National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Practice Standards

As an Approved Quality Auditor for the NDIS Practice Standard BSI can provide both Verification and Certification assessments. We’ve been conducting assessments against Disability and Human Services Standards for over 15 years across Australia. No matter where you are in your NDIS certification journey, we can help you to ensure that both your organization and your clients are fully prepared for the next steps.

What is the NDIS?

The NDIS supports a better life for hundreds of thousands of Australians with a significant and permanent disability and their families and carers ensuring they continue to get the support they need. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) is a new independent regulator that has been established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services by ensuring organizations that provide services to people with disability meet the NDIS Practice Standards.

The NDIS Commission will progressively take over regulation of safety and quality of disability services from states and territory governments:

  • NSW and SA from 1 July 2018
  • ACT, NT, QLD, TAS and VIC from 1 July 2019
  • WA from 1 July 2020

Once the NDIS Commission begins operation in a particular state/territory, organisations that deliver disability services will be required to register with the NDIS Commission and demonstrate compliance with the NDIS Practice Standards by becoming certified or verified to these standards.

Existing State/territory Quality and Safeguard arrangements for disability services remain in place until each State/territory transitions to the NDIS Practice Standards. The NDIS Commission is working closely with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and the states and territories to help make the transition as smooth as possible. The new arrangements will progressively replace existing quality and safeguards requirements for disability services in all states and territories.

What are the NDIS Practice Standards?

The NDIS Commission regulates the NDIS market, provides national consistence, promotes safety and quality services, resolves problems and identifies areas for improvement. In order to ensure a national consistent approach to quality and safety of services, registered NDIS disability service providers are required to comply with a national standard of quality and safety – The NDIS Practice Standards. The NDIS Practice Standards consist of a core module and several supplementary modules that apply according to the types of supports and services NDIS providers deliver.

The Core module covers:

  • Rights and responsibility for participants
  • Governance and operational management
  • The provision of supports, and
  • The support provision environment

The supplementary modules cover:

  • High intensity daily personal activities
  • Specialist behaviour support, including implementing behaviour support plans
  • Early childhood supports
  • Specialised support co-ordination
  • Specialist disability accommodation
  • Each module of the NDIS Practice Standards consists of a series of high level, participant focused, outcomes. Each outcome is associated to a number of quality indicators.

Types of Assessment
All providers seeking registration will be required to undertake an audit against the applicable NDIS Practice Standards as part of the NDIS Commission’s registration requirements. Under the new NDIS Commission, there will be two ways to assess whether your organization meets the relevant NDIS Practice Standards:

  1. Certification: For higher risk, more complex services and supports, and for organizations that are formed as a ‘body corporate’. A certification audit is required to examine a body corporate’s governance and operational management processes of the provider and their ability to deliver quality services
  2. Verification: For individual sole traders and partnerships delivering lower risk or less complex services. When registering through verification, NDIS Providers supply documentation against the four outcomes within the Verification Module of the NDIS Practice Standards. Verification Audits are a desktop audit which can usually be done off-site.

Assessment Process:
Once you have submitted your registration/renewal application with the NDIS Commission, you will receive confirmation of your submission in an email. When registering with the NDIS for the first time the NDIS Commission’s system will also generate an ‘initial scope of audit’ document based on the information provided on the registration application. This document will direct us to which audit you require and also which modules of the NDIS Practice Standard will be assessed for your organization. Please forward the scope document to BSI to receive your free proposal for the audit.

The NDIS assessment consist of two stages:

  1. Stage 1 Audit: Usually completed offsite Certification Audits. You will need to provide your completed self-assessment to your assigned auditor for review along with evidence documents (such as policies and procedures). Following review we’ll send you a Stage 1 Report and then start planning your Stage 2 assessment with you.
  2. Stage 2 Audit: This is usually done onsite for Certification audits. For a certification audit our assessors visit your head office and a sample of sites where you provide services. Your BSI auditor will assess compliance with the NDIS Practice Standards through document reviews, observing service delivery and interviews with staff and participants. Following the assessment visit a Stage 2 Report will be prepared and sent to you as draft for your feedback. Once we have your feedback the report will be finalized and sent to the Commission along with your certificate of verification/certification, or notification as to why we were unable to verify/certify. While a certificate of verification/certification is used by the NDIS Commission to determine whether an organisation should be registered or not, registration is solely determined by the NDIS Commission at their discretion.

Ongoing NDIS certification/verification
Certification and Verification is valid for 3 years. To ensure Certification or Verification is renewed, an assessment to the NDIS Practice Standards must be conducted every 3 three years prior to the expiry of the current certificate. This involves the stage1 and stage 2 approach described above. For organisations who are certified (rather than verified), yearly surveillance audits are will also be conducted to ensure continuing compliance with the NDIS Practice Standards

Why BSI?

BSI is one of Australia’s leading certification bodies of disability and human services. We provide certification for both Commonwealth and State funded human services programs and have built significant expertise in the human services and disability sector. We provide certification services, customized to meet the challenging needs of organizations in the human services sector, provide organizations the correct framework for continual improvement to their clients and for their employees. In this current environment to ensure viability and sustainability of your organization it is essential that you choose a certification body which will add value to your business operations, service delivery and overall strategy. At BSI we have a wealth of experience in both assessment and certification services to organizations in the disability and health sectors. Our auditors have extensive knowledge and experience in the disability services sector and are all trained to the new NDIS Practice Standards.

All our auditors have extensive experience in both human services and in quality assessments. The competency, experience and knowledge of our auditors is closely assessed and monitored by BSI. All our auditors have undertaken specialised NDIS Practice Standards training from the NDIS Commission. We similarly assign each of our clients a unique ‘code’ of technical requirements that we use to match auditors to audits based on their skill mix, ensuring your auditor is best placed to conduct an assessment of your organization.