Provider registration (NDIS Providers)
On 1 July 2018, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission became responsible for the registration of all NDIS service providers in New South Wales and South Australia.
For NDIS service providers in those states:
- existing registered NDIS providers do not need to do anything for their registration to transfer from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to the NDIS Commission
- existing registered NDIS providers must renew (apply) for registration within the date shown on their certificate of registration to keep being registered with the NDIS Commission
- new providers wishing to start providing supports and services in New South Wales and/or South Australia should apply for registration directly to the NDIS Commission
- new providers who had a pending application with the NDIA to provide NDIS supports and services in New South Wales and/or South Australia will need to submit a new registration application directly to the NDIS Commission
- existing providers that had a pending application with the NDIA to add new NDIS supports and services to their existing registration will need to advise the NDIS Commission of the changes to their scope of practice on the variation of your registration.
The NDIS Commission is working closely with the NDIA and the states and territories to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
The new arrangements will progressively replace existing quality and safeguards requirements in all states and territories.
The NDIS Commission’s registration and regulatory system reduces duplication and streamlines the current quality and safeguards functions into a single body.
Who needs to register?
Providers must be registered to deliver services and supports to NDIS participants who have their plan managed by the NDIA.
NDIS providers that deliver specialist disability accommodation, use restrictive practices, or develop behaviour support plans must also be registered.
NDIS providers in Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia can continue to register through the NDIA until the NDIS Commission starts operating in their state or territory from July 2019 or 2020.
NDIS participants who self-manage the supports and services in their plan, have someone else to do it for them (a plan nominee), or use a registered plan manager can access services from registered or unregistered providers (except for those supports that require registration with the NDIS Commission).
Providers delivering supports or services to older people with disability who are receiving continuity of supports under the Commonwealth Continuity of Support Programme relating to Specialist Disability Services for Older People must also be registered.
What are the registration requirements?
Under the NDIS Commission registered providers in New South Wales and South Australia will need to:
- comply with new conditions of registration and the NDIS Practice Standards
- comply with the new NDIS Code of Conduct and support their workers to meet its requirements
- have an in-house complaints management and resolution system, and support participants to make a complaint
- have an in-house incident management system, and notify the NDIS Commission of reportable incidents
- comply with the new worker screening requirements
- meet new behaviour support requirements (if applicable), including reporting restrictive practices to the NDIS Commission.
All employees of registered providers must complete a compulsory worker orientation module that will cover human rights, respect and risk, and the roles and responsibilities of NDIS workers.
The NDIS Commission will provide information and guidance to support registered providers to meet their requirements. It will monitor registered providers for compliance with the conditions of registration, and will have the power to suspend, vary or revoke registration.
The full details on quality and safeguards requirements under the NDIS Commission can be found in the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Rules.
Registration requirements under the NDIS Commission and the NDIS Practice Standards are designed to be proportionate. What this means is that a smaller provider with fewer workers and participants is not expected to present the same evidence as a national provider with a large workforce and many participants.
Providers will need to be audited against the NDIS Practice Standards to apply for or renew registration with the NDIS Commission. An independent auditor will assess NDIS providers against the relevant components of the NDIS Practice Standards. This will either be a ‘verification’ or ‘certification’ quality audit. Verification audits are a lighter touch desktop audit, while certification audits are a more detailed process. Auditors will also undertake their activities in a way that is appropriate to the size, scale, and supports delivered by an NDIS provider.
The NDIS Commission will tell NDIS providers which type of audit – certification or verification – they will need to complete. This will be based on the registration groups the NDIS provider is registered for, and what legal type of organisation the NDIS provider is.
Providers delivering more complex supports must get third-party quality assurance certification against the NDIS Practice Standards.
Core capabilities assessed under this process include:
- how the provider manages risk
- the provision of supports
- the environment in which supports are provided
- governance and operational management.
NDIS providers who apply to deliver complex supports must complete the NDIS Practice Standards’ core module and any supplementary module relevant to the type of support they deliver. Details on which modules must be completed for certification are outlined in the Registration Requirements by Supports and Services document.
In addition, NDIS providers who are required to complete the NDIS Practice Standards Module 1 (High Intensity Daily Personal Activities) must ensure that support workers meet the requirements set out in the High Intensity Skills Descriptors document.
Certification audits must be done by an approved quality auditor, and might include document reviews, site visits, and performance assessment based on the experience of NDIS participants (captured through observation and conversations with participants, carers, and families).
To comply with the verification module of the NDIS Practice Standards, providers must show evidence of, relevant qualifications, expertise and experience, incident management processes/policies, complaints management processes/policies and risk management processes/policies.
These guidelines set out the requirements that each profession must meet during the verification process.
Generally speaking, providers who register for these registration groups either:
- deliver relatively lower risk supports and services, and/or
- are already subject to professional regulation as a requirement of doing business
This includes regulation through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and through the other professional bodies that provide regulatory oversight of the professions included within these guidelines.
This existing regulation includes setting of standards and the ongoing monitoring of the individual’s competency to practice their profession, including through continuing professional development.
Because of the existing obligations of these professional bodies, and the less complex support types delivered under the registration groups in scope of verification, individual sole traders and partnerships have a streamlined audit process requiring a desktop review of the documentary evidence outlined in these guidelines.
As the NDIS market develops, the NDIS Commission will continue to monitor the effectiveness of these profession-specific regulatory frameworks to meet the NDIS Commission’s requirements in relation to safe, quality services for NDIS participants.
The NDIS Commission will consider the suitability of NDIS Providers and their key personnel to deliver NDIS supports and services. This is part of the NDIS Commission’s assessment of a registration application. The suitability assessment includes looking at whether the NDIS provider, or its key personnel have:
- been previously registered as an NDIS provider
- had a banning order in place
- been convicted of an offence
- been insolvent under administration
- had adverse findings or enforcement action taken by various authorities
- been disqualified from managing corporations.
Provider registration process
To register, NDIS providers in New South Wales and South Australia should proceed through the following steps.
The NDIS Commission's portal is now available. Providers are able to commence renewal applications when the renewal date on their certificate of registration is within the next six months.
Your organisation will need to make an application for registration under the new NDIS Commission arrangements before the end of the period specified in your organisation's Certificate of Registration.
This will involve making an application for renewal using the NDIS Commission online portal and your Registration ID.
You will provide information about your organisation, including the key personnel.
You will also:
- undertake a self-assessment of your organisation against the NDIS Practice Standards relevant to the supports and services you provide to participant’s residing in NSW and SA.
- Arrange for an assessment against the NDIS Practice Standards. This involves a NDIS Commission-approved quality auditor assessing your organisation using either a verification or certification method to consider how your organisation meets relevant NDIS Practice Standards. Information about approved quality auditors will be published on the NDIS Commission website after 1 July 2018. Your Certificate of Registration will specify the timing of such quality audits for your organisation.
Your organisation must start the registration renewal process with the NDIS Commission by submitting a renewal application for registration as a registered NDIS provider before your organisation’s registration period ends. The date this period ends will be stated on your Certificate of Registration. If your organisation does not start the renewal process by this date your organisation’s status as a registered NDIS provider will lapse.
Your organisation will be required to use the NDIS Commission’s portal to undertake the registration renewal.
All users linked to your organisation in the NDIA’s Myplace portal will also have access to your organisation’s details in the NDIS Commission portal.
Completing the renewal process
Generally, the timeframe for completion of the registration renewal will be no longer than 12 months, for many NDIS providers it can be done in a much shorter period. Once you have made an application for renewal by the date set out in your Certificate of Registration, you will need to complete the audit process in accordance with the timing that will also be specified in the Certificate. That timeframe will be commensurate to the nature of your organisation, and services and supports you provide.
The NDIS Commission will monitor your progress throughout the process, and provide guidance to you in completing your renewal.
Approved auditing bodies
Only quality auditors approved by the NDIS Commission can assess whether an NDIS Provider complies with the NDIS Practice Standards. For further information see the list of approved quality auditors.
- NDIS Practice Standards: Verification Module - Required Documentation
- NDIS Practice Standards: skills descriptors (High Intensity Skills Descriptors)
- Fact sheet: How to register as an NDIS provider
- Application Pack – NDIS Practice Standards and quality indicators
- Application Pack – NDIS Provider application to register process guide
- Application Pack – Registration renewal process guide
- Application Pack – Suitability assessment process guide
- Application Pack – Registration Requirements by Supports and Services
- Application Pack – Understanding providers’ obligations