What are the NDIS Practice Standards?
The NDIS Practice Standards are the standards against which NDIS providers are audited, with different ‘Modules’ to encompass the variety of services provided. The Standards reflect the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework, the formal, legislated rules that providers must comply with. You can view the standards here online.
Why do I need an audit?
The NDIS Commission requires all NDIS registered providers have audits conducted by ‘Approved Quality Auditors’ to ensure that compulsory quality safeguards are adhered to. For registered providers, and providers looking to become registered, audits are not optional.
All providers going through the registration (or renewal process) in all states except Western Australia must be audited under the NDIS Practice Standards. Western Australian providers must still apply through the state-based approval process.
What type of audit do I need?
Depending on the registration groups you wish to provide, you may require a ‘Certification’ audit or a ‘Verification’ audit.
NOTE: Previously only sole traders qualified for a Verification Audit, but there have been recent changes to this legislation (Dec 2019):
If you are providing only low-risk registration groups, you will undergo a Verification Audit, irrespective of your company structure. This is a great improvement on the requirement that any provider that was not a sole trader had to undergo a Certification Audit, irrespective of their registration groups.
It is important to note that if you provide a combination of low and high-risk registration groups, you will still be required to undergo certification. See more information about these changes here.
What are NDIS Verification Audits?
Verification Audits are conducted off-site. The auditors review policies and other organisational documentation, provide a report and then make their recommendation to the NDIS Commission.
What are NDIS Certification Audits?
Certification Audits are conducted in two stages, and are a lot larger (and more expensive) than the Verification audit.
Stage 1: Document review — the auditors will review your policies, and may ask for examples of how you’ve implemented your policies. You will receive a report at the end of Stage 1 that will identify any Areas of Concern, which the auditor will examine more closely in Stage 2.
Stage 2: This is an onsite visit from the auditors to review your documentation (again) and examine issues that were noted as Areas of Concern in Stage 1. They will also review staff files and participant files.
Interviews: Auditors interview staff and participants to confirm that policies are understood and put into practice. Participants’ involvement in the NDIS audits are on an ‘opt-out’ basis. You must ask your participants whether they want to be involved. If they don’t, always document the reason why. Document everything!
Audit Report: At the end of Stage 2, you will get a report. Non-conformances will be highlighted in the report. The auditors will require you to create a ‘Corrective Action Plan’ detailing how will you fix the problems identified.
What are Low and High Risk NDIS Supports?
LOW RISK NDIS SUPPORTS:
- Accommodation/Tenancy Assistance
- Assistive Products for Personal Care and Safety
- Personal Mobility Equipment
- Assistance with Travel/Transport Arrangements
- Vehicle Modifications
- Home Modification Design and Construction
- Assistive Equipment for Recreation
- Vision Equipment
- Community Nursing Care
- Innovative Community Participation
- Specialised Hearing Services
- Household Tasks
- Interpreting and Translation
- Hearing Equipment
- Assistive Products in Household Tasks
- Communication and Information Equipment
- Exercise Physiology and Personal Well-being Activities
- Management of Funding for Supports
- Therapeutic Supports
- Specialised Driver Training
- Assistance Animals
- Hearing Services
- Custom Prostheses and Orthoses
HIGH RISK NDIS SUPPORTS:
- Assistance to Access and Maintain Employment or Higher Education [Assist Access/Maintain Employ]
- High Intensity Daily Personal Activities
- Assistance in Coordinating or Managing Life Stages, Transitions and Supports [Life Stage, Transition]
- Daily Personal Activities
- Specialist Positive Behaviour Support
- Assistance with Daily Life Tasks in a Group or Shared Living Arrangement [Daily Tasks/Shared Living]
- Development of Daily Living and Life Skills [Development-Life Skills]
- Early Intervention Supports for Early Childhood
- Participation in Community, Social, and Civil Activities [Participate Community]
- Specialist Disability Accommodation [Specialist Accom]
- Support Coordination
- Specialised Supported Employment
- Group and Centre-Based Activities [Group/Centre Activities]
How much does an NDIS audit cost?
The Approved Quality Auditor you choose will provide a quote for the audit depending on the ‘Scope of Audit’ you receive as a result of your NDIS Commission application/renewal application.
Prices will vary depending on the registration groups (services and supports) delivered, the number of staff, number of participants you currently provide services to, and the number of sites from which you deliver services.
A verification audit is much cheaper than a certification audit.
What happens if I fail the audit?
NDIS audits are not pass or fail situations. ‘Major non-conformances’ must be fixed within three months of your audit. Any ‘Minor non-conformances’ you receive need to be addressed within 12 months of your audit.
If you’re unable to address the issues, or the auditors’ recommendation to the NDIS Commission is not to approve certification or verification, the auditors will discuss this with you and the implications for your registration.
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