Running an NDIS organisation is a huge duty that is regulated by registration, policies and procedures, and the auditing process.
While registration and policies have their own set of issues, the audit process is probably one of the biggest uncertainties for NDIS providers.
There’s a lot of misunderstanding about the NDIS audit process, so it’s time to clear things up and make sure you’re ready to step up your business.
Why do I Need an NDIS Audit?
The NDIS has made it compulsory to conduct certain risk assessments as part of its requirements, which can be daunting. It also requires that certain types of evidence be gathered in advance prior to the audit. This evidence is a vital part of the audit process and should be readily available. However, staff members may be frightened by the audit requirements and worry that they will be ‘exposed’. Providing evidence ahead of time is the best way to impress the auditor.
The NDIS Commission closely checks the people involved in service-for-one providers. Key personnel include the chief executive officer (CEO), company directors, board members and chairpersons. The audit process helps the Commission check the quality of service. This way, the NDIS is confident that the organisation will meet the Practice Standards. If a service provider has not yet completed the audit, they need to hire an approved auditor.
What are NDIS Audits?
There are 2 NDIS Audits; Certification and Verification. To provide quality services for participants of the NDIS, organisations that provide complex supports must undergo third-party quality assurance as part of the Certification audit. As part of this process, they must demonstrate they have a system in place to manage complaints, incidents, and risk. The verification audit will assess their support provision environment, including the safety of their employees, processes, and equipment. This process is designed to ensure compliance with the NDIS Regulations and ensure that providers are meeting their legal and ethical obligations.
If you’re concerned about the rigour of NDIS audits, you can enlist professional assistance. There are many benefits to hiring professionals to assist with the audit process. Most providers will have less stress and fewer non-conformances if they’ve been prepared beforehand. In addition, you’ll have an easier time passing the audit and reducing the risk of non-conformances.
How Much Does an NDIS Audit Cost?
The cost of an NDIS audit varies widely, and is dependent on the type of service you are providing. A simple audit can cost around $900. The more complex service will require an NDIS certification audit. Certification audits can cost anywhere from $3000 to $5000, depending on the complexity of the service. In addition to the cost of the audit itself, a business must have documentation prepared for the certification. Often, the certification audit is part of a self-assessment, which should be done at least every three years.
You can expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $10K, but it’s best to get quotes from several different auditors before selecting one. While NDIS audits are not a pass or fail situation, any major non-conformances must be corrected within three to 12 months of the audit.
What Happens If I Fail the NDIS Audit Process?
What happens if I fail the NDIS Audit? Self-managing a participant’s funds is a popular option in the NDIS. The NDIA has set policies for care providers, which care providers must implement as soon as possible. Those policies lay the foundation for the NDIS Audit process. Independent auditors review the provider’s policies and procedures for ensuring that they are up to standard.
The NDIS requires every provider to undergo regular audits conducted by private organisations. While this process may seem rigid at first, it has sound reasons. For example, the aim of an audit is to make sure that care providers meet basic quality standards. A successful audit will reveal gaps in the system and ensure staff are appropriately trained. If you fail an NDIS audit, you may have to develop an action plan to rectify the deficiencies identified by the auditors.
To address non-conformances, you’ll be requested to create a Corrective Action Plan. If you are unable to resolve the difficulties, or if the auditors’ advice to the NDIS Commission is that certification or verification be denied, the auditors will talk to you about the ramifications for your registration.
Can I get help with the NDIS Audit Process?
Before conducting an audit, you should gather as much evidence as possible. This way, you can explain to the auditor what the changes are and how you plan to fix any issues that may come up. It is easy to be nervous about the audit, and some staff may be afraid of it.
However, you can get professional assistance to prepare you for the audit so that your staff isn’t stressed or overwhelmed. And this way, you’ll have fewer non-conformances.
If you’re looking for a way to impress the auditors, you can go through a self-audit. This means you’ll be comparing the services you offer against Practice Standards. But if you don’t feel confident enough to conduct an audit, you can always contact an approved provider for assistance. While it isn’t essential to seek help from a third party, it is important to remember that preparation is an important part of the NDIS audit process.
NDIS Audits Made Easy!
Fronto Advisory can connect you with an NDIS Approved Quality Auditor who will walk you through each and every clause of the NDIS audit requirements, whether you are a new provider or an established provider seeking re-registration. Their knowledgeable team will assist you throughout the procedure.
Call them today or fill out a form and receive a call back.