Guidelines for Requesting a DCJ Independent Specialist for an RPA Panel
The Central Restrictive Practices Team (CRPT) is a team within Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) that oversees the Restrictive Practices Authorisation (RPA) function for NSW and supports NDIS Providers to comply with their RPA obligations.
As part of the NSW RPA Policy, those NDIS Providers wishing to implement a regulated restrictive practice must have an RPA mechanism that comprises a properly constituted RPA Panel which meets governance requirements. Membership of an RPA panel must comprise as a minimum:
- A senior manager of the NDIS Provider who has experience in behaviour support and restrictive practices
- An experienced Specialist Behaviour Support Practitioner who is independent of the NDIS Provider and NDIS participant.
The CRPT assists NDIS Providers to meet their RPA obligations by providing access to a pool of accredited DCJ Independent Specialists to ensure NDIS Providers have access to appropriately qualified behaviour support practitioners to support the operation of their RPA panel.
What is a DCJ Independent Specialist?
A DCJ Independent Specialist is a behaviour support practitioner who is independent of the NDIS Provider and the NDIS participant. They are a practitioner who was not involved in the development or sign-off of the participant’s Behaviour Support Plan. They are engaged by the CRPT to provide behaviour support expertise and independence on RPA panels. The CRPT provides access to DCJ Independent Specialists to assist NDIS Providers to comply with the NSW RPA Policy.
There is no cost to the NDIS Provider for using a DCJ Independent Specialist.
How do I request a DCJ Independent Specialist?
There are a number of ways a NDIS Provider can make a request for a DCJ Independent Specialist, these are:
- Using the NSW RPA System providers can make a request for the CRPT to allocate a DCJ Independent Specialist to their RPA submission
- An NDIS Provider can email the CRPT RPA bookings team at email@example.com to advice of their upcoming panel date and request a DCJ Independent Specialist be sourced for their panel. This way, the CRPT can assist the NDIS Provider to book a DCJ Independent Specialist before completing their submissions in the NSW RPA System
- An NDIS Provider can directly contact a DCJ Independent Specialist and confirm their availability for their RPA Panel. If done this way, a provider may select that DCJ Independent Specialist in the NSW RPA System and allocate them directly to their RPA submission, if the submission is completed at least 15 days prior to the RPA Panel.
Using the first two methods outlined above, an NDIS Provider may request a specific DCJ Independent Specialist for their RPA panel; the CRPT will attempt to comply with these requests where possible.
The CRPT User Guides and Video Tutorials provide step by step instructions on how to complete an RPA Submission, including how to request a DCJ Independent Specialist.
What happens once the CRPT receives a request for a DCJ Independent Specialist?
On receiving a request to allocate a DCJ Independent Specialist, the CRPT will review the submission prior to allocation to check it meets the minimum requirements outlined in the NSW RPA Policy and NSW, RPA Procedural Guide.
Should the submission not meet these requirements, the CRPT will advise the NDIS Provider on actions which need to be taken before allocation can occur. It is the NDIS Provider’s responsibility to ensure their submission meets all requirements before the CRPT will allocate a DCJ Independent Specialist.
If an NDIS Provider is unable to meet these requirements by five days before their scheduled RPA Panel, the CRPT will not allocate a DCJ Independent Specialist to that submission and request the NDIS Provider to reschedule the hearing of the submission.
Important considerations when making a request for a DCJ Independent Specialist
- The NDIS Provider must give at least 15 days’ notice to the CRPT for their proposed RPA Panel date, regardless of how they request a DCJ Independent Specialist.
- The CRPT will not allocate a DCJ Independent Specialist to a submission when there are less than five days prior to the RPA Panel date.
- The CRPT will not allocate a DCJ Independent Specialist to a submission after the RPA Panel has occurred.
As a minimum the NDIS Provider needs to ensure the following has been completed prior to requesting a DCJ Independent Specialist be allocated to their RPA submission.
- A RPA submission has been created for the NDIS participant.
- The proposed RPA Panel date is at least fifteen days in the future.
- The RPA submission type is planned and a current comprehensive Behaviour Support Plan (BSP) has been uploaded to the submission.
- The BSP expiry date and plan ID have been entered into the RPA submission.
- All restrictive practices being sought for approval at the RPA Panel are clearly identified in the RPA submission
- All restrictive practices named in the RPA submission are clearly identifiable in the behaviour support plan.
- The primary practitioner has been selected and endorsement has been given or is pending for the RPA Submission.
- The NDIS participant or their guardian have been made aware that documentation about the participant is included in submission for use as evidence of why restricted practice approval is being sought.
- Other relevant documentation has been uploaded to the RPA submission to provide evidence to the RPA Panel about use of the restricted practice. This may include medical reports, medication administration sheets, restraint data etc.
- A Service Manager from the NDIS Provider has been allocated to the RPA Panel as convenor of the RPA Panel.