Sole Traders

If you are a sole trader who provides disability supports or services to adults or children in Queensland, you may need to apply for a disability worker screening clearance.

Sole traders

Disability worker screening for sole traders

To apply as a sole trader, you must be an NDIS or state-funded provider delivering supports or services to people with disability in Queensland.

Sole traders will also need to register as an employer for access to either the NDIS Worker Screening Database or the Queensland Employer Portal.

As a sole trader, it is important for you to understand the changes to screening in Queensland, your obligations and the impact for you and your sole trader business. If you employ staff members you can find information on screening requirements via the Employer home page or through our dedicated fact sheets FAQs for NDIS employers (PDF, 254 KB) or FAQs for state-funded employers (PDF, 564 KB).

What type of clearance do I need?

NDIS worker screening clearance

Sole traders will need an NDIS worker screening clearance if they:

  • Provide NDIS supports or services in a risk assessed role. Risk assessed roles include key personnel or managers, those directly delivering NDIS supports or services and those with more than incidental contact with people with disability.
  • Provide NDIS supports or services to a self-managed NDIS participant who requests you get a clearance.

To obtain an NDIS worker screening clearance for yourself, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Request access as an employer to the NDIS Worker Screening Database (NWSD).The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) is responsible for the operation and administration of the NWSD which will hold a register of workers who have applied for or hold an NDIS worker screening clearance across Australia. You will be issued with an NDIS employer ID number. You will be asked to enter this on your application form.
  2. Complete a disability worker screening clearance application. You will be able to select your organisation when prompted to do so once your registration has been processed by the NDIS Commission.
  3. You will be contacted by email to verify that you will be delivering NDIS supports or services.
  4. Log in to the NWSD to verify your own employment.

Queensland disability worker screening clearance

Sole traders delivering disability supports or services through a state-funded provider will need a Queensland disability worker screening clearance.

To obtain a Queensland disability worker screening clearance for yourself, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Register your organisation as an employer with the Queensland Employer Portal by completing the Registration form (DOCX, 150 KB).
  2. Complete a disability worker screening application. You will be able to select your organisation when prompted to do so if your registration has been processed by the Worker Screening Unit (WSU).
  3. The WSU will send you an email requesting that you verify your intent to deliver state-funded disability supports or services.
  4. Log in to the Queensland Employer Portal to verify your own employment. You will have 15 days to complete your verification before the request will expire.

Existing yellow card or yellow card exemption holders

If you already have a valid yellow card or yellow card exemption, you won’t need to get a disability worker screening clearance straight away. You can keep using your existing card until it expires, is suspended or is cancelled.

You can apply for a disability worker screening clearance (NDIS or Queensland) up to three months before the expiry of your yellow card or yellow card exemption. To keep working while your application is processed, it needs to be submitted and verified before your current card expires. If you fail to do so, you may be subject to ‘no card, no start’ rules which will require you to stop working until you receive a clearance.

No card, no start

Queensland has passed legislation to support a no card, no start approach to disability worker screening. This means that sole traders who are registered NDIS providers working in risk assessed roles or who are state-funded providers of disability supports or services are required to be screened and must have a clearance before they can start work. The changes are consistent with the reforms in the blue card system and are designed to increase safeguards for people with disability who receive funded supports and services.

‘No card, no start’ rules do not apply to sole traders who are registered NDIS providers working in non-risk assessed roles or unregistered NDIS providers. Sole traders in these categories can begin work after their application is lodged.

Sole trader rights and obligations

Your privacy

The WSU is bound by strict confidentiality provisions that limit how your information is used and when and to whom it can be released. There are also obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 the WSU must comply with.

To find out how your personal information will be used, read our Privacy Statement and Information Management Policy.

Your obligations

It is the responsibility of all disability worker screening clearance card holders and applicants to keep the WSU updated about any changes to their details or circumstances. Clearance card holders must inform the WSU within 14 days of the following, using the relevant form:

  • Change of name
  • Change of contact details (address, contact number, email address)
  • Change in assessable information (police information, disciplinary information or any other matter that may be relevant to whether you pose a risk of harm to people with disability)
  • Change in engagement (starting or ending employment)
  • Change from volunteer to paid work
  • Lost or stolen card

Applicants for a disability worker screening clearance must inform the WSU within 7 days of the following, using the relevant form:

  • Change of name
  • Change of contact details (address, contact number, email address)
  • Change in assessable information (police information, disciplinary information or any other matter that may be relevant to whether you pose a risk of harm to people with disability)
  • Change in engagement (starting or ending employment)
  • Change from volunteer to paid work

Failing to notify the WSU of these updates within the required timeframe is an offence and penalties may apply.

People who can’t apply

If you have been issued a yellow card negative notice, yellow card negative exemption notice or a disability worker screening exclusion that has not been cancelled, you cannot apply for an NDIS worker screening check. It is an offence under the Disability Services Act 2006 to make an application and penalties apply.

Reviewable decisions

To ensure accountability for disability worker screening decisions, most applicants or workers who have received a decision they don’t agree with have the right to review or appeal under Queensland’s new worker screening legislation.

Certain decisions made by the WSU are considered reviewable decisions. These include a decision to:

  • Issue an exclusion (unless the exclusion is based on a disqualifying offence)
  • Not end an interim bar imposed on a person
  • Not end the suspension of a person’s clearance
  • Refuse an application to cancel a person’s exclusion

If a reviewable decision is made in relation to you and you’re dissatisfied with the decision, you can apply to have the decision reviewed. The review process includes:

  1. An internal review of the decision
  2. If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you can apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an external review of the decision.

For further information on review and appeal information, please see our dedicated fact sheet (PDF, 685 KB).

Engaging employees as a sole trader

If you intend to engage workers to deliver disability supports or services, please visit the Employer home page to understand what is required.

More information

For more information on disability worker screening for sole traders, see our dedicated fact sheet (PDF, 685 KB).