5. What are the key steps involved in NDIS registration? (Residential Aged Care toolkit)

There are six steps in the registration process. NDIS registration for RAC providers involves a Certification Audit.

What is a Certification Audit?

Generally, this is a detailed audit including reviews of your self-assessment, your policies and procedures, records, site visits and interviews with a representative range of workers and NDIS participants.

NDIS audits are proportionate and focus on the NDIS participants you support – not other residents in your facility.

There are two stages of Certification Audits - Stage 1 and Stage 2

Stage 1 audit: This is sometimes called a desktop audit or a document review. This stage usually takes place off-site. It includes a review of your documentation to ensure you have adequate systems in place to promote quality and safety under the NDIS Practice Standards.

Stage 2 audit: This is usually conducted on-site and evaluates the ‘effectiveness and implementation’ of your systems in addressing the relevant modules of the NDIS Practice Standards including the experience of NDIS participants in receiving the NDIS funded services for which you are seeking registration. 

Basically, it looks at whether you are doing what you say you will in your policies and procedures.

How often do certification audits take place?

NDIS registration is typically a three-yearly cycle, which includes:
•    an initial certification audit (includes Stages 1 and 2);
•    an 18 month mid-term review (a monitoring audit);
•    the next cycle commences with a recertification audit as part of an application for re-registration three years from the date of your registration by the NDIS Commission.

Overview of the steps involved in the audit process
Step Description of what is involved
Step 1: Registration Preparing for application submission:
  • identifying registration groups
  • getting familiar with NDIS Practice Standards
  • developing/updating policy and procedures
  • completing a Self-Assessment against NDIS Practice Standards.
Submit application online (includes Self-assessment, and policies and procedures).
Step 2: Select an Approved Quality Auditing body

The NDIS Commission’s system generates an Initial Scope of Audit document which:

  • provides a summary of the compliance requirements that apply to the provider
  • is used to get quotes from approved quality auditors.

Select an Audit Body from the list of Approved Quality Auditors (get quotes from a number of approved quality auditors).

Step 3: Stage 1 Certification Audit
  • Approved quality auditor will undertake a desktop audit (Document Review) usually off site.
  • Document review is to ensure the provider has adequate systems in place to promote quality and safety in accordance with the NDIS Practice Standards.
Step 4: Stage 2 Certification Audit
  • Approved quality auditor undertakes in depth audit looking at the effectiveness and implementation of systems outlined in policy and procedures to address relevant modules of the NDIS Practice Standards.
  • Usually, onsite. 
  • Entry meeting, key documents and information collected. 
  • Interviews with staff, management, governing body, participants.
  • Observations.
  • Sampling approach.
  • Exit interview.
  • 3 months from Stage 1.
  • Audit report prepared for NDIS Commission within 1 month of completion.
Step 5: Registration decision
  • NDIS Commission will assess suitability of the provider and key personnel including a range of checks undertaken in accordance with the legislative requirements.
  • NDIS Commission will decide on provider’s suitability for registration, taking into account audit report recommendations and suitability assessment.
  • Providers are notified of the outcome.
Step 6: Compliance
  • Required to maintain registration requirements.
  • 18-month mid-term audit review.
  • 3 year re-certification.