For those who run an NDIS organisation, you’ll know the pressure that comes with meeting the many regulations, procedures, policies, and more. After the complex registration process, one of the biggest challenges comes in the shape of the audit process. Whether you’re starting from the beginning or just want to learn more about the process, you should find everything you need in this short guide.
What’s the NDIS Audit Process?
As a provider, it’s essential to recognise the aims of the NDIA. Ultimately, it wants to ensure quality, fairness, and reliability across the industry. The NDIA keeps a close eye on all providers of services to those with special needs to maintain high standards.
At all times, you need to adhere to the NDIS Practice Standards as well as the policies from the Quality and Safeguards Commission. During the audit process, the NDIA sends an independent auditor to review the provider and check that they follow all regulations (while also reviewing all policies to ensure they comply with NDIS policies).
Although the NDIS Commission leads audits, independent parties like Provider Plus NDIS Consultants with no obligation to either side can perform the audits. The goal is to have an industry where all providers meet the high standards sought by the NDIA. These days, all NDIS care providers must undergo the audit process, which means that a private organisation is likely to visit your premises for this purpose.
How Does the NDIS Audit Process Work?
As soon as you register with the NDIS for the first time, the clock starts ticking, and you have 12 to 18 months to undertake an audit. However, it’s best to collect paperwork and start working towards the audit before the registration process. When registering, you’ll need to complete the Scope of Audit document as well as an NDIS Practice Standards self-assessment.
NDIA is always on a mission to achieve fairness for all, and this is why audits are so important in the industry. Therefore, the best advice is to take the time to read up on all important procedures and policies. The more you understand, the less stressful the whole process becomes.
Often, confusion comes from the different types of audits; you’ll find both certification audits and verification audits. Which should you choose?
Certification Audit: As the most thorough type of audit, this extensive process has several stages and can occur over many months. In addition to reviewing all documents, the independent auditor also visits your site for an assessment.
Verification Audit: On the other hand, a verification audit is designed for low-risk support and small companies and sole proprietors. Due to its nature, the audit is performed off-site, is cheaper, and only takes place once every three years.
How Much Does an Audit Cost?
Unfortunately, you aren’t going to find a universal answer to this question on the internet because the cost can range depending on the support, size, and scope of the company. While small businesses might pay $500, larger organisations could pay $10,000 (and beyond!).
Generally speaking, verification audits are the cheaper of the two because they are smaller and don’t require on-site assessments. At all times, it’s important to remember that private organisations perform audits as opposed to the NDIA itself. As you start researching auditors, you’ll notice that each company offers a different service and a different price.
Thankfully, the NDIA has the same requirements, and the end result will be the same regardless. If you want to succeed with an audit:
- Communicate with clients
- Always retain important documentation
- Learn everything you can about best practices and policies
- Partner with other providers