Whether you’re starting a small business as a support worker, or looking to diversify your agency offering, if you’re wondering how to become an NDIS provider, we’ve got some helpful tips that will help get you on your way.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme makes it easier for people with disabilities to access the funds and support they need to live life to the fullest. As a support worker or carer, it makes it easier to find clients, and manage billing for your services.
Registering with the NDIS
For many support businesses, registering with the NDIS is optional, but whichever state in Australia you operate in, you must register if:
- You provide service to NDIS participants with a plan managed by the NDIA.
- You offer complex services, such as specialist behaviour support.
- You offer specialist disability accommodation.
- You implement restrictive practices as part of your offering to NDIS participants
If you’re considering registering to become an NDIS provider, a great starting place is to call the NDIS helpline (1800 800 110) to talk about your business offering, and whether your services can be offered under the NDIS.
To start the registration process you’ll need to:
- Complete a ‘working with children check’, and a police check.
- Have a registered ABN, or proof of not for profit status.
- Create a Provider Digital Access (PRODA) account and upload your details on the NDIS website.
- Submit your intent to register, and follow the steps and application checklist.
To help with self-assessment, registration and deciding on the best way to present your services, the NDIS provider toolkit can help.
Once the application is submitted, you’ll need to engage an approved quality auditor to assess your organisation’s compliance with the NDIS Practice Standards.
You can read more on the types of audits – quality audits, verification audits and certification audits, and what each involves here.
How much does NDIS registration cost?
It’s free to register with the NDIS, however, there are some costs incurred with auditing your business for application, which will vary depending on your size and complexity of services offered. You’ll get a clearer picture of the full cost once submitting an application – the NDIS will send you an initial ‘scope of audit’, giving you an idea of what will be involved.
The time it takes to complete registration will depend on how complex your business is, and any auditing that needs to take place.
The three types of NDIS audit
After registering to become an NDIS provider, the next step is to provide and audit. If successful, you’ll receive an NDIS declaration of suitability. The type of audit you’ll need to undertake depends on the nature of your business.
To prove suitability, all providers will need to be audited against the NDIS Practice Standards by an independent, approved NDIS auditor. This will either be a ‘verification’ or ‘certification’, based on the information you give during registration.
As the applicant, it will be your responsibility to engage an approved quality auditor to assess your organisation’s compliance with the NDIS Practice Standards.
Using the standards as a guide, your auditor will assess your ability to deliver on the components of the NDIS Practice Standards relevant to the services and supports you deliver, while taking into account your organisation’s size, scope, and service delivery risk.
A verification audit
If you deliver low complexity, lower risk services and support, you’ll likely just need to undergo a verification audit, especially if you’re already subject to professional regulation as a requirement of doing business, and have already proven you meet similar standards.
In this case, you’ll be able to engage an approved auditor to complete a desktop review of the documents needed to provide as evidence of your expertise. You can check which category of profession you fall under in the NDIS Verification Module.
Evidence you’ll need to supply includes:
- Relevant qualifications;
- Details of expertise and experience;
- outlines of your core processes and policies, including:
- incident management
- complaints management
- risk management.
A certification audit
If you provide more complex or higher risk supports and services, you’ll likely need to undergo a certification audit. In this case, you’ll be assessed against the NDIS Practice Standards, which can include the core module and any supplementary modules relevant to the type of support you deliver.
You can explore what you’ll need to prove to comply with these modules by checking your type of organisation against its registration requirements.
Assessment includes core capabilities, such as:
- risk management;
- delivery of supports;
- the delivery environment; and
- governance and operational management.
To complete certification, you’ll need to engage an NDIS auditor, who’ll review documents, visit some of your sites and interview some of your workers and clients.
If your support caters for what is called the High-Intensity Daily Personal Activities registration group, you’ll also be assessed against the High-Intensity Skills Descriptors.
Ongoing commitment as an NDIS provider
Once registered as an NDIS provider, you’ll need to follow the NDIS guidelines and set of obligations:
- NDIS Code of Conduct
- Complaints process
- Mandatory worker screening
- Reportable incident requirements
- Restrictive practice reporting
- Practice Standards verification
- Logs for progress notes and client goals.
- Individual, itemised client billing.
- Client communications history and service logs.
- Team training and certification expiry tracking.
- Record keeping of agreed service task lists and delivery instructions.
Once approved ShiftCare can also assist with your bulk claims through PRODA.
Start a 7-day free trial to discover how ShiftCare can help you stay compliant as an NDIS Provider whilst growing your business fast.