Transitioning to the NDIS
The NDIS represents a key change to the way people with a disability are supported in their everyday lives. The scheme aims to help people get support that will develop their skills and independence over time. The NDIS has now been rolled out in all states, with WA yet to fully transition.
A change as large as the NDIS requires systems and protections to oversee services and supports. Governments agreed that a national consistent approach to quality and safeguards was needed. A new independent agency, The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission was established. Its purpose is to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. The NDIS Commission began operating in NSW and SA in July 2018. VIC, ACT, NT and QLD transitioned on July 1 this year. The Commission will begin operating in WA on 1 July 2020.
What does this mean for providers?
All states where the NDIS Commission is operating are now under a national standard. This means requirements for providers are nationally consistent rather than different in each state. Registrations and renewals go through the NDIS Commission.
There are seven steps to registering with the NDIS Commission. The final step involves completing the online NDIS application form. Providers must have their policies and processes available before the application can be lodged. As a part of the application, providers must register within Registration Groups. These should closely align with the service/support they want to deliver. Some Registration Groups require additional policies and processes and have specific rules for registration and renewal.
For a provider's registration to be approved with the NDIS Commission they must undergo an audit. This is to be carried out by an independent, approved auditor. Providers undergo either a ‘verification’ or ‘certification’ audit. The type of audit depends on the provider’s Registration Groups and legal structure. For more information on Registration Groups and audits, look at our blog ‘NDIS Registration Groups Explained.’
There are more changes to requirements under the NDIS Commission than just registration. Other changes relate to complaints, incident management, behaviour support and worker screening. Providers must also abide by the NDIS Code of Conduct and Practice Standards.
Did you register with the NDIA under state requirements before July 2019? Your registration should have been automatically transferred to the new standards. For providers in WA, current state requirements for quality and safeguards apply until July 1 2020.
Overall, the NDIS Commission will improve consistency in regulation across Australia. The national framework will make compliance easier for providers operating in different states and territories.
Do you need information on registering with the NDIS? Do you need new or updated policies and processes? Access our product comparison page to find out which product can help your business.