NDIS Assessment Services
Information for transitioning NDIS providers in Western Australia
On 1 December 2020, registered NDIS providers based in Western Australia came under the responsibility and oversight of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and must be audited or verified to the NDIS Practice Standards.
Many of us here at HDAA have worked directly in delivering services to people with disability, and a number of us have family members who have a disability. That’s one of the reasons we’ve strived through the years to deliver meaningful audit services that make a difference to organisations and people’s lives.
We’ve been an approved quality auditor for the NDIS Practice Standards since the inception of the NDIS AQA scheme and have by now, worked with hundreds of wonderful organisations who have achieved NDIS certification and verification and who are now registered to deliver NDIS services.
So, we’ve been looking forward to the day when we can contribute to services in Western Australia; and in preparation we’ve developed an amazing network of auditors based in WA.
Our WA auditor team has many years’ experience working in the local disability sector and they’ve worked for many years with the Western Australian state government to audit disability and community services organisations to relevant quality frameworks, including the National Standards for Disability Services. You can read more about all of our assessors here.
“We just want to thank HDAA for the fabulous experience we have had with our first NDIS certification audit. (The assessors) guided us through the process, were very knowledgeable about the type of services we are providing and want to improve, and we actually enjoyed the process. I can’t say I have ever ‘enjoyed’ an audit before like this.”
Auditing is tough work and we would probably think twice about it were it not that we are able to work with organisations to really make a difference. This is why we were so proud to be the first organisation in Australia to be accredited by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand to audit the NDIS Practice Standards.
We’re now one of only five organisations with this level of accreditation (even though there’s 17 auditing organisations currently approved by NDIS).
So, if you would like to get in touch with us please do. Whether you are a client or not of HDAA, if it helps, we’re only too happy to explain the NDIS audit scheme and let you know what’s involved.
If you’d like one of our auditors to talk to you directly about what’s involved, let us know and we’ll arrange it. There are no strings attached. Of course, if you would like a proposal from us, we’d love to provide you with one. Just let us know.
Meet our Western Australia Team
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve collected some of the most common questions asked by NDIS providers going through certification and verification and their answers are below. If you have a question that hasn’t been listed, please contact our folks in the NDIS team at email@example.com and they will have the answer.
When is my audit due?
WA Providers who were registered before 1 December 2020 will have received a letter from the NDIS Commission confirming your ‘period of enforcement’. You must begin the renewal process before this period ends. This can be done at this link.
You then have another 9 months to complete the audit process and do everything within your ability to have the final audit report submitted by your auditor to the NDIS Commission. For the best audit experience, we encourage all providers to begin this process and engage your chosen auditor as early as possible.
To illustrate, if your period of enforcement ends on 31 March 2021, you will have until 31 December 2021 to complete the audit process.
How do we know if we require a certification or verification audit?
The type of audit you’ll require depends on the registration groups and service types you wish to be included on your registration. Download our Registration Groups and Audit Pathway table to see which registration groups come under each audit pathway.
When you renew your application or submit a new application on the NDIS Commission’s website, you’ll receive an ‘initial scope of audit’ document. This document will confirm your selected registration groups and direct you to complete either a verification or certification audit.
What is the difference between a certification and verification audit?
A certification audit is required for service providers delivering or wanting to deliver more complex or higher risk supports. Providers will be assessed against the Core Module, and the following additional modules if certain registration groups/supports are selected:
- Module 1 – 0104 High Intensity Daily Personal Activities
- Module 2 – Specialist Behaviour Support
- Module 2A – Implementation of Restrictive Practices in a Behaviour Support Plan
- Module 3 – Early Intervention for early childhood supports
- Module 4 – Specialist Support Coordination
- Module 5 – Specialist Disability Accomodation
These types of audits generally require a visit by assessors. The assessors will speak with staff, management, and participants, review your systems and processes, and do a detailed policy and record review. If there’s any improvements needed, they’ll let you know.
A verification audit is for lower risk and less complex services, and many of these providers will be already subject to professional regulation through bodies like AHPRA. Verification audits require a document review of specific evidence, such as relevant qualifications and experience, incident management processes, complaints management processes, and risk management.
How long will our certification audit take?
Audit duration is quite different under the NDIS Practice Standards than you would have experienced under the Western Australian Government framework. Instead of occurring over a number of weeks, most of our NDIS certification audits occur over are scheduled over 2-4 days (please note however, this could be shorter or longer depending on the registration groups you are including and the number of outlets and participants you are supporting).
Our team will work closely with you to develop a detailed audit schedule to help you and your organisation in your preparation.
Why should we become registered providers, when we can continue to support self-managed participants if we are not registered?
It’s up to each provider as to whether they choose to become registered, except where a provider is delivering specialist disability accommodation, using restrictive practices, or developing behaviour support plans (these providers must be registered).
Unregistered providers can deliver services to self-managed and plan-managed NDIS participants. Providers must however, be registered to provide supports to agency-managed participants. Becoming registered increases, the number of potential NDIS participants you’ll be able to support. Service users and their families/advocates can also be assured that a registered provider that meets specific standards relating to service delivery and risk.
Which registration groups should we apply for?
The registration groups you include on your application should be the services you are currently delivering, and any that you think you will be delivering in the future.
The NDIS Support Catalogue is a good reference to see which types of supports come under each of the registration groups.
How much will the audit cost, and how often are we required to be audited?
There are many factors that go into determining the cost of an audit, including:
- The registration groups you have selected
- Whether any additional modules need to be assessed
- The number of sites our assessors will need to visit
- The number of participants you are currently delivering services to, and so on.
If you’d like a detailed proposal, please send through your Initial Scope of Audit to our NDIS team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will have a no-obligation cost proposal prepared and returned to you within 48 hours.
Providers requiring certification require a full certification audit every three years, with a shorter mid-term audit required eighteen months after certification. Verification providers will be required to undergo reverification every three years.
We do not write behaviour support plans, but we are supporting NDIS participants who have behaviour support plans. What registration group should we apply for?
If you’re not directly developing and writing behaviour support plans, you are not required to register for the 0110 Specialist Behaviour Support registration group.
If you are supporting NDIS participants who have a current behaviour support plan which includes restrictive practices, you should click ‘yes’ to this question in your application. Module 2A, which looks specifically at providers who are implementing but not necessarily writing behaviour support plans, will then be included in your certification audit.
We provide level 1 and 2 support coordination for our participants. Do we require the 0132 Support Coordination registration group?
Level 1 and Level 2 support coordination actually fall under the registration group 0106 Assist Life Stage Transition. If you are delivering this type of support, you should apply for 0106 Assist Life Stage Transition in your application.
The 0132 Support Coordination registration group is for providers delivering specialist support coordination (level 3). This service is for people whose situations are more complex and who need specialist support. Including this registration group in your application will add an additional module, Module 4, to your audit as our assessors will need to review specific outcomes that relate only to specialist support coordination.
NDIS Commission resources for Western Australia providers
The NDIS Commission has also put together a wealth of resources for transitioning providers and have a dedicated page for Western Australia. Before you begin your certification or verification journey, exploring the following resources and publications will help increase your knowledge and best prepare you for what to expect.
- Then and now in quality and safeguards – what has changed for providers in Western Australia?
- Then and now in reportable incidents and complaints – Western Australia
- Information letter from the NDIS Commission to existing providers in WA
- Information sessions – webinar slides
- Information sessions – Answers to common questions
- Provider Information Pack
- Provider Newsletters