and SC deeds

New termination clause where risk to the participant

Miscellaneous and minor changes

Downloadable resources

What is changing and why?  

New support coordinator and service provider warranties and responsibilities  

The amended MS and SC deeds set out warranties (promises) that service providers and support coordinators give upon signing the deed. The warranties are that they:  

  • have the skills, expertise and experience necessary to provide the services 
  • verified the start and end dates of the participant’s plan, and confirmed there is funding available for the total cost quoted for each support item listed in Schedule 2, prior to submitting the deed
  • will only charge for the provision of services listed in Schedule 2 and provided between the start and end date of the participant’s plan, and
  • will charge the participant in accordance with the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits and not more than the current price limit for the relevant item specified in the NDIS Support Catalogue.  

These warranties reflect what providers should already be doing but they have been included in the deeds to:

  • reduce the current rate of errors in Schedules 1 and 2 of submitted deeds and ensure deeds reflect participant support needs and available funding. Reducing these errors will allow the deeds to be processed and signed more quickly
  • reduce any risks to the participant which may arise from services being provided outside the terms of the deed or their NDIS plan. 

To draw attention to these warranties, providers will be asked to affirm them when filling out the deed form online. 

The amended MS deed also sets out responsibilities on the service provider relating to communication with the participant and guardian, including to:

  • keep the guardian informed of relevant changes to the participant’s situation; and
  • listen to the participant’s and guardian’s feedback and work with them to resolve problems quickly. 

These responsibilities are already included in the SC deed.  

See: 

  • New MS deed clauses2 ‘Service Provider warranties’ and 3.3 ‘Service Provider’s responsibilities’
  • New SC deed clause2 ‘Support Coordinator warranties’ 

Support coordinator to review MS and PM deeds before signing by guardian  

When a provider submits a MS deed, a copy will now automatically be emailed to the participant’s support coordinator, with instructions to review the plan dates and details of services set out in schedules to the deed. After reviewing the schedules, the support coordinator will either:

  • forward the email to OPA to confirm the details are accurate, appropriate and compatible with the participant’s NDIS plan, or
  • if issues are identified, contact the service provider and ask them to resubmit the deed with the appropriate

The guardian will sign the deed once the support coordinator has confirmed the details in the schedules. The provider, the support coordinator and OPA will then each receive a copy of the co-signed deed. 

This change has been made to: 

  • reduce the current rate of errors in Schedules 1 and 2 of submitted deeds, which support coordinators are better placed than guardians to identify
  • help support coordinators carry out their functions and responsibilities towards the participant (which, as confirmed by the NDIA, include helping the participant to set up service agreements that reflect their goals and needs and that fit within their NDIS plan budget). 

To support this process change, reviewing submitted deeds has been included as a support coordinator responsibility in the amended SC deed. 

See:

  • New SC deed clause 3.3.5 ‘Support coordinator’s responsibilities’
  • MS deed Schedule 1 amended (support coordinator’s name and contact details to be specified) 

Aligning the term of the deed to the NDIS plan - no more dates of service or automatic deed extensions  

The term of all MS, SC and PM deeds will be aligned to the dates of the participant’s NDIS plan and will run from the plan start date or whenever the provider was engaged (whichever is later) to the plan end date, unless terminated sooner. 

Dates of service will no longer need to be specified in Schedule 1. This change has been made to provide greater flexibility for the provider to provide services anytime between the start and end date of the participant’s plan, in accordance with any directions from the guardian and/or support coordinator. 

The deeds no longer automatically extend at the end of the original service period. Accordingly, there is no longer the option of submitting a Deed Extension Schedule. A new deed will be required whenever the participant’s plan is amended or replaced. This change has been made to reduce the risk of inconsistencies between the details of services set out in Schedule 2 of an extended deed and the funding available in a participant’s new plan.

See: 

  • Clause 1.1 – definitions of ‘Deed’, ‘End date’ and ‘Start date’ amended; definitions of ‘Automatic Extension End Date’, ‘Deed Extension Schedule’ and ‘Review Date’ removed
  • Clause 2.1 ‘Term of Deed’ amended and clause 2.2 ‘Automatic Extension’ removed
  • New clause 3.1.7 (acknowledgement by parties that new deed required for new plans) 
  • Schedule 1 amended (dates of service removed)

New Deed Amendment Schedules to amend Schedule 2 details during the term of MS and SC deeds  

Where the details of services set out in Schedule 2 of a MS or SC deed need to be altered during the operative period of the deed (during the current NDIS plan), the service provider now has the option of submitting a Deed Amendment Schedule. The Deed Amendment Schedule will then replace Schedule 2. 

This change has been made it make it easier for providers to adjust the types and volume of services being provided during the operative period of the deed. 

The provider should submit the Deed Amendment Schedule within 7 days of the agreed change. There is no limit on the number of times a new Deed Amendment Schedule can be made during the operative period of a deed. 

See:  

  • Clause 1.1 - definition of ‘Deed Amendment Schedule’ added 
  • New MS deed clause 7.1 ‘Amendment’
  • New SC deed clause 8.1 ‘Amendment’ 
  • New MS and SC Deed Amendment Schedules 

New termination clause where risk to the participant  

A new termination clause has been included in the amended MS and SC deeds. It enables a participant to immediately terminate a deed by notifying the provider when, in the guardian’s opinion, continuation of the services would pose a risk to the participant’s safety or personal or social wellbeing. 

In rare situations, it may be necessary for the guardian to take such action even though the provider has not breached the deed. This change has been made to ensure guardians can act when necessary to uphold their obligations and responsibilities towards the participant under the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic). 

See: 

  • New MS deed clause 2.3 ‘Termination by the Participant’
  • New SC deed clause 2.3 ‘Termination by the Participant’

Miscellaneous and minor changes  

Miscellaneous and minor changes include: 

  • further new or amended definitions in clause 1.1 (including ‘Guardian’, ‘Service provider’, ‘Support Coordinator’, ‘NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits’, ‘NDIS Support Catalogue’, ‘Personal Information’ and ‘Health Information’) and removal of redundant definitions 
  • in the PM deed, removing the clause permitting termination for serious breach of the plan manager’s responsibilities (clause 6.6) and incorporating it into the existing clause permitting immediate termination by the participant (clause 6.2).
  • participant’s plan to be reviewed at least 10 weeks (rather than 6 weeks) prior to the end date of their plan (SC deed clause 4)
  • some editing to improve clarity, remove duplication and align similar clauses in the MS and SC deeds, without altering the rights, interests or duties of any party. 

Intro text: This information relates to OPA’s amended deeds and processes in effect from 9 May 2022
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The following information relates to OPA’s amended deeds and processes in effect from 9 May 2022. 

Downloadable sample deeds

Contents

About OPA’s NDIS deeds

1.    We have our own service agreement. Why do we have to complete a deed?

2.    What if we are audited and cannot produce our signed service agreement?

3.    Where can I get further information about the validity of the OPA deed process?

4.    If we sign a deed, can the guardian sign our service agreement as well? 

5.    Before submitting a deed, can I see how it looks like and read its terms and conditions?

Completing and submitting a deed online

6.    Which type of deed should I submit?

7.    Can support coordinators fill out a deed on behalf of another service provider?

8.    How can I find out the NDIS plan dates and whether there is enough funding for the services I will be providing to the participant?

After a deed has been submitted

9.    What happens after I submit a deed?

10.      I have already submitted the deed but I made a mistake in it. Can I amend the deed?

11.      I’m a support coordinator. Why am I receiving copies of deeds relating to miscellaneous services and plan management, and what do I need to do with them?

12.      The support coordinator or guardian have asked me to change some details in the deed I submitted. How do I do this?

13.      I submitted a deed a while ago. Why haven’t I received a co-signed copy of it yet?

14.      There is already a deed in place but now the services which the participant needs have changed. Do I need to submit a new deed?

15.      What is a Deed Amendment Schedule and how do I make one?

16.      The participant’s NDIS plan is expiring soon. What do I do? I cannot find the Deed Extension Schedules on the website - where are they?

Further information

About OPA’s NDIS deeds 

1.      We have our own service agreement. Why do we have to complete a deed?

OPA guardians do not have authority to enter into providers’ service agreements because they generally contain matters that go beyond the scope of the guardian’s authority (such as financial matters or terms pertaining to the conduct of the participant). Some providers’ service agreements also contain unfair or unconscionable terms. 

For this reason, OPA developed and uses its own deeds rather than providers’ own service agreements. These deeds relate to the provision of supports and services and are limited to matters that are within the guardian’s authority to agree to on behalf of the participant.

2.      What if we are audited and cannot produce our signed service agreement?

It is not a legal or policy requirement that a provider’s own service agreement be signed in order for services to be delivered. OPA’s deeds comply with the NDIA’s policies and procedures relating to service delivery. They can be produced for auditing purposes and making a service booking.

3.      Where can I get further information about the validity of the OPA deed process?

You can contact National Disability Services, Australia's peak industry body for non-government disability service organisations, or Consumer Affairs Victoria to obtain further information about the validity of the OPA deed process.

4.      If we sign a deed, can the guardian sign our service agreement as well?

No, the deed is signed in place of a service agreement. As outlined above, guardians cannot sign providers’ service agreements.  

5.      Before submitting a deed, can I see how it looks like and read its terms and conditions?

Yes, PDF copies of each type of deed are available for download at the bottom of this page.

Completing and submitting a deed online  

6.      Which type of deed should I submit?

  • If you are providing support coordination services, submit a Support Coordination Services Deed 
  • If you are providing plan management services, submit a Plan Management Services Deed
  • If you are providing specialist disability accommodation (SDA), submit a Specialist Disability Accommodation Deed 
  • For any other type of services, submit a Miscellaneous Services Deed.

7.      Can support coordinators fill out a deed on behalf of another service provider?

Yes, a support coordinator can fill out a deed on behalf of another service provider but they cannot sign a deed on behalf of another service provider. This is because the deed is an agreement between the provider and the participant. 

After filling out a deed on behalf of another service provider, click on the ‘Save’ button. A message will pop up saying your progress has been saved. The message will contain a link to the deed. It will also ask for an email address. You can enter your own email address or the provider’s email address. 

If you enter your own email address, you will receive an email with the link to the deed. You must then forward the email to the provider so they can access, sign and submit the deed. 

If you enter the provider’s email address, the provider will receive the email with the link to the deed. The provider can then access, sign and submit the deed. You will not receive an email so make sure you save a copy of the link before closing the browser window in case you want to access the deed again. 

Please note that after saving a deed, it must be completed within seven days. After seven days, the link to the deed becomes inactive. 

8.      How can I find out the NDIS plan dates and whether there is enough funding for the services I will be providing to the participant?

Before submitting a deed, please consult with the participant’s support coordinator to verify the plan dates and how much funding has been allocated for your services. Make sure you enter these details correctly in the deed. 

After a deed has been submitted

9.      What happens after I submit a deed? 

After submitting a deed, a copy will be emailed directly to you (the provider), the support coordinator and OPA.  

The support coordinator will review the deed and advise the guardian whether the details in the schedules are accurate, appropriate and compatible with the participant’s NDIS plan. The guardian can then sign the deed. 

Once the guardian has signed the deed, another email attaching a copy of the co-signed deed (bearing both signatures) will be sent to you, the support coordinator and OPA. 

10.    I have already submitted the deed but I made a mistake in it. Can I amend the deed?

Yes, you can amend a submitted deed before the guardian signs it. 

To do this, open the email you received after submitting the deed and click on ‘Edit the Shared Entry’. Make the necessary changes to the deed and submit it again. A copy of the updated deed will then be emailed to you, the support coordinator and OPA.

11.    I’m a support coordinator. Why am I receiving copies of deeds relating to miscellaneous services and plan management, and what do I need to do with them? 

You are receiving copies of deeds and deed amendment schedules relating to miscellaneous services and plan management to make it is easier for you to carry out your functions and responsibilities towards the participant. As confirmed by NDIA, this includes helping the participant to engage providers and set up service agreements (in this case, deeds) for services that reflect their goals and needs and that fit within their NDIS plan budget. 

Within seven days of receiving a submitted deed or deed amendment schedule, you need to: 

  • Review the NDIS plan dates in Schedule 1 and the details of services in Schedule 2 of the deed, or the Deed Amendment Schedule, to make sure those details are accurate, appropriate and compatible with the participant’s NDIS plan. 

  • If there are no issues, complete the ‘Support Coordinator’s Notation’ on the final page of the Deed to confirm that, to the best of your knowledge, the details in the Schedules are accurate, appropriate, and compatible with the Participant’s NDIS plan. 

  • If there are any errors or issues in relation to the proposed services or the availability of funding in the participant’s NDIS plan to pay for those services, contact the service provider to advise them of the errors or issues and ask them to resubmit the deed with the appropriate details. As the deed has already been signed by the Provider, you may not make any changes to the details in the Deed yourself.

These responsibilities are set out in clause 3.3.5 of Support Coordination Services Deeds entered into after 9 May 2022.  

The guardian will not sign the deed until they receive confirmation of your review.  

When you receive a copy of the co-signed deed, you can save this for your records.  

If the participant has a plan manager, please send the plan manager a copy of all co-signed deeds and deed amendment schedules for their records. 

12.     The support coordinator or guardian have asked me to change some details in the deed I submitted. How do I do this? 

You need to amend and resubmit the deed. See the instructions in Question 10 above. 

13.     I submitted a deed a while ago. Why haven’t I received a co-signed copy of it yet? 

Before the guardian can sign the deed, the support coordinator must review it and advise the guardian whether the details in the schedules are accurate, appropriate and compatible with the participant’s NDIS plan. If you submitted the deed more than 10 days ago and have not yet received a co-signed copy of it, follow up with the support coordinator to remind them to complete their review. 

14.     There is already a deed in place but now the services which the participant needs have changed. Do I need to submit a new deed? 

No, if there is agreement to change the details of services to be provided to the participant during the life of the NDIS plan, you can submit a Deed Amendment Schedule instead (see Question 15 below). 

15.     What is a Deed Amendment Schedule and how do I make one?

A Deed Amendment Schedule is used to update the details of services to be provided to the participant which are set out in Schedule 2 of a Support Coordination or Miscellaneous Services Deed. 

Within seven days of agreeing with a participant and their guardian to amend those details, the provider can complete and submit a Deed Amendment Schedule online, in accordance with that agreement. 

The Deed Amendment Schedule replaces Schedule 2 (and any previous Deed Amendment Schedules). 

There is no limit on the number of times a new Deed Amendment Schedule can be made during the term of a deed.

You cannot use a Deed Amendment Schedule to make changes to service details if the participant has a new NDIS plan or their plan dates have changed. A new deed is required in these circumstances (see Question 16 below).

16.     The participant’s NDIS plan is expiring soon. What do I do? I cannot find the Deed Extension Schedules on the website - where are they?

The term of the deed is aligned to the participant’s NDIS plan dates. It will end when the plan expires or is replaced (unless terminated sooner). There is no longer the option of submitting a Deed Extension Schedule. 

If services are to continue under a new plan (with new plan dates), you must submit a new deed. 

Further information 

If you have any other questions about OPA’s NDIS deeds, please contact us at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Intro text: The Public Advocate's Police Awards recognise outstanding police service to people with disability. 
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The Public Advocate's Police Awards recognise outstanding police service to people with disability. 

Recipients are nominated by colleagues, Independent Third Persons (ITPs) - volunteers who support people with disability in police interviews, and members of the public. 

The Ben Bodna Award, named after Victoria's first Public Advocate, recognises exceptional leadership in support of Victorians with a disability.

The Independent Third Person Program Awards recognise members of Victoria Police who demonstrate the ideals of the ITP program, and have gone above and beyond in ensuring people with disability are not disadvantaged during police interviews.

YearBen Bodna AwardCommunity nominatedPolice nominatedITP - MetroITP - Rural 
2021

 Inspector Chris Allen, North West Metro Region.

n/a * Sergeant Kelly Christie Melton Police Station Horsham Police Station
2020 Acting Inspector Christine Lalor  n/a * Lydia Popec Melbourne West Police Station Ballarat Police Station
2019 Victoria Police’s Disability Portfolio’s Priority Communities Team Detective Senior Constable Eric Forcey Senior Constable Tamara Olley Sunshine Police Station Geelong Police Station
2018 Senior Constable Anthony Downing  Detective Senior Constable Carol Griffith Judy Ruka  Knox Police Station Shepparton Police Station
2017 Assistant Commissioner Tess Walsh Senior Constable David Grealish and Melbourne Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team Sergeant John Hollis  Box Hill Police Station Bendigo Police Station
2016 Melbourne North Police Station Sergeant Tristan Snow  Senior Sergeant Nicole Williams  Epping Police Station Ararat Police Station

 

*No Community nominated award due to COVID-19 pandemic.