The NDIS has now rolled out across all parts of Australia. Over 300,000 participants are receiving funds as part of their NDIS plans to spend on disability supports and services. This has created many opportunities for new and existing businesses to expand into the disability industry. We have providers ask us daily how to start their own NDIS business, so here is our summary.
Steps to start your own NDIS business
1. Is there demand by NDIS participants for your services or products?
To find this out, start by checking the NDIS price list which contains a list of all items that can be bought using NDIS funds. This will give you a good idea of how your service/product may be included.
Another place to check is the NDIS Provider Registration Groups. When you register you would need to choose the registration groups that apply to your business. The Provider Registration Guide to Suitability contains a list of all the NDIS registration groups, with examples and the types of providers (the qualifications you need) that can register for each group.
2. Apply to the NDIS Commission
Applying as an NDIS provider depends on the state you are in. WA is still handled separately by the NDIA and the rest of the states by the NDIS Commission.
3. Complete a self-assessment
Each new provider completes an NDIS Self Assessment against the NDIS Practice Standards relevant to the supports and services your organisation delivers. You may need to upload evidence of the services you offer.
This is an online process and can be completed over 60 days, The NDIS published this checklist for registration to help guide providers.
4. Select an approved quality auditor
After you submit your online application, you will receive an ‘initial scope of audit’ document by email from the NDIS Commission.
This document contains the registration requirements that apply to your organisation.
- whether you require a ‘verification’ or ‘certification’ audit and
- what your organisation needs to demonstrate to comply with the relevant NDIS Practice Standards
You need to now select an approved quality auditor to undertake the audit.
5. Undergo an Audit
All providers seeking registration will be required to undertake an audit against the applicable NDIS Practice Standards as part of the NDIS Commission’s registration requirements.
Under the new NDIS Commission, there will be two ways:
- Verification audit
A Verification is for providers delivering lower risk or less complex services. It is a desk top audit and the least costly audit.
- Certification audit
A Certification Audit is Certification is for higher risk, more complex services and supports. It is more complex and costly than a verification audit.
IMPORTANT POINT: If you deliver a range of services and just one of them falls into a high risk registration group, you will need to undergo a certification audit.
6. Receive your application outcome
After assessing your application, the NDIS Commission will:
- consider the audit outcomes and
- conduct a suitability assessment of your organisation and key personnel.
- For successful applicants: you will receive a certificate of registration outlining the services or supports you are registered to provide, the period of registration, and any conditions you must follow to keep your registration.
The NDIS will then make a decision and contact you to let you know if your application has been successful and the reasons why or why not.
For unsuccessful applicants: you may contact the NDIS Commission to request a review within three months of the decision. If your application is still unsuccessful following the review, you may seek a further review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
How much does it cost to become an NDIS Service Provider?
Although there is no cost to apply to be a registered NDIS provider, you will face the cost of the Audit.
This cost is exponential according to the type of services you offer (i.e. if you offer 'high risk' services like behaviour support, you will need to under go a Certification Audit which is more expensive than the Verification audit (desktop audit) that would apply to a gardening service.)
7. Preparing for your NDIS audit
WEBINAR: Understanding (and passing) NDIS Audits$45
Topics covered include:
- Changes to the NDIS Audit Requirements
- Why it might be easier & cheaper for Companies to register as NDIS Service Providers in 2020?
- Which are the 'Low-Risk' Registration Groups?
- What documents are needed to pass an NDIS audit?
- Understanding if you need to get Certified or Verified
- NDIS Audit onsite visits - what happens?
- NDIS Self-assessment - what do I need to know?
- What Insurances are required by the NDIS Commission?
Includes a Webinar Info Package with valuable resources.
How to Get the Insurance I need for my NDIS Audit?
Our partners in helping NDIS registered providers make sure they have the required insurances in place is BIZCover.
The NDIS Audit specifies that a registered NDIS service provider needs:
- Public Liability,
- Personal Indemnity and
- Accident Insurance to protect them against the risks they face.