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Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What registration group should I pick?

Your registration groups should reflect the services and supports that you are currently providing or that you intend to provide. The choice is completely up to you. Take care to ensure you understand the description of each registration group.

In order to ensure you receive the most accurate indication of which NDIS Practice Standards you are required to meet, select only the registration groups that relate to services or supports that you intend to deliver through your organisation or are actively delivering.

You may need to seek support from an NDIS consultant who will be able to support you in ensuring that you select the most appropriate registration groups.

What happens if I want to change from a sole provider to a company?

If you want to change anything related to your registration once you have been audited you may need to reapply through the commission.

How long does my registration last?

Your registration begins from the date the NDIS Commission registers you. Please note, this is a NDIS Commission process and we do not have any control over the speed that the registration may take to come through. NDIS registration runs on a 3 year timeline, meaning every 3 years you will need to undergo an audit to renew your registration. This ensures that you continue to adhere to the NDIS Practice Standards. Note: there may be audits in between depending on your registration application (e.g. Mid-term audits or registration conditions after a Provisional audit)

Do I need qualifications to be an NDIS provider?

Whilst you don't need any qualifications to become an NDIS registered provider, some registration groups do require specific qualifications. Additionally, an audit is completed, the commission may conduct their own investigation of your qualifications as a business and service provider. The NDIS has published a Suitability Assessment Guide that you can review here.

What is the difference between a registered and non-registered NDIS provider?

A registered provider is a business that has successfully met the NDIS Practice Standards and has been approved by the NDIS Commission. Whilst unregistered providers are still able to provide services, they are not NDIS approved.

How long does it take?

Once you have started, you have up to 60 days to complete the NDIS application.

What is the NDIS application process?

As a part of the application process you will be asked to provide information about your business and select the specific NDIS supports or services that you intend to provide. These supports are referred to as registration groups.

By selecting the appropriate registration groups you will be able to see which NDIS Practice Standards must be met by your organisation.

Additionally, you will be asked to complete a self-assessment against the NDIS Practice Standards of how ready your organisation is to provide the relevant support and services you have selected.

Once you have completed the above, the NDIS Commission will provide you with an 'Initial Scope of Audit' which summarises the registration requirements that apply to your registration. You will need to undergo an audit against the NDIS Practice Standards that are captured in your 'Initial Scope of Audit'. You can find an example of an 'Initial Scope of Audit' here. We will need this document in order to provide you with a quote for the cost of your audit. You can learn more about how to register with the NDIS here.

Does the NDIS application have a cost?

There is no cost associated with the initial step of applying for registration and receiving an 'Initial Scope of Audit' document from the NDIS Commission. There is however a cost to be verified or certified against the NDIS Practice Standards. The cost of the audit will depend on the support and services that your organisation provides. You can contact us for a quote once you have completed your application and received an 'Initial Scope of Audit' document from the NDIS and an application reference number.

How do I start my application to become a registered provider with the NDIS?

To start the process of becoming registered as an NDIS provider you must complete an application through the NDIS commission application portal.

This all feels confusing, what can I expect and what do I need to know to get started with an audit?

Firstly, you are not alone. We have created these FAQs because so many of our clients have the same questions.

We recommend reading through the “Getting Started - common terms you may encounter” section of the FAQs and getting familiar with the various terminology.

In terms of the high level process you will need to:

  • Complete an application to become a registered provider.
  • Receive an initial scope document outlining the type of audit the NDIS commission says you need based on the services and supports you provide in your application.
  • Share this initial scope document with us by uploading to our website.
  • We will provide you with an initial quote for the cost of an audit.
  • Once you are happy to continue with us you will then sign with us and we can notify the NDIS Commission and link your ARN.
  • Once you have signed with us we will provide you with an auditor, audit date, and a dedicated Client Service Officer to work with you every step of the way.

You can get started with JPS by clicking here.

Please note there are also NDIS consultants who are available to help step you through the whole process and help you with registration and documentation. As an independent audit body we cannot provide consultancy support.

Do you have a payment plan?

You can pay upfront or pay 70% at the beginning of the process and 30% at the end of the preparation process.

​​How do I pay my invoice?

You can pay through bank transfer. JPS will supply an invoice that contains our BSB and account number necessary for the bank transfer.

What is an ARN (Application Reference Number)?

ARN is the application reference number that is designated to you by the NDIS Commission. You can read more here.

What does it mean to “pass” the document review stage?

It means that you have all the necessary documentation for the audit. This does not mean that you will not have any non-conformities. It means that you have uploaded the relevant documentation for the audit, and you are ready to progress to audit. The quality and content of your documents have not been reviewed or assessed, this is done by the quality auditor during the audit. Please note, the auditor may request for additional documentation on the day of the audit.

Can I change my business during the process?

You can only change your business name during the audit if you plan to maintain your ABN. If the ABN changes you will need to relaunch your application with the NDIS Commission.

Can I provide support to participants before my audit has begun?

It depends. You can provide support to self and plan managed participants whenever you like. However, it is imperative that you disclose this information to your auditor. Please note however,  that if you are undertaking a provisional audit, you cannot provide services to any participants at all. We recommend you contact the Commission directly if you would like further clarification and information.

Is the interview process mandatory?

Whilst interviews make up a part of the Certification Stage 2 audit, your auditor will conduct a meeting with you in an informal setting regardless of the audit type. This is to discuss the process and answer any questions you may have.

Why haven’t I got an auditor date scheduled yet?

Scheduling timeframes are based on auditor availability and audit complexity. Scheduling for verifications takes 1-5 business days whereas scheduling for provisionals and certifications takes 10-15 business days.

Do I have to be available all through the audit?

Yes, your auditor will contact you prior to the audit date with a schedule for the day. However, it is important that you are available all day as the auditor may require clarification at any given point.

Do I need a NDIS Worker Screening Clearance Check?

NDIS Workers Screening Checks are a mandatory document required for audit, for all personnel. You can apply for your check here.

Will my audit be onsite or offsite?

This will depend on whether you are having a verification or certification audit. Verification audits are always off site. Due to the pandemic, Certification audits will continue to be off site until further notice.

When will I be assigned an auditor?

Once your date is scheduled you will be assigned an auditor/auditors depending on your scope of audit.

When is a mid-term audit needed?

Once you have successfully registered with the NDIS Commission you will receive a certificate of registration. Your certificate of registration will detail the period of your registration and any conditions attached to your registration and mid-term audit requirements.

Will JPS contact me or will the NDIS Commission contact me with the outcome of my audit?

The NDIS Commission will be the one to contact you with their final decision and outcome of your audit.

Do I get a certificate from JPS once my audit has been completed with the auditor’s recommendation?

No. Only the NDIS Commission is able to provide you with a certificate. This is because JPS only recommends and puts forward our findings to the Commission. The Commission has their own processes that they follow before issuing a decision. It is only after the NDIS commission’s review and approval of your audit that you will be issued with an NDIS provider number.

How long will it take for me to receive my audit report after my audit?

The report goes through multiple review stages. For a verification audit, your report will be sent out within 2 weeks. For a Provisional or Certification, your report will be sent out within 4 weeks.

Do I need to do anything else after my audit?

If your auditor has sent you a nonconformity corrective action plan, please respond to the corrective action plan. Otherwise, if you received all conformities, there is nothing further you’re required to do after the audit.

Why am I getting additional questions about key personnel from the Commission after my audit is completed (Notice under s73C(4) requiring provision of further information and documents)?

This is a separate process that the Commission is undertaking and JPS is not involved. JPS can only recommend or not recommend certification and after we have submitted your audit and evidence this is no longer within our jurisdiction. The registration process itself is the Commissions.

What is a self-assessment?

A self assessment is required when there are any changes to your modules. This will also be uploaded to the Commission to demonstrate that you understand the module that you are adding on. This is a requirement by the NDIS Commission, and we are unable to submit your application if any areas of your self assessments are missing.

What is a variation form and why do I need to sign it?

A variation form is required when you would like to make a change from the initial scope you have declared with the NDIS. This includes a change of registration group, module, service delivery profile, address change or key personnel change. This is a requirement so JPS can demonstrate to the NDIS that these changes were made with your approval.

What is a Nonconformity Corrective Action Plan?

In the event that you do have non-conformances your auditor will discuss with you any gaps that are identified during the audit, and you’ll be asked to complete a Corrective Action Plan. The auditor will ask you to respond with your intended actions (what actions you will be taking to resolve the non-conformities), and it will be required to be returned within seven calendar days once you receive the corrective action plan. Please note, your non-conformances will be reviewed at your follow up audit to see if you have implemented the actions you took to address the non-conformities.

What happens if I fail my audit?

When it comes to an NDIS audit there is no such thing as passing or failing. There are 2 types of non-conformances, major and minor.

A major non-conformance is identified when there are high risks identified and a minor non-conformance is identified when there are low risks identified.

Major non-conformances’ will require a follow up audit within three months of your audit. Any ‘Minor non-conformances’ will require a follow up audit within 18 months of your audit.

In the event that you do have non-conformances your auditor will discuss with you any gaps that are identified during the audit, and you’ll be asked to complete a Corrective Action Plan. The auditor will ask you to respond with your intended actions (what actions you will be taking to resolve the non-conformities), and it will be required to be returned within seven calendar days once you receive the corrective action plan. Please note, your non-conformances will be reviewed at your follow up audit to see if you have implemented the actions you took to address the non-conformities

I have had registration groups / modules removed during my audit. Why don’t I get a reduction in my audit costs?

The audit team contracts are determined based on your audit scope (which is determined when you make your application with the Commission). Once an audit team has been assigned, if a module is removed during the audit a reduction in cost is not possible as the resources are already allocated.

How long does it take to have a decision from the NDIS Commission and get my Provider Number?

Once everything has been submitted to the Commission, they have their own checks and processes to verify everything we have put forward. Unfortunately, JPS does not have any insight into the status of your application once we have submitted it to the Commission.

If you would like further information, please contact the Commission directly as they will have more insight. Call directly or email registration@ndiscommission.gov.au.

Be sure to ask for a call reference number every time you call the NDIS. All calls are recorded with your permission and it will be easier for them to refer to your previous information when you call back.

Where is my audit report?

The audit report goes through multiple stages of review prior to being sent out to the Provider and the Commission. Please reach out to your dedicated JPS Client Services Officer (CSO) and they can provide you with an update on status. You can schedule in time to speak directly with your CSO once they have been assigned by accessing the Client Area in upper right hand corner of the JPS Homepage.

I’d like to make a change to my registration

Please reach out to us directly as the next steps will be dependent on where you are in the audit process e.g. whether you have been approved with NDIS and want to add this scope before your mid-term/next audit or whether you are in the queue to be approved by the NDIS. You can get in touch here.

What is a mid-term audit?

While a Certification audit is performed every 3 years, there is an audit performed around the midpoint (18 months), to monitor changes affecting registered NDIS providers, observe the effectiveness of procedures, and look for evidence of continuous improvement.The Mid-Term audit is not relevant to a provider completing a Verification. You can learn more about the Mid-Term audit here.

I need to remove a registration group from my application, how do I do this?

If at any point you need to add or remove a registration group you can do so by completing a change of scope form. You can contact your dedicated Client Support Officer (CSO) for a change of scope form and your CSO will fill it out on your behalf. If you are removing a registration group during the audit, then the auditor will fill out the form.

Ratings

At the time of audit, you will be rated against each outcome and indicator using the following scale:

  • 3 - Conformity with elements of best practice
  • 2 - Conformity
  • 1 - Minor Non-conformity
  • 0 - Major Non-conformity
Nonconformity Corrective Action Plan

In the event of a non-conformance, during your audit you will be required to complete a nonconformity corrective action plan within seven (7) days outlining how your organisation intends to address the non-conformance identified. It is important that you respond to the non-conformances detailed in your audit report by the designated time frame. Failure to do so may result in delay in initial certification and suspension or cancellation of your existing certification/registration. You will be asked to included the following in your action plan:

  • correction (how will you fix the non-conformance?)
  • root cause analysis (why did the non-conformance occur?)
  • corrective action (how will you fix the root cause of the non-conformance to prevent it from recurring?)
  • timeframes and responsible people who will action the plan
Major non-conformance

Major non-conformances are raised where the provider is unable to demonstrate that quality and safety system processes meet the outcomes and indicators of the applicable NDIS Practice Standards and/or the gaps present a high risk. Three (3) Minor Non-Conformances within the same module may also constitute a Major Non-Conformance.

All major non-conformances must be closed out before recommendation is made to the NDIS Commission for initial certification, continued certification or renewal.

Where the major non-conformance does not place a participant at risk of significant harm, the NDIS provider is required to:

  • Return a corrective action plan to the JPS audit team leader within seven (7) days of the audit, with your response on how you intend to address the non-conformities called out by the auditor
  • Undergo a closeout review of the implemented corrective action plan within three (3) months to close out or downgrade the non-conformance(s).
Minor non-conformance

Minor non-conformances are audit findings that reveal an isolated incident of non-compliance where:

  • There is evidence of appropriate process such as a policy, procedure, guideline etc.,and there may also be system or structure implementation, however the required supporting documentation may not exist.

OR

  • A documented process, system or structure is evident. But you are unable to demonstrate implementation review or evaluation where this is required.
Non-conformity

Non-conformances are where an auditor assesses that your organisation may not sufficiently meet an outcome or indicator. Non-conformances are categorised as minor (1) and major (0).

Conformity

Conformity is when an auditor assesses that your organisation meets an NDIS outcome or indicator.

ARN (application reference number)

Your application reference number, or ARN, is provided by the Commission when you apply for registration and will be used to keep track of your application.

Consultant

An NDIS consultant is an organisation which offers services to help support providers with preparing their application for registration as an NDIS provider. Unfortunately, as an independent and impartial audit body JPS is unable to serve as your consultant.

Technical reviewer

JPS technical reviewers  are auditors within their own rights, and review all audit reports created by JPS auditors for consistency and completeness prior to submission to the NDIS Commission.

Supplementary modules

Several supplementary modules may apply according to the types of supports and services that you deliver. The supplementary modules cover:

  • Module 1 - High intensity daily personal activities
  • Module 2 - Specialist positive behaviour support
  • Module 3 - Early intervention supports for early childhood supports
  • Module 4 - Specialised support coordination
  • Module 5 - Specialist disability accommodation only
  • Module 2a – Implementing behaviour support plans

Each module of the NDIS Practice Standards consists of a series of high level, participant focused, outcomes. Each outcome is associated with a number of quality indicators. You can learn more by visiting our resources page here.

What are examples of complex support?

For some higher-risk supports, there are supplementary modules that may need to be completed. Examples of complex support include:

  • You offer supports required to be supervised by specialised or experienced
  • Support Workers (such as Registered Nurse)
  • You offer specialised support provided for young children who have a disability or learning support need
  • You offer housing for participants
  • You are implementing or developing behaviour support plans
  • You are offering Support Coordination to complex participants
Core modules

The NDIS Practice Standards consist of a core module and supplementary modules which may or may not apply depending on the services and supports you offer. The Core module covers:

  • Rights and responsibility for participants
  • Governance and operational management
  • The provision of supports, and
  • The support provision environment
How do I know what modules I will need to be assessed against?

The types of support and services you deliver will determine which modules you will be assessed against. You can find out more here.

What is a module?

Modules are NDIS practice standards and quality indicators that must be met based on the types of support or services you deliver and your organisational structure. Each module details a number of participant-focused outcomes, and for each outcome in the modules, there are quality indicators that approved auditors such as our team at JPS Audit Specialists use to assess compliance with the NDIS Practice Standards.

My head is spinning, what are verification and certification audits, and what does it mean for my audit to be provisional?

What is a verification audit?

Verification audits are smaller-scope audits conducted on providers registering for lower risk supports or services. These audits are often completed remotely. You will be required to show evidence of relevant qualifications as well as incident, complaints and risk management policies related to the support or services provided. Click here to see an overview of the steps for a verification audit.

What is a certification audit?

A certification audit is required for all providers registering for higher risk supports and services. Providers must be certified against the NDIS Practice Standards by an approved quality auditor such as JPS Audit Specialists. 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

Click here to see an overview of the steps for a certification audit.

What does provisional mean?

A Provisional audit is relevant to NDIS providers starting out, who do not have any clients yet. In effect, you will need to meet all requirements of stage 1 and 2 Certification audits however there are no NDIS participants to interview or support plans to review. The purpose of provisional audits is to verify you have a compliant system in place to provide support and service delivery when your organisation has participants in the future, so you will need to have your documented processes and infrastructure set up and ready to go. Once your business is operating and you are delivering support to NDIS participants, the NDIS Commission will require a Stage 2 Certification audit to ensure you are implementing your services as intended.

Click here to see an overview of the steps for a provisional audit.

Audit Report

An audit report is a written assessment completed by an accredited auditor summarising the findings from the verification and certification audits. The report will provide a recommendation to the commission regarding whether your organisation meets the NDIS Practice Standards for your registration groups, and identify conformities and any non-conformities, if present.

Auditor

An auditor is an impartial and experienced individual who is licensed by the NDIS to assess your organisation against the NDIS standards.

Registration groups

A registration group is a service or support. The NDIS has organised the services and supports that may be offered by providers into categories referred to as 'NDIS registration groups'. There are 24 lower risk groups which can be further split into non-services and services. There are 8 higher risk groups and 5 specialist or higher risk modules. You can find out more on our resources page.

Registration

Registration is the process for becoming a certified NDIS provider. Once you have become registered with the NDIS you will be recognised as meeting the quality and safeguards requirements of the NDIS Commission to deliver support to NDIS participants.

What is an 'Initial Scope of Audit'?

An 'Initial Scope of Audit' summarises the registration requirements that apply to your organisation. It is provided by the NDIS Commission after you have completed your application for registration. It will outline whether you require a ‘verification’ or ‘certification’ audit and what your organisation needs to demonstrate to comply with the relevant NDIS Practice Standards. You can find an example of an Initial Scope of Audit here. Please have this document ready when you reach out to us. You can upload it to our website here.

What are the NDIS Practice Standards?

A standard is an agreed way of doing something. In order to ensure a national consistent approach to quality and safety of services, registered NDIS disability service providers seeking funding for products and services are required to comply with a national standard of quality and safety – The NDIS Practice Standards. The NDIS Practice Standards outline the expectations and levels of quality that registered NDIS providers must meet. Created by the NDIS Commission, these standards protect NDIS participants by clearly explaining what they can expect from their providers. You can find a copy of the Practice Standards here.

What is the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission?

The NDIS supports a better life for hundreds of thousands of Australians with a significant and permanent disability and their families and carers ensuring they continue to get the support they need. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) is a new independent regulator that has been established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services by ensuring organisations that provide services to people with disability meet the NDIS Practice Standards.