The Role of NDIS Audits in Ensuring Quality and Compliance

Asha Neil

Written on 23 January, 2023
The NDIS audit is an essential step in the NDIS registration process. It ensures NDIS providers meet approved quality standards, a.k.a the NDIS Practice Standards.

Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about the NDIS audit process and how your NDIS provider business can prepare for it.

What Is an NDIS Audit and Does It Affect You?

An NDIS audit is how the NDIS Commission ensures that NDIS providers meet the minimum requirements for quality management, risk management and other elements of NDIS compliance. These requirements are outlined in the NDIS Practice Standards.

Although these audits are required by the NDIS Commission, it’s not actually the commission or the NDIA who will audit you. Instead, you’ll need to select an NDIS-approved independent auditor. As private companies, these approved auditors have varying rates, so it’s worth comparing prices before booking your audit.

NDIS audits are mandatory for all NDIS registered businesses. If you’re registered, you’ll have to undergo an audit when registering and then every three years after that.

Unregistered NDIS providers, on the other hand, will only be audited if the NDIS Commission already has evidence worthy of an investigation, such as participant complaints.

What Are NDIS Practice Standards?

Along with the NDIS Code of Conduct, the NDIS Practice Standards are the main guide to quality management for NDIS providers. They are also what you will be audited on.

The Practice Standards are made up of a core module and several supplementary modules. All NDIS providers are expected to adhere to the core module. This covers:

  • Participants' rights and providers' responsibilities

  • Governance and operational management

  • Supports delivery 

  • The environment in which supports are delivered

Depending on the services you offer, you may also be expected to comply with one or more of the supplementary modules. For example, there are supplementary modules for early childhood supports and specialist behaviour supports. You can find out more information about them on the NDIS Commission's website.

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

There are different types of NDIS audits, although they all measure the same thing: conformity with the NDIS Practice Standards. 

All providers need to do a verification audit. Providers delivering higher risk supports also need to undergo a certification audit.

The verification audit process is the simplest one. An approved quality auditor will do a desktop audit. This means they will remotely review your documentation. It is a relatively affordable audit that should be completed fairly quickly.

Certification audits, however, are more rigorous. As part of the NDIS certification audit process, independent, approved quality auditors will visit your NDIS provider business. They will review evidence, which will include undertaking document reviews and conducting interviews with NDIS participants.

What Will the NDIS Approved Quality Auditors Look For?

We’ve broken down what NDIS auditors are looking for in our webinar on getting your business audit-ready. The short answer, however, is the auditors are looking for evidence. They have limited time to judge whether you’re adhering to the NDIS Practice Standards, which means they’re going to focus on analysing your systems, processes, and documentation for proof of it.

Some of the things auditors look for include:

  • A commitment to participants’ rights, e.g. consent forms and a complaints system

  • Evidence that your NDIS staff have the correct competencies for their roles and responsibilities

  • Your financial management and risk management processes

  • Supporting documentation for systems that show you conform to the NDIS Practice Standards

  • Evidence of implementation of these systems, e.g. incident reports and proof that they were handled as outlined in your systems

To do this, the auditors will typically review your self-assessment, internal NDIS audits and documentation. They’ll also interview your staff and your NDIS clients — if your clients consent to it, of course. Organising client interviews is your responsibility, so take a look at our checklist to discover how to do this.  

The Benefits of NDIS Audits

For busy NDIS providers, it’s easy to only see the negative side of audits. After all, they’re stressful, time-consuming and relatively expensive. As a growing business, you want to spend your time attracting new clients, training your team and delivering quality supports. Reviewing your proof of system implementation and completing self-assessment forms can seem like a frustrating amount of red tape.

However, there are also positive sides to NDIS audits. The obvious one, of course, is that they ensure quality and compliance. In doing so, they protect participants.

For NDIS agencies, they also give you a chance to review your business practices. You can spot areas of concern early on, before they become a serious problem. You may also discover ways to run a more efficient and effective business, whether that’s by reassigning team members’ responsibilities or designing simpler processes.

Software for NDIS Quality Management and Service Delivery

Whether it’s your first time or your thirteenth, the NDIS audit process can be intimidating. Putting the right systems in place will help you demonstrate that you meet NDIS practice standards while also making it easier for you to deliver quality services.

ShiftCare's NDIS software is built with NDIS providers in mind. It takes care of the admin side of running an NDIS business, so you can focus on delivering supports. Features include document management, NDIS billing, NDIS pricing, NDIS plan management, rostering, accounting integrations and more.

Discover how the right software will take the stress out of NDIS compliance. Try ShiftCare for free.

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