The National Disability Insurance Scheme (what we will refer to as NDIS from now on) is designed to provide people with a disability, their families and carers with adequate support. It replaces the previous system meant for people with disabilities that provided support and care under the National Disability Agreement (NDA). Under it, The Australian Government is responsible for providing employment for people with disabilities. Also, the funding for states and territories for the goal of assisting with meeting the objectives of said agreement. These are responsible for specialist services such as special accommodation, support, care, community access and information for said groups of people. For those territories that are not under the NDIS, as it is a plan in development, said responsibilities fall under the NDA.
Verification and certification
Understanding the difference between the two could very well be the most important aspect of the audit process for the NDIS. What is required of you is determined by the type of organization you are registering and the registering groups you are applying for. The aspects differentiating the two are the associated costs and the type of audit received. Verifications start around $500 and are a remote audit. The certification pricings start at around $3,000 and are done locally, as in on-site audits. No matter the choice, both are required once every three years. Also, a small audit is conducted every year. For anyone that is not located in a major city and requires an on-site audit or certification, they would be obligated to pay the traveling costs of getting an auditor to them. Those are the most relevant NDIS audit costs that are mandatory.
Whether you are doing an on-site or an off-site audit, you and your organization need to be prepared. That means knowing and understanding the procedures and policies involved that are necessary for running a business and for the auditors to see that they will be implemented correctly. In the event of an on-site audit, your employees will be asked questions relating to those policies and processes. Needless to say, they need to be well aware and acquainted with them in order to answer them. Preparation is key for a successful audit.
Your first audit will start when you have no participants, in order to obtain a qualified certification. Only when you pass it can your start a service. To gauge the initial scope of an audit, you will need an auditor to approve the policies and processes that we have touched upon earlier. The auditing body will check that the scope of the audit is accurate and will begin the actual process. Your auditor needs to work closely with you in order to help you understand their findings. You will be given chances to answer any questions during the process and before its completion. In the end, the auditor will submit their findings to the NDIS commission for evaluation.
During the audit
Any discrepancies in your policies and procedures will be brought to attention by the auditors. Not to worry as they will send you feedback on what needs to be changed and updated for the purpose of passing the audit. As we can see from all that we have covered so far, the audit process can prove to be a complicated experience. Every company and organization is different and therefore, there are many factors to consider, cover and account for in order to pass an audit with minimal resources invested. There are way too many variables to cover here, you have to figure out what it is that makes your organization unique in the sense of applying for NDIS programs and make it work for you.
As of this moment, there is a backlog of service providers that are waiting for their registration or renewal audit with the NDIS. Plenty of service providers are trying to renew and register for the first time and just several audit companies are available nationwide in Australia. Since these companies are way too few in numbers they are flooded with requests of both kinds. This results in long wait times for service providers to accomplish their renewals or first-time certifications. There is no rush apart from simply applying for registration or renewal as soon as possible so that the actual process can begin in the near future.
Getting the best quote
The aforementioned auditors that are auditing for the NDIS renewal and registration processes are private businesses. That means that there can be major differences in pricing between all of them. It is not unheard of that some organizations getting cost prohibitive quotes from said auditors. Just know that there are other auditors you can go to. The best course of action would be to get a quote from each one of them and compare the benefits with the costs and make an educated decision. Three quotes from three different auditors make for a bare minimum for a somewhat reasonable idea of what you are going for. The auditors in question are all auditing based on the same criteria issued bu the Australian Government, so there are no differences in the quality of service or anything like that. The only differences are price and availability. The audit is a business expense. This means that the costs associated with it are tax-deductible, something to keep in mind when making calculations.
The NDIS works with a disability service provider and meets the needs of its clients. When talking about sustainability, service providers need to view the NDIS as an opportunity to choose how they want to appear in their sector. When planning implementation, there are several things to consider. What is their purpose and what do they want to accomplish? How will they stand out from the rest? Also, service providers need to be aware of the pricing guide. Taking the time to get acquainted with the value and outcomes achieved for clients can help everyone including their families in achieving their goals.