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NDIS Independent Assessments Inquiry - Submission from the CRE-DH to the Joint Standing Committee

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online resource
posted on 2021-06-09, 05:57 authored by ANNE KAVANAGHANNE KAVANAGH, HELEN DICKINSON, GEMMA CAREY

This submission is made on behalf of researchers from the Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health (CRE-DH) funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, 7 April 2021.

Our submission to the committee comments on issues in relation to a range of the terms of references outlined for this inquiry. We are concerned that the introduction of Independent Assessments (IAs) will be damaging to current and potential NDIS participants and the ‘consultation’ process on this policy has not been consistent with the core principles of the scheme including co-design and choice and control.

IAs have been justified on the basis that they will lead to consistency and therefore be more equitable, concentrate function rather than medical diagnosis, and Scheme sustainability.

We believe that they fail on all these objectives and that their use will exacerbate inequities in practice.

Against this background we are calling for:

A halt to the implementation of IAs

A commitment to release pilot data collected to date including how they were used to determine funding outcomes

A commitment to co-produce any future functional assessment component of the scheme and its evaluation with people with disability and other stakeholders with expertise in the area including academics and allied health professionals

A commitment to rigorous evaluation of functional assessments against their purpose of allocation of budgets for reasonable and necessary supports that meet participants’ goals

A commitment to not use functional assessments as the sole (or main) basis of funding decisions

A commitment to determining ‘reasonable and necessary’ support on the basis of individual goals

A commitment to promoting equity through investment in advocacy and development of culturally appropriate services in areas of need.

Suggested citation

Dickinson H, Kavanagh A & Carey G. Submission on the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s Inquiry into Independent Assessments to the Joint Standing Committee. Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health, 7 April 2021.

More information about our research can be found here:


NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health