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National Panel of Assessors (NPA)

National Panel of Assessors (NPA) is an Australian Government service providing a range of independent assessment services to assist people with disability who are seeking employment and/or to keep sustainable employment.

What Is It?

The NPA program is a standing panel of independent assessment service providers contracted to provide assessments to support the needs of people with disability in the workplace. The NPA program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS).NPA providers can undertake three different independent assessment services to assist with the needs of people with disability in the workplace:

Supported Wage System (SWS):

  • Provides employers and eligible people with disability with a reliable process of productivity-based wage assessment.

  • May be used in both open employment where allowed by the relevant industrial award, and as of 1 July 2018 in supported employment (employment in Australian Disability Enterprises – ADEs), under the Supported Employment Services Award.

Ongoing Support (OS):

  • Once a Disability Employment Services (DES) participant has achieved a 26‑week Employment Outcome, the DES provider determines if the participant is likely to need Ongoing Support in the workplace to retain their job.

  • An Ongoing Support Assessor will recommend if a participant requires flexible, moderate or high levels of ongoing support. Participants must work, on average, a minimum of at least eight hours a week to continue to receive Ongoing Support.

Workplace Modifications Services (WMS):

  • A Workplace Modification Assessment recommends modifications (such as equipment or assistive technology) that will assist people with disability to undertake their employment duties or search for work.

  • The need for a Workplace Modification Assessment is determined when an Employment Assistance Fund application is assessed and includes consideration of the type and cost of the modification requested.

The NPA Scheme applies to providers who deliver assessment services as part of the DSS funded NPA program. The assessment services are considered to be employment services under the Disability Services Act 1986 (DSA).

All organisations delivering services that are considered employment services funded by the Australian Government under the DSA are required to adhere to and be audited against the standards set out in Schedule 1 of the NSDS Determination.


National Standards for Disability Services (NSDS)


National Standards for Disability Services (NSDS) are applicable to National Panel of Assessor (NPA) Providers

  • These Standards enable consistency in employment services nationally, focussing on a person-centred approach and promoting choice and control for people with disability.
  • Certification to the NSDS follows a 3-year certification cycle:
    • Year 0 = initial certification audit
    • Years 1 and 2 = no surveillance audits required
    • Year 3 = recertification audit
    • All non-conformities and major non-conformities must be closed prior to certification or re-certification>



Download our FAQ to find out more about the auditing and certification Process for the National Panel of Assessors (NPA) Scheme