What Is The NDIS and NDIS Commission?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was implemented to support Australians who have a significant and permanent intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive, or psychosocial disability.
Under this program, individuals, families, and their support workers get the vital support they need.
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) is an independent agency established to improve the standards of quality and safety of services and support that is delivered by NDIS registered providers.
These standards, known as the NDIS Practice Standards, consist of a core module and several supplementary modules, that are in accordance with the service level an NDIS registered provider delivers.
How To Become An NDIS Registered Provider
To become an NDIS Registered Provider, organisations are required to undertake a Verification or Certification audit, measured against the NDIS Practice Standards.
Verification is required for providers who are sole traders or partnerships, which deliver lower risk and lower complexity support and services only.
Certification is necessary for all other business types and for higher, more complex services and support.
While not all providers need to register to provide services fully funded by the NDIS, registration is beneficial to clients and providers themselves.
For NDIS participants, they can be fully assured the provider’s services and support meet the correct level of quality and safety. For providers, when registered, they can claim invoices directly from NDIS.
How Practice Standards Apply to Verification & Certification
During both NDIS verification & NDIS certification, registered auditors will be assessing an organisations ability to deliver the appropriate standard of service. This standard of service is outlined in the NDIS Practice Standards.
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has grouped these standards into modules.
For the NDIS Verification process, an organisation is assessed against the verification module, supported by the verification guidelines. These practice standards require an assessment of complaints management, incident management, risk management, and human resource management.
For the NDIS Certification process, an organisation will be assessed against the core modules and supplementary modules.
- The core modules will be applied to every organisation undertaking the certification process and require an assessment of rights and responsibility for participants, governance and operational management, the provision of supports, and the support provision environment.
- The supplementary modules assess practice standards around high-intensity daily personal activities, specialist behaviour, support, early childhood supports, specialised support co-ordination, and specialist disability accommodation.
For an organisation to demonstrate they satisfy the NDIS Practice Standards, they may need to present documentation that supports adherence to the criteria as part of an audit process.
The Verification Audit Process
As the lesser of the two audits, the NDIS Verification Audit is a relatively straightforward process that has to be repeated every 3 years.
The NDIS verification auditor will run an off-site assessment by initially checking an organisation’s relevant documentation, known as “desk-top-audits”. The auditor assesses an organisation’s capability across the various areas relevant to their operation.
These include, but are not limited to risk management assessment, an incident management protocol, safety and hazard policies, complaints management processes, and other relevant operational requirements. These requirements are determined by the Australian state of operation, along with the delivery of supports, scope of work, and overall size of the organisation.
At the conclusion of a verification audit, the auditor will prepare a written report, which is subject to an independent technical review process, whereby verification will be granted if audit ratings are deemed successful.
The results are submitted to the organisation within 7 days of the desk-top audit, and if there are found to be non-conformances, they are assessed as either minor or major non-conformances.
Minor non-conformances require the implementation of a corrective action plan that will be provided to an auditor and are required to be remedied within 12 months. Major non-conformances reveal a serious gap in the quality and safety systems of the organisation and will need to be remedied within 3 months.
The Certification Audit Process
An NDIS certification audit is a more thorough, on-site assessment that goes across multiple stages, and requires both a stage one document review and stage two physical on-site assessment.
The stage one certification audit is conducted off-site and involves the auditor conducting a review of self-assessment responses, associated documents outlining policies and procedures, prior certification or verification outcomes (including corrective actions & audit reports), along with any additional requirements raised by the commission.
The organisation receives a written report after this stage, which may identify required action points before stage two can proceed.
The stage two certification audit is carried out within three months of the stage one audit and is on-site. This audit involves a combination of meetings, engagement with an organisation’s participants, and a collection of evidence about the inner workings, processes, documentation and procedures that are in place.
At the completion of stage one and two, the auditor will provide a written report outlining any non-conformances and providing a conformance rating against a number of key benchmarks. This report will be provided to the organisation within 14 days and in the case of non-conformances, further action will be required.
If successful, then NDIS Certification is granted. Certification may require ongoing surveillance audits annually depending on the organisation’s registration.
How Does ADER Consulting Help NDIS Registered Providers?
At ADER Consulting, we support NDIS providers seeking to comply with the NDIS Practice Standards by becoming a verified or certified NDIS Registered Provider.
Our experienced NDIS consultants have a vast knowledge of the NDIS Provider Registration process.
We specialise in both sole traders and partnerships wanting to go through a Verification audit, whilst also assisting with larger and more complex organisations wanting to go through a Certification audit.
We make you compliant ready by analysing any gaps in your business against the NDIS standards and either create new Quality Management Systems for your business or adjust your current systems to be compliant.
Once our professional consultants have helped your business implement the correct systems, you will be able to arrange a verification audit or certification audit.
Place your valuable time and resources back into your business and clients, and let ADER Consulting assist you through the verification and certification process. We can help your business become an approved NDIS registered provider promptly, and at an affordable price.