I'm Samantha Taylor. I'm with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. I'm the Registrar, so I register providers and also have a look at the NDIS market.
The NDIS Commission regulates all providers in the NDIS market. Providers can be registered by the Commission, or they can be used and chosen by people who are self-managing, but we still regulate them, and all providers are bound by the NDIS Code of Conduct as are their workers.
The registration process is a really important process. What it does is it sets practice standards, and it helps the Commission determine whether or not a provider is suitable to operate in the NDIS market. That means that they're able to demonstrate that they're there to work with people with disability to achieve the outcomes that the NDIS is looking for.
For providers to be registered, they need to give the Commission information about their provider history, whether they've had any issues in the past, whether their key personnel have had any issues in the past, what their qualifications are, if they're professional bodies or practitioners. They need to self-assess against the practice standards that are relevant to the supports and services that they deliver. They need to be audited by a third party auditor.
The Commission approves auditing bodies to audit against those practice standards. They're organisations that understand those requirements. They understand how to apply the things that are important to the Commission like proportionality in the audit or that we're making sure that those processes are fit to the scale and the size of the organisation that's seeking to be registered with us.
The Commission understands that there are a wide range of providers operating in the NDIS. Some of them are already regulated in other systems. Some of them are individual practitioners. Others are really large businesses that operate across the whole of the country. One size fits all is not going to work in that kind of environment. We need to take account of the size of an organisation, the kinds of services and supports they're delivering. The number of participants they support is important. So we take a proportionate approach to the requirements that we set for people.
The practice standards are a very important part of the registration process. What they do is set the frame for how we want providers and their workers to behave in how they support NDIS participants. The practice standards test a number of things. They test the provider's understanding of the rights and responsibilities around support for people with disability. They test things like governance and good human resource management or that they're deploying the right staff who are capable of supporting people with disability in particular settings. There are a number of different practice standards that relate to various specialist parts of the service delivery system in the NDIS.
If providers need assistance with the registration process, they can give us a call, and we'll walk them through. They can also find information on our website that steps them through each of the things they need to do to complete the process.
The voice of participants in the registration process is absolutely critical. We want to hear from people about their experience in services. It's important for the Commission, but it's also important for providers to hear what people's experience of them is and of their workers.
What we do is we require providers to include in their audit process discussions with participants and their families and carers if that's what's important. It's incredibly important for us to know that their voices are heard, and providers tell us that that's a very rich part of the process, that they're able to take the feedback that they get through the registration process and think differently about some of the feedback they get from participants and their families and change the way they do some of their service delivery.
People with disability participating in the NDIS are in the scheme for life. Their experience with providers and workers in the scheme can have the best impact or the worst impact on their outcomes.
The practice standards are here to guide providers and workers and participants about what good looks like so that the scheme can deliver the outcomes for people with disability and really support people in achieving their goals in their lives.