How do Support Coordinators prepare for NDIS Audits?

May 24 / Tim McNamara

How do I prepare for a NDIS audit?

NDIS Audits are an important part of maintaining high quality Support Coordination standards and improving the service of NDIS registered providers. All registered NDIS providers are required to regularly undertake a third-party quality assessment by way of either certification or verification against the current NDIS Practice Standards.

These NDIS Audits can be daunting and confusing, but there are a number of ways that great Support Coordinators prepare for them and minimise the stress involved in compiling the necessary information for their NDIS auditor.

How often do NDIS providers get audited?

NDIS Certification is awarded for a maximum of 3 years, which means Providers need to apply to the NDIS Commission for Renewal to maintain their NDIS registered status. During this 3 yearly process, your Approved Quality Auditor (AQA) and the NDIS Commission will assess your organisation against the current version of the NDIS Practice Standards (and related legislation) as these may have changed since your last audit.

There are a number of requirements providers must meet to become registered and maintain registration with the NDIS Commission.

A NDIS audit is a serious matter. That’s why it’s essential they are carried out by approved quality auditors. You can learn more about each requirement by visiting the Registered NDIS provider requirements page on the NDIS Commission website.

What is assessed during a NDIS audit?

Service Providers are assessed against the NDIS Practice Standards, that relate to the supports and services they deliver.  Providers delivering lower risk or less complex services undertake an audit against the core modules.  However, those providing more complex or higher risk services also need to complete additional practice standard modules.

The two types of NDIS Audit pathways have different requirements:

  • For the NDIS Verification Audit, Providers must show evidence of:

    o   relevant qualifications;

    o   expertise and experience;

    o   incident management processes/policies;

    o   complaints management processes/policies; and

    o   risk management processes/policies.

 

  • NDIS Certification Audit Assessment includes core capabilities, such as

    o   risk management;

    o   delivery of supports;

    o   the delivery environment; and

    o   governance and operational management

Are paper based files necessary for the audit process?

There is no requirement to have paper-based policies/procedures, electronic based files are perfectly acceptable for the audit.  

In fact, many Support Coordinators prefer to utilise NDIS Support Coordination Software that has been designed by experienced Support Coordinators to help manage their daily operations more efficiently and overcome the uncertainty of audit time.

Ensuring compliance across multiple streams with paper files can be time and space consuming. Support Coordination Software can track, timestamp and record your service delivery history and you’ll know that you’ll be ready with all your information for any audits.

Familiarise yourself with the updated NDIS practice standards

It is important for Support Coordinators to keep informed of NDIS quality and compliance measures as they are critical to providing the best service for NDIS participants. The NDIS Practice Standards devotes a lot of attention to communication — in particular, ensuring that NDIS participants understand their rights and obligations, and the provider’s complaints mechanisms and incident management mechanisms. 

Information about transition periods and details of the new Practice Standards, including resources to support their implementation is available on the Practice Standards page of the NDIS Commission website.

Review the NDIS Practice Standards and the outcomes that are applicable, as the modules and related outcomes depend on your business type and the scope of your services.

Ensure all documentation is readily accessible for the auditor

Having your audit evidence prepared and ready to present is essential to help make the audit experience less stressful for you.

If you’ve been regularly maintaining your Support Coordination Software, you’ll know your quality management system inside-out. By being prepared, if the auditor feels more evidence is required, you’ll be able to think more clearly, knowing what you already have access to.

Your auditor will be well impressed with your understanding of NDIS Practice Standards and NDIS audits, and you will feel more confident on audit day.


NDIS audits are a constant reality of being a registered NDIS provider

Don't wait until your deadline is approaching to book in with an auditing company and prepare your information. Support Coordination Software provides a powerful platform to support you to meet your compliance requirements in many areas.

We know that NDIS audits are stressful, but they are planned to help your organisation continually improve, not to punish you. Any issues that auditors flag as major non-conformities are given three months’ time to be rectified, while minor non-conformities must be fixed within 12 months.

The focus here is on improving the quality of your NDIS service, not deregistering it. 

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