Disability services sector employment screening

Specific features of this type of screening:

  • A crime against a person with a disability is deemed to signify an unacceptable risk for engagement within disability services.
  • Information considered includes from human resources records from within the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion and from non-government disability service providers.

What does it involve? 

Disability services employment screening by the DCSI Screening Unit is a comprehensive assessment of a person's relevant history to determine whether they pose a risk of harm to the safety or wellbeing of people with disability. A crime against a person with a disability is deemed to signify an unacceptable risk for engagement within the disability services sector.

As an outcome of this type of screening, the applicant is deemed either acceptable or unacceptable for engagement anywhere within the disability services sector.

A disability services sector screening clearance is valid for 3 years and is transferrable across all services provided or funded under the Disability Services Act 1993 in South Australia.

Relevant legislation

The relevant legislation is:

The DCSI Screening Unit is the only screening unit with authorisation to undertake disability services employment screening assessments in accordance with the Act and Regulations.

Questions-graphicWhen is disability services sector screening required?

An organisation may require its employees, volunteers, agents, contractors and/or sub-contractors to be screened as part of its risk management policies and processes, for the purposes of ensuring the safety and welfare of persons for whom the organisation provides disability services.

Only individuals working or volunteering in a 'prescribed position' within a 'prescribed disability service provider' as defined by the Disability Services Act 1993 are required to undergo disability services employment screening.

A 'prescribed position', according to the Act (section 5B), is one in which the person, in the course of their duties, has or is engaged in:

  • regular contact with people with a disability or working in close proximity to people with a disability on a regular basis, unless the contact or work is directly supervised at all times; or
  • supervision or management of people in positions requiring or involving regular contact with people with a disability or working in close proximity to people with a disability on a regular basis;
  • access to records of a kind prescribed by regulation relating to people with a disability;
  • providing care to a person with disability overnight, and involving sleeping arrangements, regardless of whether that care is short-term or ongoing.

A 'prescribed disability services provider' is a government provider of disability services or a non-government provider which is funded under the Disability Services Act 1993.

If your employer organisation is not a prescribed disability service provider, or your role does not fit the definition of prescribed position, you cannot be required to undergo disability services employment screening.

For more details please refer to the Disability Services Employment Screening Standards (PDF 684.7 KB).

What is assessed?

Disability services sector screening involves an assessment of the individual's 'relevant history', including:

  • findings of guilt by a court;
  • charges for an offence (including pending charges) regardless of the outcome;
  • information held by government and non-government agencies, including human resources information about allegations of workplace misconduct;
  • information about care concern investigations;
  • child protection information.

The Disability Services Employment Screening Standards is a publicly available document that sets out how DCSI Screening Unit assessment officers will use relevant history information to make an assessment about the individual's level of risk.  For more details please refer to the Disability Services Employment Screening Standards (PDF 684.7 KB) and FAQs.


How will the outcome be provided?

The outcome of disability services sector screening will be provided as follows:

  • a screening clearance letter is sent by mail to individuals who have been cleared, confirming that they have been assessed as 'suitable for work in the disability services sector';
  • the requesting organisation is informed by email.

Procedural fairness: If the Screening Unit uncovers any relevant history about the individual being screened, the Unit will inform the individual by letter and provide them with an opportunity to respond, by providing any further related information which may impact on  the outcome of the assessment.

If it is assessed that the individual poses a risk to people with disability, the employer will be informed by email that the individual is considered 'unsuitable for work in the disability sector'.

Current service agreements specify that the organisation must not employ or engage a person who has been found unsuitable by the Screening Unit.  It should be noted that the final decision as to whether to engage an individual for a particular role is the responsibility of the requesting organisation.

Questions-graphicWhen is more than one type of screening required?

In some circumstances, more than one type of screening may be required.

Working with children:  A disability services employment clearance alone is not sufficient for a role working with children.  People working with children in the disability sector are required to obtain a child-related employment screening clearance to meet the requirements of the Children's Protection Act 1993.  This will enable them to work with both children and people with disabilit

  • If the role involves working with both children and adults with a disability; both a disability services sector clearance and a child-related employment screening clearance may be required;
  • If the role involves working in the disability sector AND working with children BUT NOT adults with disability; only a child-related employment assessment is required.

Expiry of current clearances

  • If working with children:  If the individual's child-related screening clearance is due to expire, an employee or volunteer should obtain a new child related employment screening clearance.
  • If working only with adults with a disability: If the work involves working with adults with disability (but not children), the individual should apply for disability services employment screening.

More information