Skip to main content


Our purpose is to enhance lives—by working with people who have hearing and vision loss, so together we can redefine what’s possible. Our policies help us achieve this.
Fingers on raised braille display

Selecting an option will move you to a different section of the page.

NDIS information for download

Clients’ rights policy


This policy explains how we provide a service that promotes our clients’ legal and human rights and enables them to exercise choice and control according to their individual and cultural needs and preferences.


This policy applies to all NextSense employees, contractors and volunteers.


As part of their legal and human rights, NextSense clients have the right to:

Person-centred service

  • Our clients’ needs come first: we ask what they need from our services and develop individual service plans with them.
  • We treat our clients with respect, dignity and courtesy. This includes respecting and supporting their culture, diversity, values, beliefs and decisions without discrimination.
  • We acknowledge our client’s right to be supported by a certified or trained assistance animal and to have their animal involved in their therapy or appointment.

Informed choice, decision making and control

  • We give information and support to clients to understand and exercise their rights to be in control and make independent, informed choices about their services. This includes respecting the "dignity of risk" that might come with client choice.
  • We work with each client to develop and implement an individual plan that identifies and builds on their strengths, aspirations and goals.

Receive quality services

  • Our services must be relevant, evidence-based and deliver best practice.
  • We promote, uphold and respect clients’ legal and human rights in our services.

Receive timely information in their preferred formats and mode of communication

  • This includes offering interpreting services and providing materials in accessible formats.

Privacy and confidentiality

  • Our services respect and protect our clients’ dignity, confidentiality and right to privacy.
  • We only collect the personal information we need to provide services and meet legal requirements.
  • We protect clients’ personal information in line with relevant legislation and ask for their consent to use their information as needed.

Feel safe

  • Our services are free of violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation or discrimination.
  • We screen potential team members for their suitability to work with vulnerable people before they start work with us.
  • Team members must identify and respond to indicators that children and vulnerable people are experiencing harm or are at risk of experiencing harm.

An advocate

  • We encourage and help our clients to engage another person to speak or act on their behalf to support their choice and control.

Have their feedback valued and acted on

  • We encourage our clients to give us feedback, whether complaints, compliments or suggestions so we can improve our services.
  • We provide a supportive environment for giving and receiving feedback and we make sure there are no negative consequences for people who give us feedback.

Be supported through their journey with us

  • We deliver quality services and link clients to appropriate NextSense services and to our partners to help clients fulfil their potential.
  • We give our clients time to consult, consider and review their options at each stage of their journey with us.
  • We help clients engage with family, friends and community as directed by them.




ClientIncludes the client’s support team, such as family, guardians or advocates.
Dignity of riskEach person’s right to make the choice to take risks.

Client responsibilities


We want the NextSense experience to be great for everyone – for our clients as well as people who work for us. This policy explains clients’ responsibilities to help make their own and others’ experience as good as it can be.


This policy applies to all employees and all clients.


These are the things we ask you, our clients, to do:

  • Stick to the program. Nothing is better than seeing our clients meet their goals. You have a huge role in that by coming to each appointment, actively participating and following our recommendations. If you can’t keep an appointment, please let us know as soon as possible. See our Cancellation Policy for more information
  • Treat everyone at NextSense with respect and consideration. This includes other clients as well as our employees. Any kind of disrespect is never acceptable. If we aren’t meeting your needs or you have a problem with our service, please let us know about it. We welcome your feedback in person or you can use our feedback system.
  • Everyone’s privacy is important. Do not take photos or videos at NextSense that include other NextSense clients or employees without getting their permission first. Even if you get permission, you must not post any photos or videos taken at NextSense to social media for child safety and respect for privacy.
  • Help keep yourself, our employees and other clients safe. We do everything we can to make our services safe, but if you spot a problem please tell one of our employees or contact us via our Contact page. If we are providing services in your home it is your responsibility to make sure our staff are safe. Please keep pets away and do not smoke while we are there.
  • Keep us up to date. We need information about you so we can provide services that meet your needs. If your needs or details change, please let us know.
  • If we send you an invoice please pay us on time. We are a not-for-profit organisation that relies on your payment as well as donations and taxpayer funding to continue providing great service to you.

Definitions and abbreviations



ClientPeople who receive our services and may include their families, carers and other people who support them.
EmployeesSalaried staff, casuals, contractors, volunteers and students of NextSense.
Social mediaOnline social networks used to publish information through online social interaction. Examples include Facebook, Instagram, WeChat, Twitter, YouTube, Tik Tok, Snapchat and blogs.

Privacy policy

The complete NextSense privacy policy can be found on our Privacy Policy page.

Diversity policy


Each client of NextSense has the right to access supports that respect their culture, diversity, values and beliefs.

All clients have the right to equal access to resources and services that are appropriate to them, and to equity in the outcome of the services provided. This applies to clients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, and any clients from specific populations regarding age, gender, disability, faith and sexual orientation.


This policy applies to all services at NextSense. All services are aware of and sensitively respond to client culture, diversity, values and beliefs.


NextSense considers the issues of culture and diversity in the delivery of programs and services.

  • NextSense supports employees in making sure service delivery is flexible and culturally and linguistically sensitive and appropriate.
  • NextSense identifies and builds networks with multicultural agencies to enhance awareness and improve access to our services.
  • NextSense identifies specific needs and outreach opportunities, such as the hearing screening program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • Information about NextSense services is provided in accessible formats.
  • Interpreting services are available to all clients who require them in order to communicate in their preferred languages.
  • NextSense acknowledges that our cultural backgrounds and experiences may create biases. Employees must seek education wherever possible to address the needs of diverse clients and must eliminate biases, prejudices and discriminatory practices.
  • Employees are provided with ongoing support and professional development to help implement diversity awareness in practice.

Participation policy


This policy explains how NextSense services staff help clients be included and participate in community life in ways that are meaningful to them.


This policy applies to all services staff.


NextSense supports and respects the rights of clients to participate and be actively included in the community and support networks in the way they choose. We aim to develop connections with the broader community to promote opportunities and options for clients to engage in community activities and develop social relationships with other members of the community who share their interests.

Staff are encouraged to develop and maintain links with other community service providers and regularly participate in professional and inter-agency associations and community engagement activities.

Staff and volunteers are given training to help them understand, respect and act in the interests of clients. Services staff work with clients and support them to:

  • Develop and maintain skills and attitudes that promote their independence.
  • Make decisions about how they connect with their chosen community and activities.
  • Access appropriate community activities through collaborative planning and coordination of interagency service provision; and if requested, advocate on behalf of clients seeking services.
  • Use local community resources and include these resources in individual program objectives to achieve their goals and reduce barriers to participation.
  • Develop links with programs for people from a diverse background, including people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; and as appropriate adapt service delivery practices to more effectively meet the needs of these communities.

NextSense requests feedback from clients to understand their needs in accessing and participating in their chosen community and activities.

In early childhood services we recognise that the family has central importance for child development, therefore we:

  • Encourage active involvement of the client’s family and support networks.
  • Provide family-centred supports in a culturally inclusive and responsive way.
  • Build on the strengths of the client and their family and support networks.
  • Provide a natural setting for services where possible.
  • Set functional outcomes which help the client participate in their family and community life in an inclusive and meaningful way, including participation in daily routines.

Definitions and abbreviations



ClientWhere relevant the term ‘client’ includes the client’s family or carer.

Advocacy policy


This policy explains the responsibility of NextSense to support and promote advocacy for clients.


This policy applies to all Services employees and all clients.


NextSense supports our clients to be represented by an advocate when dealing with us or to act as advocates for themselves. We also advocate with and on behalf of our clients and families and see this as part of our role in supporting our clients.

We work towards open and productive working relationships with our clients and recognise there may be times when a client wants to engage an advocate to make sure their view is effectively communicated, and their needs are met.

We include advocacy information on our website and in our promotional materials to help increase awareness of advocacy resources.


  • Ensures clients are given fair and equal treatment and access to NextSense services and decisions are taken with due consideration for their unique preferences and perspectives.
  • Ensures clients are given a legitimate voice in issues that affect them.
  • Provides consultation processes, networks and strategies to integrate clients’ needs into services, facilities and decision-making processes.
  • Ensures clients are empowered and supported to give feedback, including complaints.
  • Provides information to clients about their rights and entitlement to independent advocacy and support if their human rights are infringed.
  • Provides information for families to enable them to advocate, lobby and negotiate with organisations, services or agencies to have their issues heard.
  • In cases of alleged or actual violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation or discrimination, ensures that clients are aware they may use and can be supported to access an advocate.

Definitions and abbreviations



ClientIncludes the client’s family and support network.

Cancellation policy


This policy describes how client cancellations are managed. NextSense acknowledges that clients and their families face multiple demands on their time. Appointments may need to be cancelled on occasion. An external version of this policy is provided to clients to make sure they make the most of their access to NextSense services in order to meet their goals.


This policy applies to all client services.


Clients must provide 48 hours’ notice of cancellation of an appointment or a cancellation fee will apply.

NextSense sends out reminder texts and/or emails before scheduled appointments.

NextSense has three types of cancellations:

  1. Within the required notice—clients request to cancel an appointment more than 48 hours before it is scheduled.
  2. Outside of the required notice—clients request to cancel an appointment less than 48 hours before it is scheduled.
  3. No notice given (do not show/DNS)—client does not attend the appointment at the scheduled time and location.

Cancellation Fees

Appointments cancelled with less than 48 hours’ notice or with no notice given (do not show) will be charged 100% of the value of planned supports, including any travel for the session, if no other billable activity can be conducted by the NextSense staff member at the planned appointment time. NextSense determines the cancellation fee and policy from the requirements of the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits guide. The most recent price guide must be used.


When NextSense processes the cancellation, the session is charged to the client with a note that it was a cancellation. This is a direct claim against the client’s NDIS funding and the NDIA is notified of the cancellation through the claim.

Special circumstances

NextSense may waive up to two cancellation or no-show fees. There may be extenuating circumstances in which cancellation charges may be waived by a service manager. It must be explained to clients that if cancellation fees are waived, the NDIA does not have visibility of the cancelled sessions. Future NDIS planning and funding may be impacted.

If clients regularly miss or reschedule appointments, they must be contacted to determine how NextSense can best support them or adjust the schedule of appointments. The NDIA must be notified if a client has an unusual number of cancellations.

Cancellations coming from NextSense

NextSense will give clients as much notice as possible regarding appointment changes. If an employee is unwell, the client will be contacted as soon as possible with an offer of a different employee (where appropriate) for the appointment. Alternatively, the client may choose to reschedule the appointment with the original employee.

Feedback policy


This policy explains why feedback is important and how we deal with it at NextSense.


This policy applies to all NextSense employees, volunteers and contractors. It covers feedback from our clients, employees, volunteers, contractors, stakeholders and members of the public.


NextSense welcomes compliments, suggestions and complaints to ensure we continually improve the way we do things.

We address all feedback in a way that ensures access and equity, fairness, accountability and transparency with the goal of achieving a positive outcome for all parties.

We encourage people providing feedback to be supported by their family, carer, advocate and other accessibility supports, such as interpreters.

There may be cases where a complaint cannot be investigated and still be kept confidential. In these cases, we will consult with the person making the complaint about if, and how, they would like us to continue with the investigation.

NextSense will:

  • Treat all people providing feedback with respect, recognising that the issue is important to them and that their feedback deserves our considered response.
  • Communicate with people who provide feedback using their preferred method of communication.
  • Cultivate a supportive environment in which feedback can be given and received. We can learn from our mistakes to improve the way we do things.
  • Include the person giving feedback in the process.
  • Communicate and promote feedback processes to all clients.
  • Resolve complaints to the satisfaction of the person making the complaint where possible.
  • Support mediation, conciliation or escalation to the appropriate external body if a complaint cannot be resolved within NextSense.
  • Comply with legislative requirements.
  • Analyse feedback data to review and continuously improve the effectiveness of our operations, including the effectiveness of the feedback system. The analysis is regularly presented to the Senior leadership Team.
  • Review and evaluate the accessibility and effectiveness of the feedback system and continuously improve the process.
  • Make sure no one is treated badly because they have made a complaint about NextSense.

Our feedback process:

  • Allows any person to make a complaint or provide feedback.
  • Is simple, accessible and easy to use.
  • Anonymous feedback can be provided using the phone number or mail address on the NextSense website or the Whistleblower policy. This includes if a complaint concerns the NextSense Chief Executive.
  • Encourages complaints to be resolved at the point of contact where possible.
  • Ensures complaints or appeals are fairly assessed and responded to promptly.
  • Follows principles of procedural fairness.
  • Maintains the confidentiality of parties involved, only sharing private information with people directly involved in the complaint and its resolution. Information will only be disclosed if required by law, or if otherwise necessary.
  • Balances fairness and confidentiality to safeguard the interests of all parties.

Definitions and abbreviations



Procedural fairnessProcedural fairness is a legal principle that ensures fair decision making and requires:
  • Decisions to be free from bias or appearance of bias by the decision maker
  • Decisions to be based on evidence that supports the facts
  • People likely to be adversely affected by decisions have an opportunity to:
    • Present their case and
    • Have their response considered before the decision is made.

Individual outcomes policy


NextSense services support clients to make service choices based on their individual needs and goals. Services are designed collaboratively with the client/family/carer.


This policy applies to all NextSense services departments.


  • Clients, along with their families and carers, are at the centre of planning and decision making. Clients are encouraged to exercise choice and control in the services and supports they receive.
  • NextSense is sensitive to the client’s age and gender, as well as to their cultural, linguistic, and religious background.
  • Services are skill/outcome focused with clear objectives and procedures for achieving those objectives. Clients are supported in building their independence and skills.
  • NextSense offers flexible and responsive supports and services that meet the client’s individual needs and expectations.
  • NextSense supports each client to develop, review, assess, and adjust their plan as their circumstances or goals change.
  • NextSense provides appropriate information to assist the client in making decisions.
  • Clients may use an advocate to assist in making decisions.
  • NextSense respects decisions not to participate.
  • NextSense works, where possible, with other organisations and community groups to expand the range of service options.
  • Individual plans take into consideration the client’s involvement with other agencies. Collaborative planning is conducted when possible.
  • NextSense assists the client in comparing the benefits and risks of each option before any approach is adopted.
  • Each client is encouraged and supported in evaluating the service they receive.

Service access policy


This policy outlines how we make it easy for clients to enter and exit our services.


This policy applies to all services.

Policy statement

NextSense provides relevant, high-quality services for clients of all ages and cultural backgrounds who are deaf or hard of hearing, and/or blind or have low vision.

Our services are fair, non-discriminatory, and are planned and delivered around client needs.

We communicate with clients using their preferred language and mode of communication. Qualified interpreters are used when needed.

Clients accessing NextSense Early Intervention and Cochlear Implant Program services have one point of entry through the Client Care Team who respond to and triage all enquiries and distribute them to relevant services for action.

We help clients use their NDIS and other funding effectively. As a not-for-profit organisation, we work to support clients who do not have access to funding to provide services. Clients also have the option to access our services as fee-paying clients.

Each client and/or their family/carer work with us to develop their goals to meet their needs and preferences.

A service agreement is made between NextSense and the client. All costs are clearly defined.

We make reasonable adjustments to our service environment to support each client's health, privacy, independence, and dignity.

We are committed to supporting the community by assisting with access, delivering services, and linking with partners to enable clients to fulfil their potential.

If we are not the most appropriate service to support a client, we will help clients access other services that better meet their needs. We will also support clients by providing the information they need when leaving our services.

Withdrawing services

Services may be withdrawn if a client:

  • Has not paid their accounts and agreement cannot be reached between the client and NextSense for a payment plan.
  • Is routinely violent or aggressive and poses a danger to other people.

Provider travel policy


This policy describes why NextSense staff sometimes travel to provide services and how we set and update the charges for provider travel.


This policy applies to all employees travelling to provide services to clients funded by the NDIS, and to all clients receiving services funded by the NDIS where NextSense employees travel to provide the service. It also applies to fee-paying clients.


NextSense provides services in convenient locations across Australia or through videoconferencing technology. We recognise the best practice in early intervention is to deliver services in the natural environment. Clients may also choose to receive services in a place that best suits them. As a result, we may agree with the client to provide some services in their home or local community. This involves the NextSense consultant travelling from their usual place of work to deliver the service.

Charges for travel

  • If a NextSense consultant travels to provide services to clients in their community or home, the client will be charged for the travel. The NDIS calls this 'Provider Travel', and it is the time spent travelling by a worker to deliver a service. The NDIS Pricing Arrangements outline when providers can charge for travel. The service items that providers can claim travel costs for are listed in the NDIS Support Catalogue. It is important to note that the NDIS does not provide participants with a separate budget for provider travel in their plan; it is deducted from the total budget for the support category.
  • We will discuss and agree with the client how we charge them for travel. We will charge for actual travel time up to the maximum limit as listed in the NDIS Pricing Arrangements.

Changes to the way we charge for travel

We may update the amount we charge for travel if the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and NDIS Support Catalogue change. We will inform clients of any changes before we start charging the new amount.

Safeguarding policy

Policy summary: key points

  • NextSense requires all staff to maintain the care and protection of children and vulnerable people as paramount.
  • Staff must observe acceptable standards of conduct at all times and comply with their legislative obligations relating to working with children and providing services under the NDIS scheme as well as NextSense policies and procedures.
  • All staff are required to report to their manager or their delegate any concern pertaining to the safety, wellbeing or welfare of children and vulnerable people to whom NextSense provides a service including disability, care, health or education services.
  • Staff are required to comply with Mandatory Reporting obligations arising under child protection legislation and the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth).
  • NextSense and some of its staff are captured under the Reportable Conduct Scheme in New South Wales and Victoria that requires NextSense to report any allegations of reportable conduct made against staff to the relevant statutory body and conduct a workplace investigation into the reported allegation.
  • Staff must keep information relating to matters under this policy confidential and comply with rules relating to procedural fairness.

Part 1: purpose

NextSense seeks to create a safe environment where all individuals conform to the highest standards of ethical conduct in relation to the safety, wellbeing, care and support of children and vulnerable people. This policy reflects best practice standards in accordance with guidance available from statutory and regulatory bodies, applicable legislation, the National Child Safe Standards, applicable State Child Safe Standards, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Code of Conduct and the NDIS Practice Standards.

All people employed or engaged by NextSense have a part to play in maintaining practices that create a culture of safety within which children and vulnerable people are supported and protected.

NextSense acknowledges that people in need of care and disability services experience vulnerability due to disability, age, illness or mental illness and may be unable to take care of themselves or advocate on their own behalf. NextSense recognises that some people are at a higher risk for poor health or abuse as a result of the barriers they experience based of socio-economic factors, as well as limitations due to illness or disability. All staff are expected to be a positive role model to children and vulnerable people acting professionally and in their best interests, whilst showing genuine care and compassion, and treating all people with respect regardless of their race, age, gender, language, religion, opinions, social origin, disability, or other status.

NextSense takes a child-focused approach to protecting children, where access to information, supports and processes are easy to understand and accessible. NextSense is committed to a supportive environment that facilitates and ensures all people employed or engaged by NextSense are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and vulnerable people safe through continual education, sector specific training, and maintaining professional standards of conduct, including expected behavioural standards. NextSense takes a coordinated approach to regular review of national and state-based legislation to ensure that all relevant updates are embedded in process and practice.

Part 2: scope

This policy applies to all staff (employees), affiliates and volunteers who are engaged by NextSense. Reference to Staff in this policy is intended to cover all people that fall within the definition of Staff, as set out in Part 4 of this document.

Part 3: policy

1. Responsibilities and obligations

  1. Staff must maintain the care and protection of children and vulnerable people as paramount.
  2. Staff must be familiar with, comply with and maintain at all times, the required standards of professional behaviour as set out in the NextSense Code of Conduct Policy POL00009 in their relationships and conduct with children and vulnerable people, and promote the safety, wellbeing and protection of children and vulnerable people to whom NextSense provides a service.
  3. Staff must comply with the applicable legislation and NextSense policies and procedures with respect to safeguarding and child protection, at all times.
  4. Staff must maintain and keep current, a clearance to work with children as regulated by the applicable State and Territory in which they work for NextSense as well as requirements prescribed under NextSense Policies and Procedures relating to screening.
  5. Staff employed by NextSense who are working with clients with a disability must maintain and keep current, their NDIS worker screening clearance throughout their employment with NextSense.
  6. Staff must maintain professional standards at all times, including not engaging in any conduct that could reasonably be assessed as conduct that falls below standards of expected conduct towards or in the presence of children or vulnerable people or conduct that falls within the definition of Reportable Conduct or Reportable Incident, as defined in this policy.
  7. Consistent with their legal and moral obligation to maintain duty of care, Staff must take reasonable measures to ensure that children and vulnerable people are not harmed and are protected from reasonably foreseeable risks of harm.
  8. Staff must comply with the reporting obligations set out in this policy.
  9. Staff must support the rights of students, parents, vulnerable people, clients and people employed or engaged by NextSense, to bring forward complaints or allegations and to be heard without fear of reprisal.
  10. Staff must report to their Manager or their delegate any information they may have in relation to inappropriate conduct involving a child or a vulnerable person.

2. Reporting concerns about child protection matters

  1. All Staff are deemed mandatory reporters pursuant to this policy and must report any concerns in relation to the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child to their Manager or their delegate as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the information.
  2. Any reported concern must be assessed by the Manager or their delegate to determine an appropriate response, including an assessment of whether the concern requires Mandatory Reporting to statutory bodies.
  3. Staff must comply with Mandatory Reporting obligations relating to safety, wellbeing and wellbeing concerns about children arising under legislation in the applicable State or Territory as set out in the Mandatory Reporting Procedures PRD00001. This includes obligations to report any suspected child abuse offence, including sexual abuse, serious physical abuse or extreme neglect of a child, where it arises in the context of work.
  4. The Manager (or their delegate) at each site has a responsibility to ensure that all Staff in their team are aware of the NextSense Code of Conduct Policy POL00009, this policy and the related procedures.
  5. The Manager (or their delegate) at each site has a responsibility to report to the Nominated Delegate any child related concerns reported to or known to them under this policy and comply with all reasonable directions, including to make any required reports to the relevant statutory body.
  6. The Nominated Delegate has an obligation to report or require a person with relevant authority at NextSense to make a report to relevant statutory bodies any reported suspected child abuse offence arising in the context of work. Any suspected child abuse offence that does not arise in the context of work may still require a report to statutory bodies by the relevant staff member under applicable State or Territory legislation. An obligation to report a suspected child abuse offence to NextSense, where it arises in the context of work, does not restrict the individual from directly reporting the concern to the relevant statutory body.
  7. All Staff are required to report to their Manager or their delegate any information or concerns about inappropriate behaviour by any Staff that involves a child regardless of whether the behaviour occurred inside or outside of work.
  8. The Nominated Delegate has an obligation to ensure that a risk assessment is undertaken as soon as reasonably practicable, to inform NextSense of actual or perceived risks which are present or likely to arise in a particular matter and assist with the strategies or interim measures necessary to mitigate the risk and protect the integrity of any workplace process or investigation.
  9. Any concerns assessed as being an allegation of Reportable Conduct must be reported to the relevant statutory body by the Chief Executive Officer or NextSense, or their delegate, consistent with the applicable Reportable Conduct Procedures and within the prescribed timeframes.
  10. Under this policy, any concern about child protection matters relating to the Chief Executive Officer of NextSense must be reported to the NextSense Board via the President of the Board. The NextSense Board must comply with obligations to report concerns to relevant statutory bodies.

3. Reporting reportable incidents to the NDIS Commission

  1. Staff must report any concerns in relation to the safety, welfare and wellbeing of a vulnerable person to their Manager or their delegate as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the information.
  2. The Manager (or their delegate) at each site has a responsibility to report to the Nominated Delegate any concerns relating to vulnerable people reported to or known to them under this policy and comply with all reasonable directions by the Nominated Delegate in the management of the matter.
  3. All reported incidents and concerns must be appropriately assessed, responded to, and investigated, where reasonable.
  4. Any incidents assessed as being a Reportable Incident must be reported to the NDIS Commission by the Chief Executive Officer of NextSense, or their delegate, consistent with the reporting obligations set by the NDIS Commission and in the required timeframes. If the Reportable Incident relates to the Chief Executive Officer of NextSense, the President of the Board or their delegate must report the incident to the NDIS Commission.
  5. Any incident assessed as being a Reportable Incident must be investigated in accordance with NextSense internal procedures, Work, Health and Safety policies, and instructions by the NDIS Commission, as applicable.

4. Confidentiality, records and disclosure

  1. Staff must keep confidential any information they are privy to with respect to any matter that is captured within this policy. Any breach of confidentiality under this policy may result in NextSense taking disciplinary/appropriate action. Maintaining confidentiality does not limit an individual’s obligation for reporting concerns as outlined in this policy.
  2. Staff must maintain appropriate records and data in relation to their professional practice when working with children and vulnerable people. Records may include case notes, student/client files and behaviour management plans. This includes keeping contemporaneous file notes and records of any reported disclosures, observations and discussions, including any alleged breach of this policy and these must securely stored in accordance with NextSense policies and procedures.
  3. Staff with delegated responsibility must ensure that appropriate records of matters reported under this policy are confidentially retained and where applicable, records of investigations and findings are stored securely, confidentially and separately from staff personnel files.
  4. Where permitted and/or required under legislation, NextSense may share confidential information with relevant statutory bodies or other agencies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and vulnerable people. This includes, but is not limited to, State regulators and administrators of the Reportable Conduct Scheme, State and Territory regulators of working with children clearances, State regulators of teacher accreditation or related bodies, NDIS Commission, State, Territory or Federal police, child wellbeing government departments under Mandatory Reporting, employers of staff engaged by NextSense, or other agencies where appropriate.

5. Procedural fairness

  1. All parties to a complaint have a right to confidentiality insofar as permitted by the law.
  2. Staff who are subject to a complaint regarding a matter under this policy have the right to know what has been alleged in sufficient detail for them to respond and the right to respond to any complaint or adverse comment made against them.
  3. Any investigation of a complaint against Staff must be conducted sensitively and with consideration given to the care and support needs of all parties to a complaint.
  4. Objectivity and impartiality during the investigation process must be ensured. All investigations of a complaint against Staff must be in accordance with the relevant procedures and incorporate an ongoing risk assessment.
  5. Any conflicts of interest, be they actual, potential or perceived, must be identified and managed appropriately to reduce any adverse impacts on an investigation, or on the parties subject to the investigation of a complaint.
  6. Contact and report to statutory bodies or other external authorities does not remove the requirement for an internal investigation at an appropriate time following receipt of clearance to commence an internal investigation from the statutory body.
  7. Nothing in this policy restricts or limits NextSense from seeking specialist advice and/or support from a statutory entity or a specialist service in the management of any matter that falls within this policy and any related procedures.

6. Breach of this policy and related procedures

  1. Any breach or perceived breach of this policy and its related procedures may result in NextSense taking disciplinary/appropriate action.
  2. A finding of a breach of this policy may result in serious employment outcomes, including termination of employment for staff employed by NextSense or a termination of any engagement agreement with respect to staff who are engaged by NextSense in any capacity.

Part 4: definitions



AffiliateA person employed by an external entity who is formally affiliated with NextSense to conduct work as required by NextSense (for example Children’s Hospital employees).
Allegation of reportable conduct in NSW

Pursuant to section 20 of the Children’s Guardian Act 2019 (NSW), an allegation of reportable conduct includes:

  • allegations of a sexual offence;
  • sexual misconduct;
  • ill-treatment of a child;
  • neglect of a child;
  • an assault against a child;
  • an offence under section 43B (failure to protect) or section 316A (failure to report) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW); or
  • behaviour that causes significant emotional or psychological harm to a child.
Allegation of reportable conduct in VictoriaPursuant to section 3 of the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (Vic), an allegation of reportable conduct includes:
  • a sexual offence committed against, with or in the presence of, a child, whether or not a criminal proceeding in relation to the offence has been commenced or concluded;
  • sexual misconduct, committed against, with or in the presence of, a child;
  • physical violence committed against, with or in the presence of, a child;
  • any behaviour that causes significant emotional or psychological harm to a child; or
  • significant neglect of a child.
Child/childrenMeans a person under the age of 18 years.
EmployeeStaff, volunteers, contract workers, tertiary students, and trainees, are to be considered employees of NextSense for the purposes of implementing child protection measures.
ManagerMeans a workplace manager or supervisor, or their delegate, as appropriate.
Mandatory reportingMeans legislated reporting obligations with respect to the safety and wellbeing concerns about a child or a class of children and child abuse matters to relevant statutory bodies in the applicable State and Territories. This extends to mandatory reporting requirements for potential criminal matters to the applicable State, Territory or Federal police.
Nominated delegateMeans the Director of People and Culture at NextSense or their delegate.
Reportable conductMeans any allegation that is captured within the Reportable Conduct Scheme in New South Wales and Victoria, as applicable to NextSense and its Staff and reportable to the Office of the Children’s Guardian NSW (OCG) and the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) in Victoria, respectively. As it is an allegation-based scheme, findings that the alleged conduct did in fact occur is not required for the purposes of NextSense reporting the allegation
Reportable incidentPursuant to section 73Z(4) of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth) a reportable incident is an incident that occurs or is alleged to have occurred in connection with the provision of supports or services by a registered NDIS provider and includes:
  • The death of a person with disability;
  • Serious injury of a person with disability;
  • Abuse or neglect of a person with disability;
  • Unlawful sexual or physical contact with, or assault of, a person with disability;
  • Sexual misconduct committed against, or in the presence of, a person with disability, including grooming of the person for sexual activity; or
  • The use of a restrictive practice in relation to a person with disability, other than where the use is in accordance with an authorisation (however described) of a State or Territory in relation to the person.

Reportable Incident also captures allegations of the incidents described above.

StaffIncludes paid employees (whether employed on a permanent, temporary or casual basis), affiliates, volunteers, contractors, tertiary students, and trainees.
Vulnerable peopleMeans a child, or a person above the age of 18 years, who is, or may be in need of care services, or unable to take care of themselves, or protect themselves from harm or exploitation by reason of age, illness, trauma, disability, or any other reason. The definition, for the purposes of this policy, includes a person with disability who requires no or minimal additional supports to ensure they can access general safeguards to an extent equal to other members of the community.

Part 5: related documents

This policy document should be read in conjunction with:

Internal Related Policies and Procedures

  • Reportable conduct procedures New South Wales PRD00002
  • Reportable Conduct Procedures Victoria PRD00069
  • Mandatory Reporting Procedures PRD00001
  • NextSense Code of Conduct Policy POL00009
  • Statement of commitment to the safety of children and vulnerable people
  • NextSense Grievance Policy POL00104
  • Work Health and Safety Policy and Procedures

Any other applicable NextSense Policies and Procedures


  • Child Wellbeing and Safety (Child Safe Standards Compliance and Enforcement) Amendment Act 2021 (Vic)
  • Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (Vic)
  • Child Wellbeing and Safety Amendment (Child Safe Standards) Act 2015 (Vic)
  • Child Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic)
  • Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)
  • Children (Education and Care Services) National Law 2010
  • Children’s Guardian Act 2019 (NSW)
  • Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW)
  • Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)
  • Education Act 1990 (NSW)
  • Children and Young People Act 2008 (ACT)
  • Crimes Act 1900 (ACT)
  • Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld)
  • Care and Protection of Children Act 2007 (NT)
  • Criminal Code Act 1983 (NT)
  • Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic)
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth)
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (Provider Registration and Practice Standards) Rules 2018
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (Incident Management and Reportable Incidents) Rules 2018
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (Code of Conduct) Rules 2018
  • Teacher Accreditation Act 2004 (NSW)

Recruitment and selection policy


This document provides a framework for internal and external recruitment. Recruitment processes are professional, fair and equitable in accordance with relevant legislation.


This policy applies to all NextSense employees involved in recruitment activities.


This policy discusses recruitment and probity in employment at NextSense.


  1. NextSense is committed to selecting employees through fair and equitable recruiting practices.
  2. Suitable candidates are identified based on their experience, skills, qualifications and potential.
  3. All appropriate vacancies are advertised internally and externally, except in rare circumstances where an internal employee has been identified as the most suitable talent for a position, or when a suitable incumbent is available for a short-term or fixed-term role.
  4. Closing dates depend on circumstances and department needs.
  5. Internal and external applicants must submit an application form and a current resume. Cover letters are optional.
  6. People & Culture arrange all advertising and can advise on the most appropriate strategies.
  7. People & Culture and the relevant hiring manager make sure that all recruitment activities and procedures are carried out properly and that documents are obtained and checked in accordance with the NextSense Recruitment Process.

Probity in employment

  1. Potential NextSense employees must undertake pre-employment screening assessments.
  2. People & Culture and the relevant hiring manager make sure that all pre-employment screening assessments are carried out properly and that documents are obtained and checked in accordance with the NextSense Recruitment Process prior to commencing employment.
  3. Pre-employment screening assessments include but are not limited to the following:
    1. Pre-employment medical assessment
      Candidates for child facing positions may be required to undergo a pre-employment medical test. The candidate will be notified that this is part of the recruitment process. It is arranged by the candidate and conducted by a medical practitioner. Offers of employment are subject to the results.
    2. State and NDIS specific worker screening checks
      Candidates for child-facing positions or those having access to children’s records must obtain a state-relevant working with children check. The Working With Children check, or state equivalent, must be valid at the time of recruitment and must be renewed every 5 years. It is arranged and paid for by the candidate. In addition, NextSense will comply with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Practice Standards—Worker Screening) Rules 2018 and any subsequent amendments.
    3. Criminal history check
      All candidates must obtain a national criminal history check or equivalent. It must be no older than 6 months at the time of recruitment and must be renewed every 4 years. It is arranged and paid for by the candidate.
    4. Visa/work status check
      Where required, People & Culture will arrange for a visa/work status check to confirm the candidate’s legal right to work. The candidate must provide documentation such as their passport or visa status/confirmation to NextSense in order to process the necessary check.
    5. Reference check
      The candidate must provide two professional references, which must be from the direct managers/supervisors of the candidate. Ideally, at least one reference would come from the candidate’s immediate or most recent employment. In the case of internal candidates, the current manager and potential manager will discuss the candidate’s work history and performance in accordance with the NextSense Recruitment Process.
    6. Teacher accreditation
      Candidates for teaching positions must provide evidence of current teacher accreditation in their relevant state. It is not a requirement of NESA nor NextSense for non-school based teachers to be accredited. Itinerant teachers or teacher-consultants who work with Remote Services or School Support Services are not required to hold accreditation. However, they may choose to maintain accreditation on a voluntary basis. This will be the financial responsibility of the candidate. The hiring manager is responsible for verifying teacher accreditation.
    7. Professional memberships
      Candidates for any health professional position (ie, therapist) must hold a current professional membership, inclusive of associated costs. They must provide evidence of current membership with the relevant professional association. The hiring manager is responsible for verifying the accreditation.
    8. Compliance
      Some roles may require certain licenses, statuses, experiences, education or other attributes. This are clearly established in the position description and candidates are made aware when a role is contingent on compliance with these requirements.

Breaches of this policy

Candidates and NextSense employees must report any breach or concerns about a breach of this policy to their manager or hiring manager. If they are not comfortable with this, they must report to People & Culture. People & Culture will assess the seriousness of any alleged breaches.

Incident management policy


This policy describes NextSense's responsibilities for preventing and managing incidents.


This policy applies to all NextSense.


At NextSense we aim to prevent incidents by having robust systems for:

  • Risk identification and reduction
  • Addressing feedback
  • Employee screening, conduct and training and
  • Work health and safety.

However, if incidents (see definition) do occur we are responsible for identifying, responding to, and managing them. Incidents are investigated by employees or contractors trained in incident investigation.

We always respect and respond to our clients' needs, privacy and values to support their safety and wellbeing. This includes during an incident to prevent any further harm and during reporting, investigation and resolution. Investigations follow the principle of procedural fairness for all people involved.

All incidents must be reported using either the:

  • Client incident form (FRM00018)
  • Employee incident form (FRM00019)
  • Service incident form (FRM00017)—used when an incident does not involve injury to a person.

All incidents are different so the level of investigation, if any, and action will depend on the harm caused and the risk of future harm.

All incidents and related investigations and actions are recorded and tracked in our Incident Management System.

Any incident is viewed as an opportunity for learning: to eliminate causes of incidents and to improve our service and systems so incidents are prevented. We will also review the Incident Management System each year to assess if it is effective and accessible for clients and to look for any systematic issues or causes of incidents.

Reportable incidents which involve a client receiving services funded by the NDIS will be reported to the NDIS Commission following our 'NDIS incident management and reportable incidents procedure'. This includes reporting the incident to the police under mandatory reporting requirements or where criminal behaviour has occurred or is alleged or suspected. Reportable incidents which involve clients who are not funded by the NDIS will be reported to the relevant authority, such as the police and/or medical authorities following our 'Reportable conduct procedure'.

If child abuse is identified or suspected, the Mandatory reporting procedure must also be followed.

If elder abuse is identified or suspected, discuss your concerns to your manager and the Quality & Risk Manager before calling the police or Elder Abuse helpline on 1300 651 192.

Client medical emergencies

In most cases clients are accompanied by a family member or carer, and if a client has a medical emergency the family member or carer would be responsible for the wellbeing of the client with assistance from NextSense staff. Where a client does not have a parent or carer NextSense assistance may include giving first aid, calling an ambulance and calling the client's next of kin. The NextSense staff member must complete a Client incident form.

Client medical issues

During service a therapist or clinician might discover that a client has an untreated medical issue. Keeping professional boundaries and scope of practice in mind, they have a duty of care to alert the client or their carer to have the issue investigated. Depending on the nature of the medical issue, the staff member may also write to the referring health care professional recommending further investigation after getting management approval. A Client incident form is not required in these cases.

Definitions and abbreviations



  • Acts, omissions, events or circumstances that occur in connection with providing supports or services to a person with disability and have, or could have, caused harm to the person with disability.
  • Acts by a person with disability that occur in connection with providing supports or services to the person with disability and which have caused serious harm, or a risk of serious harm, to another person.
  • Reportable incidents that have or are alleged to have occurred in connection with providing supports or services to a person with disability
Reportable incidentFor an incident to be reportable it needs to happen (or allegedly happen) in connection with the provision of supports or services. This includes:
  • The death of a person with disability
  • Serious injury of a person with disability
  • Abuse or neglect of a person with disability
  • Unlawful sexual or physical contact with, or assault of, a person with disability
  • Sexual misconduct, committed against, or in the presence of, a person with disability, including grooming of the person with disability for sexual activity
  • Unauthorised use of restrictive practices in relation to a person with disability.

It covers incidents that:

  • May have occurred during supports or services being provided
  • Arise from provision, alteration or withdrawal of supports or services
  • May not have occurred during the provision of supports but are connected because it arose out of the provision of supports or services.
Procedural fairnessProcedural fairness is a legal principle that ensures fair decision making and requires:
  • Decisions to be free from bias or appearance of bias by the decision-maker
  • Decisions to be based on evidence that supports the facts
  • People likely to be adversely affected by decisions to have an opportunity to:
    • Present their case and
    • Have their response considered before the decision is made.
Untreated medical issue

An issue that is not related to the scope of NextSense service provision that the client is either not aware of, or unaware that it needs medical attention.

Example: therapist notices a client has an infection around their implant which could develop into a serious problem if not treated.

School enrolment policy


This policy provides directives for consistent and fair enrolment based on selection criteria that are consistent with the NextSense mission and governing principles. Its purpose is to identify the criteria and procedure for admission to NextSense School, to ensure we provide high-quality educational programs to children whose educational needs are related to a sensory impairment.


This policy applies to NextSense School.


NextSense is committed to providing a high-quality education to children and young people with a sensory disability. While acknowledging and supporting the principle of inclusion for students in keeping with the Disability Discrimination Act and Standards 2005, our mission is to provide specialist education to students with a significant level of sensory impairment, who are expected to require individualised support.

Applications for enrolment may be made at any time by the parent/carer(s) of students to commence at NextSense School.

Students must have a level of sensory impairment which is significant including:

  • Vision Acuity levels of 6/48 or less after correction in the better eye; or a visual field of 10 degrees or less; or
  • Hearing loss of 50 dB or greater; or
  • Deafblind children.

Each school program offers a specialist school program with additional enrolment criteria:

  • Sign Bilingual Program offers a specialist Auslan bilingual program for Deaf students.
  • Spoken Language Program offers a specialist spoken language program for Deaf and hard of hearing students.
  • Blind and Deafblind Program offers a specialist program for students with vision impairment/blindness or who are deafblind with no greater than moderate cognitive disability.

The Principal will base an enrolment decision on whether the student's primary special educational needs are related to their sensory disability through review of:

  • Specialist reports by a qualified professional that confirm they meet eligibility criteria.
  • The student's reports from previous schools/preschools or early intervention services.
  • The school's ability to meet the special needs and abilities of the student.
  • The order of applications received.

In cases of dual sensory impairment and/or significant language delays, the Principal may determine that a lesser level of hearing and/or vision impairment satisfies eligibility requirements.

The School will meet with parent/carer(s) and the student before offering a place. Parent choice will be considered for school placement, provided an applicant meets the criteria for admission to the school for which application is made.

  1. Parents/carer(s) must disclose all relevant information about their child's disability and additional needs. Failure to disclose at the time, or during enrolment, may result in an offer being revoked.
  2. Non-Australian citizens can be admitted as full fee-paying students if they meet the general entry criteria and visa requirements.
  3. NextSense requires an immunisation certificate on enrolment and a record of each child's immunisation status will be recorded. Copies of immunisation certificates will be retained for a minimum of three years after the child has ceased to attend the school.
  4. Continued enrolment at the school depends on the student and the parent/carer(s) observing all behavioural codes of conduct and other requirements of the school described in the Parent Handbook.
  5. In all cases, a duty of care to students is paramount. NextSense reserves the right not to enrol students if a threat to the school's capacity to meet its duty of care to students and staff is considered.

Schools pastoral care policy​


The Schools pastoral care policy aims to provide a framework to ensure we provide students with the opportunity to succeed and grow in a learning environment that is engaging, encouraging, dynamic and purposeful. It provides a framework for NextSense School policies, programs, resources, and practices, with the purpose of supporting and enhancing the wellbeing of students and the school community.


This policy applies to NextSense School. NextSense School is committed to ensuring a learning environment that is safe, nurturing, and inclusive, one that fosters confidence, the achievement of one’s personal best, respect for self and others, minimises the impact of disruptive behaviour while actively teaching positive behaviour. The development of each student’s social emotional wellbeing is as important as academic learning and physical health when considering the prerequisites for a motivated and positive learner. Quality teaching and learning provides the framework to achieve this.

Effective learning and teaching

NextSense School’s approach to pedagogy is aligned with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) and is communicated through the Effective Practice Matrix. This matrix reflects the shared beliefs of the School community about high-quality teaching, pastoral care and professional practice. The framework guides the actions and behaviours that shape and direct staff practice at the School such as establishing and maintaining successful partnerships. To enhance effective learning and teaching staff will:

  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with high expectations for engagement and achievement.
  • Encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and behaviour.
  • Develop engaging, innovative, and differentiated programs and delivery.
  • Create and maintain safe, supportive, and inclusive living and learning environments.
  • Align curriculum and assessment with ongoing reflection, analysis, and adaptation.
  • Provide frequent opportunities for students and their parents to discuss the learning program and student behaviour and progress.
  • Identify key social skills and developing plans for all students to acquire them, or make progress towards them, over time.

If students are active participants in the learning process and participate in decisions about their learning, they will be more motivated to learn and will feel valued as learners. This ensures a student’s maximum participation and success at school. Teaching and learning activities should:

  • Be interesting and varied.
  • Be well thought out and purposeful.
  • Offer pupils a degree of choice.
  • Account for students’ preferred learning styles.
  • Encourage a match between aspirations and ability.

Effective teachers are sensitive to the emotional, social and intellectual needs of all students. In order to encourage good learning, teachers strive to ensure:

  • An attractive, well-organised environment is maintained.
  • Staff and students can easily find resources.
  • Students feel proud of their classroom and can see their work on display.
  • There is structure and physical boundaries in the room to help with routines.
  • They have clear expectations about what the activity requires. This can be achieved through visual timetables and predictable learning routines. This reduces stress and gives students a sense of security. It also aids in their understanding.
  • They are adequately resourced.
  • Program activities are at the appropriate level.
  • This entails an accurate assessment program.
  • Students will feel successful, not frustrated.

Home-school communication

The School encourages open communication with families and also encourages parents to participate in the school program. Parents are invited to be partners in their child’s education and are welcome to participate in classroom/school activities.

The parent(s)’ responsibilities are to:

  • Provide background information on their child’s abilities, interest and needs for the initial enrolment assessment.
  • Inform the school as to any previous educational placement or service the child has received.
  • Be an advocate for their child.
  • Inform the school of any other agencies that are involved with their child
  • Support their child’s involvement in the various aspects of school life—including attending Individual Plan meetings and other information days.
  • Help their child complete homework.
  • Assist their child with any other school requirements.

Phone calls/email contact are encouraged between school staff and families. Parents may also request a meeting with school staff who work with their child. If the school has any concern about attendance, behaviour, welfare, or curriculum issues, parents are contacted, and a meeting is arranged.

Social and emotional development

Students cover the full range of Personal Development and Health topics on social and emotional development as well as safety protective behaviours. Small class sizes ensure that teachers can develop positive knowledge relationships that examine each individual’s holistic development.

NextSense develops socially acceptable behaviour and values by helping children to:

  • Develop personal values that reflect those of the wider community.
  • Recognise and understand their own feelings and those of others.
  • Control behaviour associated with emotions.
  • Cope with negative actions and reactions.
  • Display social grace and manners.
  • Develop an awareness of private and public property.
  • Learn to take responsibility for one’s own belongings and behaviour.
  • Develop skills in decision making (by providing opportunities for personal choice across all areas of school participation).
  • Value group membership and master skills required to make and maintain friendships.
  • Learn to cope with frustration.

Pastoral care

School psychologist

NextSense employs Registered Psychologists to work in the school environment on a part-time basis. The Psychologist’s role includes:

  • Administering assessments and report findings to the student’s team.
  • Supporting teachers and students through the development of student behaviour management strategies.
  • Developing and implementing programs for students who exhibit challenging behaviour.
  • Providing training and information to teachers on behaviour management strategies.
  • Providing advice and support to families of students.
  • Acting as a counsellor for students and their families, providing support, advice, and information as required, including career and post school options.

Student leadership

Each year, the students of the graduating class are deemed to be "student leaders" for the school year. Senior students may stand for election by their senior school peers for the position of School Vice-Captain and School Captain. Student leaders are presented with a badge to this effect in a ceremony attended by the school community.

Student leaders develop a sense of maturity and responsibility by acting as role models of good behaviour to other students, acting as mentors to younger students and representing NextSense School by taking a role at school functions.

Also in this section

Learn more about NextSense

Back to Governance