Part B: Overview of NDIS registration (Residential Aged Care Toolkit)

Part B: Overview of NDIS Registration

  1. What is NDIS registration?
  2. Who's who in NDIS registration for RAC providers?
  3. Why do RAC providers need to register as NDIS providers?
  4. What current options are in place to minimise the regulatory burden for RAC providers?
  5. What are the key steps involved in NDIS registration?
    • What is a certification audit?
    • How often do certification audits take place?
  6. What are the mandatory compliance requirements for registered providers?
    • The NDIS Practice Standards
    • The NDIS Code of Conduct
    • Complaints management
    • Incident management and reportable incidents
    • Worker screening
    • 'Key personnel suitability'
    • Notifying any changes or events affecting NDIS providers registration
    • Mandatory training requirements
  7. Supplementary compliance requirements
    • Implementing Behaviour Support Plans
    • High intensity daily personal activities

1. What is NDIS Registration

NDIS registration involves providers demonstrating that they meet the required standards of quality and safety in the services and supports they deliver. This involves an application by the provider, an independent certification audit against the NDIS Practice Standards, an assessment of the suitability of the applicant and its key personnel by the NDIS Commission, and a decision on the application by the NDIS Commission.

NDIS registration is a legal requirement for providers supporting an NDIS participant whose NDIS plan is managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).  Providers must also be registered to deliver certain higher risk supports funded through the NDIS, including specialist behaviour support, specialist disability accommodation and to implement regulated restrictive practices as part of a participant’s behaviour support plan.

NDIS registration is a legal requirement for the majority of Residential Aged Care (RAC) providers supporting NDIS participants, because these participants’ NDIS plans are NDIA-managed, and some NDIS participants are subject to a restrictive practice implemented through the provision of support that is funded through the NDIS.  

NDIS registration involves an online application and self-assessment, an independent certification audit, an assessment of the suitability of the applicant and key personnel and a registration decision by the NDIS Commission. 

There are also ongoing obligations for compliance that are monitored through 18 month and three yearly audits.

2. Who's who in the NDIS registration for RAC providers?

NDIS participants

Let’s start with NDIS Participants first. 

The NDIS provides funding to people with a permanent and significant disability so that they can access the supports and services they need to participate in social and economic life and achieve their goals and aspirations. 

NDIS participants may have an individual NDIS plan that lists the supports they will use and the funding they have received. NDIS participants can exercise choice and control by choosing NDIS service providers that support them to achieve those outcomes.

NDIS providers

Registered NDIS providers must demonstrate that they meet certain quality and safeguards requirements for the type of supports they provide that are funded through the NDIS.

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

The NDIS Commission oversees registration and regulation of NDIS providers of NDIS funded supports and services. 
The NDIS Commission is responsible for:
•    compliance with the NDIS Practice Standards and NDIS Code of Conduct
•    complaints about NDIS services and supports
•    reportable incidents, including abuse and neglect of a participant
•    use of regulated restrictive practices in the NDIS 
•    National NDIS Worker Screening.

National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)

The NDIS Commission is separate to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). 
The NDIA is responsible for:
•    participant NDIS plans
•    payments for supports provided, and
•    pricing for supports in the NDIS

Department of Health

Invoices the NDIA for the NDIS support costs associated with NDIS participants living in RAC facilities under a cross-billing arrangement. The funds are paid to the RAC provider through the usual aged care contract payments.

Approved Quality Auditors

Independent, trained and competent quality auditors approved by the NDIS Commissioner to undertake audits of NDIS providers to assess compliance against the NDIS Practice Standards. 

3. Why do RAC providers need to register as NDIS providers?

RAC Providers are required to be registered to deliver supports and services to NDIS participants in any of the following circumstances they:

  • receive funding from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA or the Agency) to deliver supports and services to NDIS participants whose NDIS plan is Agency managed)
  • develop behaviour support plans through NDIS funds
  • implement regulated restrictive practices in the course of delivering NDIS supports and services.

This is important so that all NDIS participants have access to the same level of quality and safeguarding arrangements, no matter where they live.

To help RAC providers, a phased approach to NDIS quality and safeguarding requirements has been taken. RAC providers supporting NDIS participants became automatically registered with the NDIS Commission on 1 December 2020 under the class of support (registration group) 0115 – Assistance with daily life tasks in a group or shared living arrangement.

When this occurred RAC providers were advised of the period of registration and date by which they must apply for registration and be assessed against the NDIS Practice Standards (registration renewal date). 

What if the NDIS participant wants to leave RAC?

It is a key principle of the NDIS that all NDIS participants are supported to exercise choice and control over their lives, including decisions about changes to their services providers. NDIS participants must not be forced or coerced to move out of a RAC facility. There are options available, however, if participants wish, or have a goal in their NDIS plan, to leave RAC. 

The NDIS registered RAC provider, following mutual agreement with an NDIS participant to transition out, should liaise with the NDIA Young People in Residential Aged Care Team to ensure smooth and timely transfer of NDIS participants. 

If the NDIS participant you support wishes, or has a goal in their NDIS plan, to leave RAC, the NDIS participant should be encouraged to work with the NDIA to explore options. The NDIA is able to support the NDIS participant with an NDIS plan review if appropriate, or provide information about living in and moving out of RAC so they are able to exercise choice and control about changes to their services providers and care needs.  

4. What current options are in place to minimise the regulatory burden for RAC providers?

1. Extended registration renewal dates for RAC providers supporting low numbers of NDIS participants (1 – 5 participants)

The NDIS Commission has extended the registration renewal date for this category of providers from 1 July 2022 to 1 December 2022. This means these providers have 9 months from 1 December 2022 to complete all elements of the registration application, including the external audit.

2. Alignment of aged care and NDIS audit activities

RAC providers can ask the NDIS Commission to consider changing the registration renewal date to align with aged care accreditation processes. This involves contacting the NDIS Commission to discuss a variation and submitting an application for variation of registration. An application for variation of registration is also required to seek a change to the conditions of registration that require transitioned RAC providers to complete their audit within nine months of their registration renewal date. In considering an application from a RAC provider for variation of their NDIS registration to extend their registration renewal date or the timeframe for completing an audit under conditions of registration, the NDIS Commissioner’s delegate will consider reasons given by the provider for seeking the extension and any risks to participants associated with the request.

3. Consideration of recent aged care audit findings in NDIS audit activities

There may be scope for your auditor to be authorised by the NDIS Commission to consider the findings of your aged care audit for compliance requirements that are applicable to both aged care and NDIS.

4. Specific guidance on linkages between Aged Care Quality Standards and NDIS Practice Standards
This Toolkit provides a Standards Comparison Tool, optional Concordance Table and Evidence Guide to help you identify how evidence available through an aged care assessment can be used to demonstrate compliance with the NDIS Commission requirements.