NDIS prompts more training

THE new National Disability Insurance Scheme allows people with a disability to improve their lives, and is a challenge to service providers, whose success will be measured on how well they support clients.

The quality of the service delivered by providers comes down to the skill of front-line staff, which is why the University of New England has developed two courses to help people working in the disability services sector develop skills for a more dynamic operating environment.

UNE's Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma of Disability Management are designed to broaden and deepen knowledge of the causes and treatments for a range of disabilities, and of the entrepreneurial business skills necessary to flourish in a more competitive world.

Course co-ordinator Mary McMillan said these two apparently divergent areas, neuroscience and business, emerged as priorities when the university spoke to focus groups before developing the courses.

"We had people who said they hoped to develop their career under the NDIS, but they had entered the field with a TAFE certificate in disability and their employers were looking for higher level qualifications," Dr McMillan said.

"Some wanted stronger clinical qualifications, and others wanted qualifications relating to finance and business to put them in a stronger position for promotion," she said.

"We've designed these courses so disability workers can choose how they mix and match their learning in these fields.

"And it is also possible to do a unit or two from each of these areas, to get a feel for what is involved, and then choose which area to specialise in according to which area has the greatest appeal."

The courses may also be of interest to parents with disabled children, Dr McMillan said.

Prior qualifications are not necessary and both can completed online. Visit une.edu.au/disability management.

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