You want to become NDIS certified – the first step is choosing the right audit

If your business is looking to become NDIS certified, this article discusses how to select the right audit and how to prepare your business.
You want to become NDIS certified – the first step is choosing the right audit

Over 573,000 Australians take part in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) – and the numbers are growing, with recent figures showing 23,137 new participants joined the NDIS in the third quarter of 2022 alone, adding to the total of 353,131 Australians who have become supported on NDIS for the first time. There’s room for plenty of growth for both recipients and providers because while 4.4 million Australians live with a disability, the NDIS estimates only 12 per cent of disabled people receive funding from the Scheme.

NDIS generates around $29 billion of economic activity and NDIS funding is responsible for a 46 per cent decrease in the number of people under the age of 65 in residential aged care since 30 September 2019, with many of those people returning to the workforce.

Becoming a Registered Provider in this burgeoning section of the economy is a wise goal for those truly passionate about serving the disability sector – though thanks to rigorous requirements, standards for becoming a Registered Provider are extremely high, and undertaking an audit is where it all starts.

Your journey starts by establishing the scope

Getting a Scope of Audit document from NDIS is the first step when seeking registration. During the application process, you will be required to provide the NDIS Commission with key information about your business and the intended supports and services that you would like to deliver to NDIS Participants. Once you have completed your initial application, the NDIS Commission will provide you with your initial scope of audit document which will identify your audit pathway; verification or certification and this is determined by the class of support you intend to provide (low-risk and high-risk). Once you have your initial scope of audit document, you can email this to Citation Certification – we will review the document and send you a proposal for your audit journey to start.

So which audit is right for your business? Here we take a look at the various NDIS audits.

1. Verification audit 

If you’re already a provider delivering lower-risk or less complex supports and services, a ‘verification’ audit may be what you need. When registering through verification, NDIS providers supply documentation against the four outcomes within the Verification Module of the NDIS Practice Standards. Verification audits are a desktop audit and this audit is completed every three years.

The verification audit looks at:

  • Human Resource Management.
  • Incident Management.
  • Complaints Management.
  • Risk Management.

2. Certification audit 

Certification audits are for NDIS providers delivering more complex or higher risk support activities.  While certification audits can be more complex and can take longer to complete as they involved both on-site and off-site stages, the team at Citation Certification will be with you every step of the way.

  • Stage one is completed off-site, where the auditor will review your documented evidence; like policies and procedures to ensure that your system meets the requirements of the NDIS Practice Standards. Once stage one is completed you will then move onto stage two, which is completed within three months after stage one.
  • Stage two audit is completed on-site where service delivery will be witnessed along with interviews with staff and participants.

3. Provisional audit

A ‘provisional’ audit is where you have applied for registration that is subject to the certification audit method – however, you are a new provider entering the NDIS market and do not have any participants.  The provisional audit will assess the documentation and readiness of the provider to start providing services to participants.

4. Out-of-cycle audit

If the Commission imposes a condition on your registration for an additional audit, or you wish to increase the supports and services that you are providing to NDIS participants, there may be a requirement for an out-of-cycle audit to occur.

5. Mid-term audit 

A mid-term audit is required to commence within 18 months after the NDIS has approved the application.  The mid-term audit reviews the Governance and Operational Management practice standards as well as various other focused areas depending on the previous audit report.  The mid-term audit is an on-site assessment to evaluate the effectiveness and implementation of the provider’s system to meet the requirements of the applicable modules of the practice standards.  Participant interviews are also conducted as a part of the mid-term audit.

No matter which audit you undergo, these tips increase your chance of success

  • The NDIS Practice Standards are your Bible. It’s important to study them thoroughly.
  • Best practice should be the level that you strive for (Citation Certification can help you establish exactly what that means).
  • It’s essential to keep your staff and participants updated with the direction of your business and the audit/registration status you’re working towards.
  • Complete the NDIS Self-assessment to show how your service-for-one applies policies and procedures based on the NDIS Practice Standards.

Set up your audit plan with one of Australia’s most experienced certification services

Citation Certification is an Approved Quality Auditor, providing accredited certification services across Australia for the NDIS.

Citation Certification stands out from less experienced certification providers by offering:

  • Quick turnaround.
  • Simple processes.
  • Direct communication with your auditor.
  • Quality reports with a clear pathway towards the next step in your registration journey.
  • Auditors are available across Australia to help the process of applying for NDIS registration efficient, effective and professional.

Ready to become an NDIS certified business? Reach out to the friendly team at Citation Certification today.

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