The background discussed here and how to use this resource is explained verbally and in more detail in the Overview Webinar 2023.
The Commission have set out the registration requirements in a manner which allows you to demonstrate you meet the requirements in a variety of ways. This means:
- There is no right or wrong way of meeting the requirements
- You can work in ways specific to the needs of your business and clients
- But there are baseline requirements which must be incorporated into your policies and ways of working and you need to be careful to not adjust the resources provided here to exclude these aspects
- The focus of an audit is on ensuring the intended outcomes are being achieved for your business and the participant’s you provide services to
- This method may result in differences between auditor assessments.
For auditors to assess whether your business meets the requirements under such a model, you need to provide evidence that not only are there policies and processes in place but these are:
- Understood by you and your staff
- Used by you and your staff
- Part of a system you use to continually inform the way you provide services and conduct your business.
This means it is critical you:
- Understand the resources before you use them
- You consider them a baseline and adjust them to your specific business practices
- Educate your staff regarding the location, reasoning and use of the documents and processes put in place
- Can demonstrate you are doing what you say you do with evidence that processes and policies are in use and you’ve evaluated whether they are having the desired impact on business and participant outcomes
- Can demonstrate changes you are making to your business and services are informed by the objective outcomes generated by the evaluation system you’ve put in place.
Typically, a ‘desk-top’ audit of the evidence you have presented to auditors will be conducted initially and then an onsite or more visual audit will be arranged for a Certification registration. Auditors are also likely to want to talk with your staff to verify they are aware of and know how to use your systems, have access to documents, have participated in training etc. Auditors will question individual staff members about training they have received so having ‘key points’ for each topic is also useful evidence you can have and can be used as a refresher for staff prior to audit.
Remember that this suite of documents are just one way to set up a Quality Management System to assist you to easily manage compliance with these and other regulatory requirements across all the different systems you work within. There are some great technical options to explore if you want to use them or already are, however, always consider when choosing and implementing how you will demonstrate your ways of working to an auditor as part of a desk-top audit.
You may also wish to utilise this resource to refer to as another way to prompt your thinking re ways to meet the Standards and provide evidence if the case study examples included within the documents we’ve provided are not applicable to the types of services you provide: https://www.nds.org.au/images/resources/NDIS-Practice-Standards-Interpretive-Guide_singlepages.pdf