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Are you thinking of becoming a registered NDIS provider?

By Katrina Armstrong

Are you setting up a new business or already providing services to people under the NDIS? Here is the lowdown on the NDIS registration process and how we can help:

1) Decisions, decisions … selecting registration groups

We encourage NDIS providers to consider carefully the registration groups that they want to apply for. More is not necessarily better and there is a risk that taking on too much too soon can cause lots of headaches down the track.

Questions to ask yourself before applying: What are my qualifications and experience in providing disability supports? What interests me now and into the future? Do I have the specialist knowledge and experience that comes with providing high risk supports such as high-intensity daily personal activities? What can I start with now, and add on later as the organisation grows and matures?

The answer to these questions is absolutely critical to how you move to the next phase of the registration process. It’s good to start on the best possible footing. We can work with you to develop a business strategy from the very beginning that looks at the start-up phase of operations right through to longer term expansion plans.

2) Self-assessment against the NDIS practice standards

This part of the NDIS registration process requires you to complete a self-assessment against the NDIS Practice Standards relevant to the supports and services your organisation delivers to participants. It is important that as part of this process you take the time to think about your organisational values and what principles will underpin service delivery.

We can assist you through the application process, including supporting you in answering the self-assessment questions.  We know the practice standards inside and out, and what information is required from you. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the NDIS practice standards. The NDIS practice standards form a sound basis from which you can confidently grow your organisation to support NDIS participants to live their best lives.

3) Develop your management systems

The stage 1 audit will be a smoother process if your management system is tailored and relevant to what you plan to do – see point 1 above. Your systems of work, including policies and procedures, should be proportionate to the size of the organisation and the complexity of supports you want to deliver. Management systems should also reflect where you operate as state and territory requirements will vary in some areas.

See our article on ‘why great policies and procedures matter for more info on developing great management systems.

You can then confidently move to choosing your approved quality auditor and get ready for your Stage 1 audit.

4) Prepare for your NDIS certification stage 1 audit

The Stage 1 audit consists of a review of your written documentation. The duration of the audit will depend on the complexity of registration groups you are applying for and your answers to the service delivery questions. There will be usually one auditor allocated to this stage. We can support you to prepare for your NDIS certification stage 1 audit. We can help you as much or as little as you want or need. You will only receive from us what is practical and necessary, and nothing more.

5) Prepare for your NDIS certification stage 2 audit

The stage 2 audit will look at how you plan to implement your management systems. Very simply, it’s all about policy into practice, and this includes how you will govern, manage and structure your organisation, including how you will recruit and support your employees. It also explores how you plan to deliver supports to participants. We can help you prepare for Stage 2 as we know the evidence the auditors will be looking for and the types of questions they will ask.

6) Verification audits

Our team of experienced disability and compliance professionals can also assist organisations with getting ready for NDIS verification audits.

7) Resolve any issues identified during the audit

Despite best preparations, non-conformities can still be identified during audits. You will be asked by your auditor to conduct a root cause analysis and identify your corrective action plan for each issue raised.  We also recommend that you develop a plan to embed permanent change across your organisation to prevent the issues from recurring. The more you take ownership of this process, the quicker you will evolve to be a NDIS registered provider of choice. We can help you get there with our expert and tailored advice.

Do you want and need end-to-end NDIS registration support from consultants who thoroughly understand all things NDIS and disability supports? Don’t risk receiving advice from consultants who have little actual working knowledge or experience – they will tell you they have NDIS expertise, but what they’re really telling you is that they just understand the process of NDIS registration.

Our team here at QMS have spent their entire careers in frontline, executive and compliance roles in the disability and human services sectors. Check out our bios here.

If you’re thinking about becoming a registered NDIS provider, find out more here.

Contact us for a 15-minute, no-obligation discussion on how we can help. Whether you need a little or a lot of support with NDIS registration, we are here to assist.