FAQ & NDIS help for providers
If you are thinking of becoming registered as a NDIS provider, you may be wondering about where to begin. The National Disability Insurance Scheme is complex containing numerous standards, rules and guidelines that providers are required to understand and comply with.
For anyone new to this space, it may seem a little overwhelming at first. In this article, I provide some helpful information and tips to make your NDIS registration or re-registration journey easier.
How do I apply to be a registered NDIS provider?
This is an online application process that you access via the NDIS Commission website. You can check that out here. You will be asked to create an account and then it is as simple as following the prompts. You can save your application and come back to it at a later time. You have 60 days to complete it.
Which NDIS Registration Group is relevant to my business?
The first question to ask yourself is, what services and supports can I offer or would like to offer an NDIS participant? Your answer will then determine what registration group/s you will need to be registered for.
If you’re not sure, that’s okay. When you come to register online via the NDIS Commission website, you will be asked specific questions about the types of services you intend to deliver as well as important information about the participants such as the participant groups and age groups.
It is important to answer these questions as accurately as possible, as your answers directly impact what registration group/s you will be required to apply for and this will impact the following steps in your registration process, especially when it comes to the audit stage.
Currently there are 37 different registration groups split into the following four areas:
- General registration groups
- Professional registration groups
- Home and Vehicle Modification registration groups
- Assistive Technology and Equipment registration groups
To view the entire list, you can head to the ndis.gov.au website and click on the NDIS Price Guides documents.
What is a self-assessment?
The self-assessment is part of your online registration application. After you have answered the questions regarding your supports, services and participants, you will be asked to conduct a gap analysis against specific requirements of the NDIS Practice Standards. This is one of the reasons why it is important to answer as accurately as possible in the beginning of your application and not just select everything! You may be creating more work for yourself.
To conduct the self-assessment you will be asked to explain how you comply with the required areas of the Practice Standards. It is therefore important to have some understanding of the Practice Standards first before you complete this self-assessment.
You will also be asked to upload evidence as proof. For large complex providers, a great way is to collect all your evidence in an excel spreadsheet. For smaller providers, your evidence may be a couple of key documents only. Either way, it just needs to be appropriate and proportional to your business.
This self-assessment is a great way for you to initially see where the gaps are in your current or new management system and what work you need to do.
Take your time with this process. The auditor you ultimately select will have access to your registration application, the self-assessment, your answers and evidence to assist them in conducting their assessment of your suitability as a NDIS provider.
What happens after I have submitted my application?
You will receive a letter from the NDIS Commission, confirming your application for registration and it will list the details you have provided, such as your key business details, the participant groups, age groups etc.
The letter will also detail the following:
- The registration group/s
- What parts of the Practice Standards you need to demonstrate compliance with
- Which registration pathway you need to undergo (verification or certification)
It is so important you check this document as this is the information an Approved Quality Auditor will need to provide you with a quote. It’s a great idea to contact a few and compare costs, estimated timings and their services.
What is a NDIS Approved Quality Auditor and where do I find one?
An approved quality auditor is a certification body that is regulated by JAS-ANZ and has been approved to conduct NDIS registration assessments. There are currently 15 Approved Quality Auditors you can choose from and you will find the list via the NDIS Commission website.
It is up to the provider to contact an Approved Quality Auditor and get the assessment phase of the registration started.
What type of NDIS audit will I undergo?
This will depend of the registration pathway you are required to undertake. For verification, the Approved Quality Auditor will undertake a desktop audit to make their assessment of whether they can recommend you for registration.
For certification, this is a lengthier process, consisting of two-stages. The first is a desktop audit and the second consists of a site audit involving interviews and observations of services being delivered.
For providers who are new and do not have any participants as yet, a provisional audit will apply.
The NDIS is a complex legal labyrinth and can be tricky for providers to unpack and make sense of how all the jig-saw pieces fit together. Our training sessions are specifically designed to assist providers in their understanding of the NDIS including the many standards and the associated rules so they have the confidence and knowledge to implement and maintain a management system.
Head to our NDIS training page to find out more about our sessions.