National Disability Insurance Scheme News

The EFA Enquirer: 19 January 2024

 

In this edition

  • Upcoming Training in 2024
  • NDIS Commission Emergency and Disaster Practice Alert
  • New Disability Services and Inclusion Act
  • Benefits of outsourcing internal audits
  • Benefits of undertaking compliance health check and/or preparatory audit

 


Upcoming Training in 2024

We have a range of training offerings for the new year that will provide NDIS providers with essential information to meet your NDIS requirements and assist you to provide quality supports to your NDIS participants.

Risk Management for NDIS Providers

This workshop will provide you with a working knowledge of Risk Assessment that allows you to develop and apply risk tools in your role as an NDIS provider.  As part of the workshop, you will be provided with a learner’s workbook and workshop scenarios to provide practical experience in implementing risk management strategies.

Workshop Details
Date: February 2nd, 2024
Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm AEDT

Register Here

Abuse and Violence: ‘It Starts With You’ Workshop

We are very excited to be offering our newest workshop Abuse and Violence: ‘It Starts With You’, an empowering session that will provide you with the essential information about violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination of people with disability, and importantly how to prevent these from happening, a key priority of the NDIS Commission.

The workshop will cover:

  • The key recommendations of the recent Disability Royal Commission and the NDIS Review.
  • Relevant legislation at the Commonwealth and State levels, including NDIS requirements.
  • What is violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination?
  • Best practice processes to have in place.

Workshop Details

Date: February 2nd, 2024
Time: 1:30pm – 4:30pm AEDT

Register Here

Introduction to Internal Audits

 This interactive 2 hour training will provide learners with the essential information about planning and conducting internal audits delivered by our Technical Manager, Patty Wassenaar who has decades of auditing experience. Remember – internal audits are mandatory for NDIS providers!

Workshop Details
Date: February 23rd, 2024
Time: 9:30am – 11:30am AEDT

Register Here

NDIS Business and Strategic Planning

 Delivered by our NDIS Business Planning expert Brendon Grail, this course will provide you with the practical and essential information and tools you need to develop and review NDIS business and strategic plans that work well for your business.

Workshop Details
Date: February 23rd, 2024
Time: 1:00pm– 4:00pm AEDT

Register Here

You have your NDIS policies and procedures, now what?

 This workshop will help new providers understand how to set up the correct systems and processes to implement their NDIS policies and procedures effectively.

Workshop Details
Date: Thursday 7th March 2024
Time: 10:00am– 12:00pm AEDT

Register Here

NDIS Restrictive practices – what should implementing providers know?

 This workshop will provide guidance on your obligations when you support NDIS participants subject to a Restrictive Practice.

Workshop Details
Date: Friday 15th March 2024
Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm AEDT

Register Here

Getting Ready for your NDIS Audit

 Our upcoming workshop “Getting ready for your NDIS audit?” is specially crafted to provide NDIS providers with the fundamental insights to confidently prepare for your next NDIS audit.

The workshop will be presented by Patty Wassenaar, our Technical Manager, who is one of Australia’s leading NDIS auditors.

Workshop Details
Date: Friday 22nd March 2024
Time: 9:30am – 11:30am AEDT

Register Here

Incident Response and Investigation for NDIS Providers

 This workshop will guide you through the requirements for NDIS Providers relevant to reportable incident response and management, and best practice in  incident investigations, including defensible documentation.

Workshop Details
Date: Friday 5th April 2024
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm AEDT

Register Here


NDIS Commission Emergency and Disaster Practice Alert

All NDIS providers (registered or unregistered) must comply with the NDIS Code of Conduct, which includes putting plans in place for emergency and disaster situations to ensure continuity of supports to NDIS participants.

Registered providers also have additional obligations when meeting the NDIS practice standards in this area.  To assist all providers the NDIS Commission in November 2023 released an Emergency Management Provider Alert. This Alert provides information on how providers can properly prepare for emergencies and disasters and meet their compliance obligations.  The Alert covers:

  • Emergency preparedness information and resources for participants and providers including emergency management plans
  • Provider obligations related to emergency management
  • Links to state and territory government alerts and assistance.

If you require assistance ensuring you are meeting your emergency and disaster compliance requirements please call us on 1300 790 194 or email info@engelsfloyd.com for a complimentary consultation.


New Disability and Services Inclusion Act

The Disability Services and Inclusion Act 2023 (the DSI Act) commenced on 1 January 2024 and replaced the Disability Services Act 1986.

The new DSI Act allows the Commonwealth to fund disability supports and strengthens quality and safeguard arrangements for people with disability outside the National Disability Insurance Scheme. This Act does not apply to NDIS providers, but does apply to disability services such as advocacy and disability employment services.

There are significant changes in the new DSI Act that all disability services covered by the Act need to be aware of including:

  • expansion of eligible disability supports and services
  • a mandatory new code of conduct (based on the NDIS Code of Conduct)
  • reference to international obligations towards people with disability
  • the new requirement to have an appropriate complaints and incident management system. These requirements mirror those for NDIS providers.

Further information on the DSI Act can be found here.

We anticipate that some disability services may need support to meet these new requirements, and we are happy to provide guidance if required.


 Benefits of outsourcing internal audits

Internal audits are a mandatory requirement of the NDIS Practice Standards (and most other standards too). 

As well as being ‘mandatory’ Internal audits are an important part of managing risks for your organisation, identifying whether you are meeting requirements, following your own policies/procedures, meeting participant/client requirements appropriately and highlighting areas of risk and opportunities for improvement.

Managing your own internal audits can be challenging including:

  • Having the time to do internal audits
  • Having appropriately skilled and trained auditors
  • Internal auditors keeping up to date with changing legislation and requirements
  • Potential conflicts of interest
  • Internal auditing staff do not want to raise ‘issues’, particularly where audits cover areas of governance and management.

A number of organisations outsource their internal audits which enables them to be focused on provision of services and supports.  The benefits of outsourcing include:

  • Enabling trained and experienced auditors to review your systems (so you don’t have the cost of training internal personnel in auditing, standards and keeping up to date with requirements)
  • Engaging auditors who have an in-depth knowledge of Standards and requirements. They can review compliance as well as share best practices and can advise staff whilst auditing.
  • Completely independent of your organisation so can be objective in their role
  • When auditors audit ‘most of time as their profession’ they keep up to date with changes to Standards, legislation and are aware of the ‘gaps’ that often occur in systems.
  • Can help manage risks by identifying gaps, potential gaps, causes and areas for improvement – it is much better for internal audits to find gaps rather than during your formal audits, customer complaints or Commission enquiries.
  • Ultimately, there is a cost saving – from a time and staff training perspective.

Engels Floyd Quality Consultants have experienced and qualified auditors who can assist with managing and conducting your internal audits to assist in meeting your compliance obligations as well as manage organisational risks.   

We can conduct your audits in a way that is easy, efficient, cost effective and customised to meet your business needs.


 Benefits of undertaking compliance health check and/or preparatory audits

 As part of organisational Governance responsibilities, it is important that you’re aware of your current compliance status.

The NDIS Practice Standards include a range of Governance and Compliance responsibilities, and it is important that you have systems to keep up to date with changes, as well as ensuring you are meeting these requirements, not just for external audits but at an organisational level.

Key requirements include:

  • The NDIS Code of Conduct, which has recently been updated
  • NDIS Rules such as Worker Screening, Complaints, Incidents and Behaviour supports
  • Input from people with disability at a Governance Level
  • Ensuring a structure to meet financial, legislative, regulatory and contractual obligations
  • Ensuring skills and knowledge of the Governing body are identified, with training to address gaps
  • Governance responsibilities relating to areas such as risk management and emergency and disaster management.

A preparatory audit or training session with Executive Management and/or Board personnel can help to review your awareness of these obligations and identify potential gaps and organisational risks.

Preparatory audits can also help you meet your ‘internal audit’ requirements which also form part of the Standards.

Engels Floyd have experienced personnel with NDIS audit experience, who can assist you with assessing your compliance obligations as well as manage organisational risks.

Let us provide you with Governance Training or a Preparatory Audit to review your compliance requirements. We can do this at a fraction of the cost of an in-house resource. We will help you to embed and systematise quality and compliance, help manage risk, plus help you meet compliance requirements.

A testimonial from a valued client

“We engaged F & E for a preparatory audit, as it was felt based on previous engagements that their expertise and knowledge was exactly what we needed to prepare for our external recertification audit. The experience was in line with expectations and the reports were professional and insightful. Thank you again for your assistance”. Sue Horsnell HCO CEO

 


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