The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is Australia’s national disability support system. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (the NDIS Commission), is an independent agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. The NDIS Commission is working with NDIS participants, service providers, workers and the community to introduce a nationally consistent approach to disability support so participants can access services and supports that promote choice, control and dignity.
Under the NDIS Commission, NDIS providers are required to be nationally consistent and responsive to an expanding market. NDIS providers fall into one of 37 NDIS registration groups, which determine which NDIS Standards apply to each organisation.
NDIS certification is required for providers delivering more complex and/or higher risk supports and services. Providers completing NDIS certification are assessed against the NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators (NDIS Practice Standards).
NDIS service providers requiring certification audits
A certification audit involves an initial stage 1 audit conducted as a desktop audit, followed by a stage 2 audit conducted on-site audit, and a mid-term audit. Certification audits occur every three years following that same cycle.
For certification audits, client variables such as the size of the organisation, number of sites, types of supports and services offered (registration groups) inform QIP's quote.
Certification and core modules apply to the following registration groups:
- Assistance to access and maintain employment or higher education
- Assistance in coordinating or managing life stages, transitions and supports
- Assistance with daily personal activities
- Assistance with daily life tasks in a group or shared living arrangement
- Development of daily living and life skills
- Participation in community, social and civic activities
- Specialised supported employment
- Group and centre based activities
- High intensity daily personal activities plus Module 1 when required
- Specialist behaviour support plus Module 2
- Supporting people with restrictive practices plus Module 2a
- Early intervention supports for early childhood plus Module 3
- Early intervention supports for early childhood and any other verification registration for sole trader/partnerships only – modified certification plus Module 3, and
- Specialist support coordination and plus Module 4.
Module 5 only
- Specialised Disability Accommodation (SDA).
Steps to NDIS certification with QIP
Step 1 – renew or make an application for NDIS registration with the NDIS Commission
To renew or make an application for NDIS registration, you need to complete an online NDIS-registration application form within the ‘NDIS Commission portal’ – a secure website for providers to manage their interactions with the Commission and services with their clients (go to the NDIS provider application form).
Select your registration groups
Complete a self-assessment against the NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators relevant to the supports and services you deliver to NDIS participants
The self-assessment part of your application is important because:
- It provides you with an opportunity to reflect on and detail the essential components of your business to ensure you are NDIS ready
- It is the focus of the stage 1 audit
- The stage 1 audit is a review of your self-assessment
- The higher the quality of your self-assessment and the documents you provide at this time, the more streamlined the audit process and the better the outcome.
When you have completed your self-assessment, submit your online application form. Once you hit ‘submit’ your application cannot be retrieved.
The NDIS Commission will email you an initial scope of audit which summarises your NDIS-registration requirements and will state whether you need to undergo a verification or certification audit.
Step 2 – contact QIP to request a quote for a certification audit
Within your NDIS myplace provider portal, select QIP as your approved quality auditor and request a quote for a certification audit – you can contact us via the details provided in the portal or contact us directly
P 1300 888 329 | E firstname.lastname@example.org
We will confirm your scope of audit to ensure we provide you with a quote that accurately reflects the size and scale of your organisation and the complexity of services offered.
If you receive quotes from more than one quality auditor, be sure to scrutinise them carefully to ensure you are comparing like with like – different auditors use different methods to calculate and display costs, particularly in relation to client support.
As a not-for-profit, QIP strives to keep prices affordable. Our fees are and will always be clear and transparent – we do not hide any or surprise you with any extra fees. QIP quotes are easy to understand and includes unlimited client support. We do not hide or surprise you with extra fees.
Step 3 – accept QIP quote and commence audit planning
Accept QIP’s quote and start working with your assigned QIP Client Liaison Officer to start planning for your certification audit.
We will review your scope of audit and confirm details such as your registration groups, number of workers and participants, etc.
If any variations are found, you are required to complete a 'variation of registration form' for submission to the NDIS Commission to ensure your record on the Commission's system is accurate.
It is your responsibility to ensure QIP is advised of any changes to your scope of audit.
All certification audits comprise a stage 1 audit and stage 2 audit, and a mid-term audit.
Step 4 – stage 1 audit and findings
The stage 1 audit is a desktop review of the information and documentation you provided in the self-assessment section of your NDIS registration application. It is completed by the auditor electronically with no requirement for a site visit.
The auditor will review your self-assessment responses and documents you provided, and any prior NDIS verification or certification outcomes, corrective actions and audit reports – this process highlights any areas of concern that may impact on conformity against the Standards when we carry out the stage 2 audit.
To help you prepare for the stage 2 audit by addressing any areas of concern we will provide you with a report of the auditor’s findings seven calendar days after the completion of the stage 1 audit.
You have the opportunity to address any areas of non-conformities before stage 2 audit.
This should help you prepare for the stage 2 audit. The stage 2 audit must commence within three months of the stage 1 audit. Stage 2 is the on-site, face-to-face audit that occurs at your business premises.
Step 5 – prepare for stage 2 audit
The stage 2 audit is an on-site audit and must commence within three months of the stage 1 audit.
QIP will work with you to develop a mutually agreed audit plan that is proportionate to the size and scale of your organisation, sites that will be visited, and that clearly sets out the agenda and key assessment items for the day(s) of the audit.
The NDIS framework uses an ‘opt-out’ sampling methodology which requires you to inform all of your participants that they are automatically enrolled in the audit process.
Should a participant not want to participate, that choice is required to be documented and the auditor advised.
Step 6 – stage 2 audit and reporting
The auditors will arrive at the agreed location and carry out the audit according to the audit plan you approved. The audit will include evaluation of your systems and processes to meet the NDIS Practice Standards by – for example – observing practices, reviewing records and documents, and speaking with participants and workers.
The auditor will provide you with a verbal and documented summation of the stage 2 audit, including preliminary audit findings at the closing meeting. A detailed report will provided within 7 calendar days.
You have the opportunity to review and provide feedback on the draft report prior to it being finalised and submitted by QIP to the NDIS Commission no more than 28 days after the stage 2 audit.
QIP submits the final report to the NDIS Commission to be included in their assessment of your application (which includes the audit report). The Commission will make a decision and advise you if your application has been successful.
Critical risk and non-conformities
Critical risks are extremely serious and will be actioned with the utmost urgency. In the case of critical risk relating to criminal acts of child protection concerns, the audit team leader will notify the NDIS Commission and any relevant authorities (such as the police) of the risk immediately. If a critical risk is not one of the above, the audit team leader shall notify the NDIS Commission of the risk within 24 hours. If major and minor non-conformities are identified, the service provider must develop a corrective action plan within seven business days of written notification from QIP. QIP will advise service providers of key timelines for addressing instances of non-conformity, with on-site audit(s) undertaken as appropriate. To report a breach by a service provider, contact the NDIS Commission.
Step 7 – certification (the NDIS Commission makes this decision)
Successful applicants will receive from the NDIS Commission a 'certificate of registration' outlining the services or supports you are registered to provide, the period of registration, and any conditions you must follow to keep your registration.
You will be listed on the NDIS provider register and participants of all types can now access your services. You will be required to undergo a re-certification audit in three years no earlier than six months prior to your NDIS registration renewal date with a mid-term audit in between.
Make sure you utilise the resources available in your QIP accreditation hub to help quality improvement and stay up-to-date with revised expectations/compliance requirements.
Unsuccessful applicants may contact the NDIS Commission to request a review within three months of the decision.
Provisional audit – qualified certification decision
An NDIS provider will be subject to a provisional audit if they have registered with the NDIS Commission and developed systems and processes to deliver NDIS supports and services but do not yet have any participants or not yet commenced NDIS service delivery. The audit is designed to check that you are ready by reviewing your documentation, processes and systems.
A provisional audit consists of a stage 1 audit (off-site desktop review), and an initial stage 2 (on-site) with modifications to reflect that you have not commenced providing services – for example by not undertaking interviews with participants or doing file audits. The outcome of a provisional audit is a ‘qualified certification decision’, which will then require the service provider to undertake additional steps to achieve full certification.
Step 8 – mid-term audits
Providers undergoing certification are required to undergo a mid-term audit to be carried out no later than 18 months after the beginning of the period for which the provider’s registration is in force.
Exemptions for mid-term audits apply if the provider is:
- A partnership or sole trader that is registered for only Module 3 (Early Childhood Supports), or Module 5 (Specialist Disability Accommodation), or
- A transitioned provider.