Am I now ready to get registered?
If you have been working your way through the Verification or the Certification Pathway and have done the following things, you will be getting close to submitting your application:
- adapted and adopted the policies, forms, registers on this site
- undertaken education of your team
- completed some reviews and audits.
You should now be able to answer ‘Yes’ to the following questions and be well prepared to complete your registration.
Am I ready for audit?
Have I (and my team if applicable):
- understood what the NDIS Practice Standards are asking of me and my team?
- adapted and adopted the documents and processes suggested on this website?
- understood the ‘spiels’ that outline how I use the new documents and processes that demonstrate how I meet the practice standards?
- educated my team to ensure they understand the documents and processes?
- understood that I now have a quality management system in place that will need to be managed until the next audit? This means continuing to implement plans, complete registers etc. and, if required, adapt it as NDIS implements any changes or my business changes.
- understood that despite my best efforts, the auditor may still require me to make changes to improve my quality management system?
- Submitting your NDIS application
- Selecting your auditor
- Completing your audit with your chosen audit provider
- NDIS Commission assessing your application and making a decision
- The Outcome: you celebrate – or ask for a review
Stage 1: Submitting your NDIS application
To understand your NDIS registration requirements you will already have partly submitted your application. This will have provided you with your ‘initial scope of audit’ i.e. what requirements you need to meet. While this initial application may have lapsed (after 60 days of inactivity) you should now be ready to complete the whole application, especially your evidence on how you meet these requirements, on the Commission’s portal.
Before you submit we suggest:
- For Verification – complete the Checklist Prior to Submission – Verification. It outlines what should be completed by the time of your audit and also suggests which documents may be best to attach to your application. While the portal places some restrictions on how much data you can upload, the checklist highlights some key documents for you to attach at this stage. Once you have selected an auditor they will ask you to send all your documents to them.
- For Certification – use the List of Provider Documents Per Standard (provided in the Certification Overview) and Certification Document Control Register (provided in the Quality Management standard) as the basis for assessing your readiness. You will need to have adapted and adopted the documents (or variations of these) listed in the Register for your organisation. At the end of the Register there are samples of the other types of evidence you will need for the auditor. It is critical that all registers, plans, or calendars are up-to-date. Meeting minutes also need to show evidence that topics mentioned in spiels (e.g. review of the Compliance Calendar and Training Plans) and any gaps have been addressed. Again, the portal places restrictions on how much data you can upload so choose some key policies, registers/plans/calendars, audits/surveys and meeting minutes. Once you have selected an auditor they will ask you to send all the required documents directly to them.
After you submit your full online application, you should receive an ‘initial scope of audit’ document by email from the NDIS Commission. This will summarise the registration requirements that apply to your organisation. Hopefully your audit requirements have not changed since you partly registered earlier.
Stage 2: Selecting an approved quality auditor
You now have to engage an approved quality auditor to undertake the audit. The Commission provides a list of approved quality auditors. You will likely want to request a quote from more than one auditor to make your decision. They will use the ‘initial scope of audit’ document you received to quote for their services. You can also discuss your specific needs and circumstances with auditors to negotiate the best value.
Remember when you are getting quotes for audits that auditing is a time-consuming activity. Auditing organisations not only have to allocate time for the actual audit and writing reports but also for administrative time related to dealing with you as a client and the NDIS Commission’s extensive requirements.
Auditor feedback is that the more organised a provider looks when submitting their application for quotation, the more favourable the quote will, so it pays to be well organised.
Stage 3: Completing an audit with your chosen audit provider
After you have selected an approved quality auditor, they will check that the scope of audit is accurate and begin the audit process. Auditors will also complete their assessment in a way that takes your organisation’s size and scale, and the scope and complexity of the services being delivered, into consideration.
At this stage the auditors will generally ask you to submit all your documents for audit. However, some may just ask for a few, along with your Document Control Register. They will then select documents for you to send from this register and from the information you have discussed in your ‘spiels’.
During the audit, the auditor will be looking for evidence of compliance. They want to know that you are actually doing what you say you do and that this meets the standards.
- For Verification – audits will most likely entail a ‘desktop’ or ‘remote’ review of your documents. A follow-up phone call may be necessary to clarify points or seek further evidence. For larger organisations the auditor may also want to talk to one of more of your team to ensure your systems are being implemented across the organisation.
- For Certification – audits will most likely entail a ‘desktop’ or ‘remote’ review of your documents followed by one or more on-site audits. The auditor will also want to talk to:
- Your participants and/or their representatives e.g. to determine that they are informed about the supports provided, their rights are being respected, they are being listened to, their needs are met and their goals are being achieved
- Your team to ensure your systems are being implemented across the organisation e.g. meetings & training occur, feedback / complaints are welcomed and well managed, workers have supervision and feel supported.
Note: As of the end of March 2020, the Commission has not finalised any new auditing rules following the audit changes introduced on 1 January 2020 (these changes made Verification the audit option for many more providers). Once these have been developed and rolled out some audit processes may change.
If there are gaps in your compliance, the auditor will make ‘findings of non-conformity’ about this and issue you with ‘corrective actions’. These are what you must do to show you comply with the Practice Standards. Hopefully, if you have followed the steps and implemented the systems you will have very few, if any, corrective actions. Auditors will help you understand these findings and the required actions you need to take.
Once you have completed any required corrective actions the auditor will submit the outcome of their audit to the NDIS Commission through an online portal.
STAGE 4. NDIS Commission assessing your application and making a decision
In assessing your registration application, the NDIS Commission will consider the outcomes of the audit and conduct a suitability assessment of your organisation and key personnel.
What is a suitability assessment?
The NDIS Commission assesses the suitability of NDIS providers and their key personnel to deliver NDIS supports and services.
This includes whether the NDIS provider or their key personnel have:
- previously been a registered NDIS provider
- had a banning order in place
- any past convictions
- been insolvent under administration
- had adverse findings or enforcement action taken by any relevant authorities
- been the subject of findings or judgement in relation to fraud, misrepresentation, or dishonesty
- been disqualified from managing corporations.
They will then make a decision and contact you to let you know if your application has been successful, including the reasons why or why not.
Some applications take longer to process than others. The time frame depends on various factors, including the size and scale of your organisation, as well as the complexity and range of the supports and services you deliver.
STAGE 5. The Outcome: you celebrate – or ask for a review
Successful applicants 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.
Unsuccessful applicants 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.