Statement regarding the Association’s involvement in the Independent Assessor’s Project
Between July to September 2020, a project was coordinated by Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA), to consider the development of the credentialing, training and quality assurance aspects of the Independent Assessor role.
This project was funded by the NDIA, and included representatives from each of the six professions, identified by the Agency for the Independent Assessment process, including Speech Pathology Australia.
The group supported the original goals related to the introduction of the Independent Assessor role, which were understood to be:
- increased access to assessments for potential participants
- decreased costs associated with assessments for potential participants
- decreased timeframes associated with decision making regarding access to the Scheme for potential participants
- Enable the NDIA to conduct consistent, objective evidence-based decision making
- facilitate more timely access to funded supports
- reduced administrative burden on potential participants and participants.
Project work was conducted with the understanding that the current model is intended as a screening tool which enables Scheme access decision making only. There were some limitations to the input that SPA and the other representatives were able to provide, as certain aspects of the model and process had already been set by the NDIA and were not open to comment.
As a result, the group chose to focus on influencing the process the NDIA intend to roll out as best as possible within these limitations. The group have focused on making recommendations that, if implemented, will ensure only suitably credentialed, well trained, competent professionals will conduct Independent Assessments and that appropriate evaluation methods are in place to identify improvement requirements.
The final report with the recommendations was submitted to the Agency on 30 September 2020. As members may be aware, AHPA met with representatives from the NDIS on 10 September to discuss their concerns and recommendations, following the Independent Assessment process being announced, and further updates will be shared as information is received.