Frequently Asked Questions

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Whether you're an existing provider or starting up, we understand that finding answers can be challenging at times.

That's why we've compiled a list of Q&A's that may provide assistance to you.

The NDIS stands for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It is a government-funded program in Australia that provides support and services to individuals with permanent and significant disabilities. The NDIS aims to empower people with disabilities to achieve their goals, participate in society, and live more independent lives.
The key features of the NDIS are as follows:

• Individualised Support: The NDIS focuses on providing person-centred support tailored to the unique needs and goals of each participant.
• Choice and Control: Participants have the freedom to choose their service providers and have control over the supports they receive.
• Lifetime Approach: The NDIS takes a lifetime approach, providing support and assistance to participants throughout their lives.

NDIS registration is dependent on the types of supports and services NDIS providers provide and how the participant chooses to manage their NDIS plan.

NDIS registration is a legal requirement for providers who are:

• Supporting an NDIS participant whose NDIS plan is managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)
• Delivering certain higher risk supports funded through the NDIS, including specialist behaviour support, specialist disability accommodation and those implementing regulated restrictive practices as part of a participant’s behaviour support plan.

Registering as an NDIS provider offers several benefits and opportunities. Here are some reasons why you may choose to get registered for the NDIS:

• Increased client base: Being an NDIS registered provider allows you to offer services and supports to NDIS participants who are being managed by the NDIA and gives NDIS participants assurance that you are being assessed against the quality standards thereby, expanding your opportunities to provide services and grow your business.

• Guaranteed Payment: As an NDIS registered provider, you can be assured of receiving payment for the supports and services you deliver to NDIS participants. The NDIS manages the funding and payment process of NDIS participants they manage reducing the risk of payment delays or non-payment.

• Credibility and trust: NDIS registration signifies that NDIS providers have met the NDIS Practice Standards, which are designed to ensure quality and safety in disability service delivery. Being registered can enhance your credibility and instil trust in participants and their families, as they know you have undergone a rigorous assessment process.

• Visibility and promotion: Once registered, your organisation and services will be listed on the NDIS Provider Register making it easier for participants to find and engage with you. This increased visibility can attract more clients and promote your services to a wider audience.

• Collaboration and networking: NDIS registration opens up opportunities for collaboration and networking with other NDIS providers, support coordinators, and allied health professionals. Building relationships within the NDIS community can lead to partnerships, referrals, and a more comprehensive approach to supporting participants.

While NDIS registration offers several advantages, it also comes with responsibilities. Registered providers must comply with NDIS quality standards, reporting requirements, and undergo regular audits to maintain their registration.

The NDIS Commission is responsible for the registration of NDIS providers. To be registered, providers must show that they meet the required standards of quality and safety in the services and supports they deliver for NDIS participants. These standards are available in the NDIS (Quality Indicators for NDIS Practice Standards) Guidelines 2018. They do this by providing evidence on how they are meeting the NDIS Practice Standards in an audit.

To become an NDIS registered provider, you should:

• Complete an online application and self-assessment: Complete and submit the form on the NDIS Commission’s website ( Provide accurate and detailed information about your organisation, the services you offer, and your ability to meet the NDIS Practice Standards.
• Understand NDIS Registration Groups: Familiarise yourself with the different provider registration groups defined by the NDIS Commission. These groups categorise the types of supports and services you can offer as a provider.
• Understand the NDIS Practice Standards: Familiarise yourself with the NDIS Practice Standards, which outline the quality and safety requirements for registered NDIS providers. You will be required to provide a self-assessment against the standards in the application.
• Gather and upload supporting documentation: Prepare the necessary supporting documents to accompany your application to sure how you will implement the NDIS Practice standards. These may include organisational policies and procedures, evidence of qualifications and experience, and any other relevant documentation specified in the application form.
• Develop a quality management system: Establish a quality management system that aligns with the NDIS Practice Standards. This includes implementing policies, processes, and procedures to ensure the quality and safety of your services.
• Undergo an audit: An independent audit team will conduct an audit to verify your compliance with the NDIS Practice Standards. The type of audit will depend upon the supports provided. A certification audit involves site visits, interviews with stakeholders, and document reviews.
• Await the outcome: After the audit process, the NDIS Commission will make a registration decision, and if approved, you will be listed as an NDIS registered provider on the NDIS website.
• Ongoing compliance: As a registered provider, you will need to maintain ongoing compliance with the NDIS quality and safeguard requirements. This includes participating in 18 month mid-term audits and three yearly re-certification audits, adhering to reporting obligations, and keeping your organisation’s information up to date.

It’s important to note that the registration and audit process and requirements may vary depending on the type of provider and the services you offer.

At Engels Floyd we offer a complimentary consultation so we can explain the registration and audit process that would be applicable to your business and offer you supports at each stage of the process.

There is no fixed timeframe for the registration decision making timeframe. Once the NDIS Commission receives the audit report, the timeframe can depend upon the complexity of your application, the details within the audit report, and the workload of the NDIS Commission at the time.

The initial step of submitting an online application for NDIS registration is free of charge. However, there are audit costs associated with the NDIS registration process.

Audit Costs: NDIS providers are subject to audits to assess compliance with the NDIS Practice Standards. The NDIS provider is responsible for securing an NDIS audit body and for the audit fees involved. The fees will depend on the audit pathway and compliance requirements.

An NDIS consultant provides guidance, expertise, and support to businesses who are involved in any stage of NDIS registration. This could be help with applying for NDIS registration, renewing NDIS registration, and/or preparing for NDIS audits as well as training support.

Choosing a consultant is an important investment in the future of your business. As you probably have already discovered there are many NDIS consultants, but how do you know which consultant is right for you?

When choosing a consultant we recommend you consider the following factors:

• Expertise and Experience: Read the ‘About us’ on consultant’s websites. Look for consultants who are credible, and have extensive knowledge and experience in the NDIS and quality management sectors.
o ENGELS FLOYD is considered the subject matter experts in NDIS registration, training, quality management, auditing and standards. We have decades of grassroots disability support, quality management and auditing experience.
o One of ENGELS FLOYD’s original Directors, who now holds a Senior Associate position and some of our other associates, have lived experience of disability and personal experience as an NDIS participant. This adds a valuable consumer lens to our work.

Individualised Approach: A consultant who takes an individualised approach and takes the time to understand your specific business needs, challenges, and goals, rather than providing generic solutions.
o ENGELS FLOYD takes an individualised approach with each provider. This tailored approach helps ensure supports provided are efficient and cost-effective.

Comprehensive Support: The consultant should be able to assist you throughout the entire application and registration process. This includes helping you understand the requirements, developing appropriate documentation, and implementing the necessary frameworks in your business.
o ENGELS FLOYD supports and empowers clients through the whole application, registration and audit process and renewal processes including training. However, we don’t claim to ‘do it all’ for clients, as we believe this defeats the purpose of providers understanding their own processes, and can result in non-conformances during audits.

Customised Documentation: Standardised off-the-shelf products may not always align perfectly with your business, plus can cause non-conformances during audits. A good consultant will provide documentation that is fit for your business and supports provided, and compliant with the quality requirements set by the NDIS Commission.
o ENGELS FLOYD provides options to produce tailored documentation including policies and procedures, participant handbooks, internal audit plans and easy read English documents.

• Audit Preparation: Consultants should be skilled, experienced and qualified in preparing you for audits and ensuring that your documentation and processes meet the necessary standards. This can help prevent issues down the line and ensure successful outcomes.
o ENGELS FLOYD is the only consultant that has been entrusted by the government to deliver training to all NDIS audit personnel since 2018. This experience provides us with grassroots insights into the auditing process. We have undertaken ‘preparatory audits’ for many providers, which is a very cost effective and value-added exercise.

‘The depth and breadth of knowledge of standards and audit requirements, expertise, very thorough methodology, excellent manner with staff especially those inexperienced with audits’

‘We engaged Engels Floyd & Associates to conduct a preparatory audit. The auditor was exceptional and made the process a great experience for the team involved. This will put us in great shape for our next audit’.

Track Record and Client Relationships: Consider the consultant’s track record and reputation. Positive testimonials, referrals, and returning clients indicate their ability to deliver successful results and maintain long-term relationships.
o ENGELS FLOYD’s individualised approach has led to many long term ongoing relationships with our clients with the majority of our clients are either referrals or return clients. This indicates a high level of client satisfaction and trust in our services.

Cost-Effectiveness: While it’s true that quality support may come at a higher price, it’s important to assess the value for money. Look for a consultant who offers cost-effective solutions without compromising on the quality and individualised support you require.
o At ENGELS FLOYD we offer a complimentary consultation so we can get to know you and your business before providing a quote. We want to ensure we are providing you with the right supports in the most cost-effective way. We work with clients to provide supports that are within their budget capability.

• Reputation, Integrity and Professionalism: Look for a consultant who upholds high ethical standards, maintains confidentiality, and demonstrates professionalism in their interactions with you.
o ENGELS FLOYD have a reputation for integrity, reliability, credibility and responsiveness in how we approach our work, and this is recognised by the government as we are a trusted consultant for large national NDIS projects. Being the “go-to” consultants for government projects supports our reputation and credibility in the field. Our team has the lived experience of disability, which adds a critical lens to all of our work.

There are a lot of consultants that will offer to complete the whole registration application process for providers. This may seem a ‘quick fix’, however our opinion is that this can set providers up to fail – Engels Floyd’s approach is to empower and support providers to understand their own systems and quality requirements.
This means providers can then demonstrate how they implement those systems during an audit – plus it makes great business sense to be on top of those systems and have ownership of the registration process.

The type of audit a provider must undergo is determined by the NDIS registration groups they deliver or intend to deliver. There are two registration/audit pathways, these include:

o Verification (Desktop only) – for low risk supports (such as household tasks/gardening)
o Certification (Desktop and Onsite) – for high risk supports.

A verification audit is required for providers who offer lower risk supports and services.  The providers who deliver many of these types of supports are already subject to requirements of professional bodies they belong to; therefore the audit is not as rigorous and will encompass a desktop review of your documentation to ensure you have adequate systems in place to promote quality and safety under the NDIS Practice Standards. 

A certification audit is for providers offering higher risk or more complex supports. This is a more detailed audit that focuses on how NDIS providers are meeting the NDIS practice standards under the core module and supplementary modules for the supports they deliver.
There are two stages of Certification Audits – Stage 1 and Stage 2.

Stage 1 Audit: This is sometimes called a Desktop Audit or a Document Review. This Stage usually takes place off-site. It includes a review of your documentation to ensure you have adequate systems in place to promote quality and safety under the NDIS Practice Standards.

Stage 2 Audit: This is usually conducted on-site and evaluates the ‘effectiveness and implementation’ of your systems in addressing the relevant modules of the NDIS Practice Standards including the experience of NDIS participants in receiving the NDIS funded services for which you are seeking registration.

You can find an outline of the key steps in the NDIS registration and audit process here. Download this and keep it handy to remind you where you are in the process. 

Engels Floyd has been entrusted by the government to deliver training to all NDIS audit personnel. This experience provides us with grassroots insights into the auditing process and an excellent understanding of the NDIS practice standards and auditing requirements.

We can help you get ready for your audit by reviewing your current documentation and identifying gaps or undertaking a preparatory audit. This audit is conducted using a similar approach to that which will be performed by a NDIS Approved Quality Auditing Team but we can offer recommendations for improvement before your actual NDIS audit so there are no surprises at your end regarding your findings.

If you have already gone through your audit and need help with any non-conformances, and/or ‘corrective action’, we can support you through that process as well.

If an NDIS provider receives a non-conformance during their NDIS audit, it means that the provider has failed to meet one or more of the required NDIS Practice Standards. Non-conformances can arise from various areas where the provider’s practices, policies, procedures, or service delivery do not align with the standards set by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

The actions taken when a non-conformance is identified during an NDIS audit can vary based on the severity and nature of the non-compliance.

Here are some typical steps that may follow:

  • Corrective action plan: The provider is usually required to develop a corrective action plan within 7 days outlining how they will address the identified non-conformances. This plan should detail steps, timelines, and measures to rectify the issues and bring the practices into compliance with the NDIS standards.
  • A major non-conformance must be closed off or downgraded to a minor within 3 months
  • Follow-up audit or review: The Commission may conduct a follow-up audit or review to verify whether the provider has implemented the corrective actions as outlined in the plan and has addressed the non-conformances.
  • Continuous improvement: Providers are expected to continually improve their practices to meet the NDIS Practice Standards. Even after addressing the identified non-conformances, ongoing compliance is necessary to maintain registration and ensure the quality and safety of services.

It’s crucial for providers to take non-conformances seriously, promptly address the identified issues, and implement robust systems to prevent recurrence. Failure to rectify non-conformances or continually meet the required standards may lead to serious consequences, including the suspension or revocation of their registration as an NDIS provider, impacting their ability to deliver services under the scheme.

At Engels Floyd we have worked with many NDIS providers to assist them in developing their corrective action plan and address their non-conformances in the required timeframes.  We provide ongoing compliance support to our clients to promote continuous improvement in their practices.

All NDIS providers need policies and procedures that demonstrate how they are going to implement the NDIS Practice Standards in your business and ensure that participants receive safe, effective, and high-quality services.

These policies and procedures cover various aspects of service delivery, governance, risk management, and participant support.

It is important to tailor policies and procedures to the individual needs of each NDIS provider, and this is an area looked closely during the audit and registration process. Generic documentation is likely to cause a non-conformity during an audit.
At Engels Floyd we provide policies and procedures that suit your requirements and budget. We can provide template policies and procedures, forms and registers which together work towards meeting the verification or certification requirements of relevant NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators or we can provide tailored policies and procedures that are individualised to your business.

At Engels Floyd we encourage all providers to be familiar with what is in their documentation and to make it their own. At audit time you and your staff will be expected to know what is in the policies and procedures, so it is integral that you customise and your documentation to your organisation’s needs, service offerings, and the participant population you serve.
We understand that sometimes the policies and procedures can be overwhelming for staff to fully understand so a good solution we have implemented for our clients is to create a Worker Handbook that provides a summary of the key policies and procedures that are required knowledge for NDIS support staff in a format that is user friendly and written in plain English.

Regular review and update of policies and procedures based on changes in legislation and best practices is necessary to ensure ongoing compliance and quality service delivery.

There are plenty of generic products and supports (e.g. policies and procedures) you can purchase from NDIS consultants, but although they may be cheaper initially, the old saying of ‘You get what you pay for’ is often true.

We often hear from providers who have purchased these generic products, and experienced major non-conformances during audits. They have not been guided in how to individualise those products to their own services and supports. This is on the NDIS Commission’s radar, and the Commission looks closely at this when making its registration decision.
Your policies and procedures are expected to accurately show your organisations systems for delivering NDIS supports and meeting quality requirements. NDIS providers and their staff are also expected to have a good knowledge of the content of the policies and procedures. This will be assessed at your audit.

As a registered NDIS Provider, you are required to renew your registration every 3 years. Existing registered providers can begin the registration renewal process with the NDIS Commission within 6 months of the renewal date listed on your Certificate of Registration. 

To ensure that you remain a registered NDIS Provider you must apply to renew your registration and undertake another audit before the expiry date.

When your NDIS registration is due to expire, the NDIS Commission will send you a reminder email roughly 6 months before expiry with instructions on how to complete your renewal application in the portal.

Your previous Approved Quality Auditor should also contact you prior to your registration renewal to outline the process.

Key renewal steps include:

  • Renewal application: Complete the application in the NDIS portal which is very similar to your initial registration application and includes providing organisation and registration group information. You will also need to provide a self-assessment against the NDIS Practice Standards relevant to the supports and services your organisation delivers and upload any documents required as evidence.
  • Auditor selection: Once your renewal application is submitted you will be provided with a new Initial Scope of Audit document that summarises your registration and audit requirements. This will determine if you need to undertake a Re-certification or Re-verification audit to renew your registration. As with your initial registration, you should use your initial scope of audit document to procure quotes from approved quality auditors.
  • Audit Preparation: Check if you have a robust internal audit program in place that ensures your documentation is up to date and has incorporated all the amendments to the NDIS practice standards in November 2021 and if you have any non-conformities from your previous audit, it is also important to make sure you have effectively implemented corrective actions to address these.
  • Audit Process: You can expect the Re-certification or Re-verification audit to be similar to your initial NDIS registration audit which assesses how well you are meeting the requirements of the NDIS Practice Standards and providing ongoing quality outcomes for your NDIS participants. They will also review your previous audit findings including non-conformances and follow up actions to address these.
  • Audit Decision: Once your auditor has submitted their audit report the NDIS Commission will make a renewal registration decision based on the audit report findings and a suitability assessment of your organisation and key personnel.

Engels Floyd  have a range of resources and training courses that can assist you with your system as well as audit preparation.  We can also conduct internal audits if your staff lack the time to do these themselves. Our preparatory audits are a proven way to identify any gaps or areas for improvement.

The NDIS practice standards do not require service providers to have written consent to service agreements, they can opt out of that. When a participant continues to utilise your service and pay for it they are effectively providing you with consent and have agreed to the terms and conditions of the service agreement.

However, the NDIS Practice Standards require you should have a record somewhere eg file note that the participant has not signed the service agreement and the reason. This will be sufficient for audit purposes. There should be evidence that the contents of the service agreement has been discussed with the participant also.

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