he National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) assists more than 37,000 people with disability across Australia to overcome barriers that impact on their daily life and their ability to participate in the community. The sector has been working with the Department on the development of quality assurance assessment process as part of the national Disability Services Quality Strategy.

Health and Disability Auditing Australia is a member of the JAS-ANZ’s Disability Advocacy Technical Committee developing the independent monitoring process (Procedure 29) for the NDAP certification scheme. The Procedure will be used by accredited Certification Bodies to certify NDAP agencies against revised Disability Advocacy Standards and Key Performance Indicators and Evidence Guidelines. The approach builds on the Disability Employment Services scheme, the Queensland Disability Support Standards scheme and the Standards Disability Services in Victoria scheme.

The NDAP scheme is to be trialled from November 2009. Training for Certification Bodies is being facilitated by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) in late November. Twelve advocacy agencies from across Australia have been selected to participate in the trial programme.

A full independent evaluation of the trail will be conducted and legislative changes implementation prior the certification scheme launch in early 2011.

FaHCSIA and the NDAP sector have developed the National Disability Advocacy Programme Quality Improvement Toolkit. The Toolkit is designed to provide practical tools, resources and advice to assist NDAP agencies develop and improve advocacy work within existing and future quality assurance requirements. The toolkit is freely available to agencies and can be accessed from: