A Guide to NDIS Registration: Understanding the Process and Requirements

Asha Neil

Written on 17 April, 2023
The NDIS registration process can be complex and time-consuming. Good preparation, however, will help NDIS providers demonstrate that they meet the standards of the NDIS Commission.

5 Steps to Becoming a Registered NDIS Provider

NDIS registration offers a host of benefits for a disability support service provider, but it also comes with rigorous requirements. Here's what you need to do to register as an NDIS provider.

#1. Application

Once you've decided to register as an NDIS provider, your first step should be filling in the online application form. You can do this by going to the Applications Portal on the NDIS Commission’s website.

What Information Do You Need to Provide in the Online Application Process?

When filling out your registration application form, you’ll need to provide:

  • Your organisation’s contact details

  • Key personnel

  • Your business structure

  • Your service profile

  • Your service coverage areas

  • Registration groups

  • The NDIS supports and services you deliver

It’s a good idea to prepare these details beforehand, but don’t worry if you need to double-check something. You can save your application at any time, and you have up to 60 days to complete it.

(By the way, want to save this information for later? You can bookmark this blog post or download our free guide to the NDIS registration requirements and process.)

#2. Audit

The next stage in NDIS provider registration is organising a certification or verification audit to be conducted by an approved quality auditor. It's important to note that the audit isn't conducted by the NDIS Commission, although the auditor will submit their findings directly to the Commission.

While NDIS registration is technically free, you have to pay for the audit. Since private companies conduct the audit, rather than the NDIS Commission, the prices they charge can vary.

Certification Audit vs Verification Audit: What's the Difference?

You will need to undergo either a verification or certification audit. Your registration groups will determine the initial scope of audit that's required. If you only work with low-risk registration groups, a verification audit will suffice. If, however, you work with high-risk registration groups, you'll need to pay for a certification audit.

What is the NDIS Audit process?

The NDIS audit process varies depending on whether they're verification or certification audits. Regardless of the audit type, the approved quality auditor will review the documentation that you submit. In a verification audit, this will happen remotely.

A certification audit, on the other hand, is on-site. The auditors will still want to review your documentation, but they'll also interview your NDIS clients and key personnel.

What will the NDIS Approved Quality Auditor Look For?

Your auditor will want to see that you comply with the relevant NDIS Practice Standards modules and all other requirements of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. You can read more about the NDIS Practice Standards on the NDIS Commission website here.

As we break down in our webinar on getting your business audit-ready, auditors look for evidence that you have systems in place that allow you to comply with the relevant modules of the NDIS Practice Standards. In particular, they review your evidence to check that a) you have appropriate processes in place and b) there is supporting documentation showing that they have been implemented and are working as intended.

What are the NDIS Audit Outcomes?

There are four potential audit outcomes:

  • Conformity with elements of best practice

  • Conformity

  • Minor non-conformity

  • Major non-conformity

If a non-conformity is found, you'll have to develop a corrective action plan and potentially undergo another audit. You can read more about these outcomes and what they mean in our guide to avoiding a non-conformity in NDIS audits.

#3. Assessment

Your auditor will submit their findings to the NDIS Commission, which will then conduct a suitability assessment. At this point, all you need to do is wait. It can be a slow process. Auditors have up to 28 days to submit the audit document to the NDIS Commission, while there is no way to know how long the Commission will spend reviewing your registration application. The time frame depends on multiple factors.

#4. Outcome

Assuming your NDIS registration is successful, you'll receive a Certificate of Registration. You will then be able to begin marketing yourself as a registered NDIS provider.

Unsuccessful applicants, on the other hand, can request a review of the decision within three months of receiving the result. If that is also unsuccessful, you can then apply for a further review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

#5. Ongoing Compliance

The process doesn't stop once you’ve successfully become a registered NDIS provider. To maintain your NDIS registration, you need to:

  • Comply with the relevant NDIS Practice Standards

  • Follow the NDIS Code of Conduct

  • Have an in-house process for NDIS participants' complaints 

  • Support participants in submitting complaints

  • Have an in-house incident management system

  • Notify the NDIS Commission of any reportable incidents

  • Regularly conduct NDIS internal audits

  • Undergo mid-term audits and registration renewal audits

You'll continue to be audited every 18 months, which means that audit preparation should be built into your business processes.

NDIS Compliance and Audit Preparation Made Simple

For registered NDIS providers, compliance with the NDIS Code of Conduct and Practice Standards is a constant concern. Demonstrating this compliance isn't just an ethical priority. It's also a requirement to continue operating as an NDIS registered provider.

ShiftCare’s NDIS software will help you manage every aspect of your NDIS service provider business, from rostering staff to tracking NDIS participants' funds. But where ShiftCare really shines is its compliance-centric features. With rigorous document management tools, staff certificate expiry notifications and more, it takes the stress out of preparing for your NDIS audit.

Discover how the right software can make compliance simple. Try ShiftCare for free.

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