Part of registering with the National Disability Insurance Service (NDIS) involves participating in an NDIS audit.
During an audit, an approved auditor will either visit your organisation or a participant's home (or both) to determine whether you are following the NDIS Practice Standards.
The goal of an NDIS audit is to check if service providers are complying with government regulations and are working well towards providing the best support and service to NDIS participants.
Audits ensure that a participant’s needs are being met. Their primary focus is to ensure service providers are doing right by their clients, ensuring all participants are safe and respected, receive quality supports, and achieve their goals.
But what does the audit mean for the participants? In this article, we will explore how the audit process affects participants and the role of service providers and support persons during the audit.
While audits are compulsory for service providers; it is entirely up to the participant if they want to be involved in the audit.
If the participant agrees, the auditor may visit their home or setting where they receive support and ask questions. A service provider or support person is NOT to interfere, as this is confidential.
Participants can also choose to have someone present during the audit. Usually, this is someone other than their support person(s), such as a friend, family member, or advocate.
During the audit, support provision continues as usual. Here are some examples of what could happen:
Some questions the auditor may ask include:
The service provider and the support person must comply with the audit. Most importantly, they must inform the participant about the audit, including the date and time and what may happen, especially during service provision.
Service providers must also ensure that, if a participant wants to be involved in the audit, they provide the participants with a consent form. Or, they can add a clause in a Service Agreement granting a participant permission to engage in any audits.
It is not necessary to arrange other supports or disrupt service provision. Instead, it’s essential to ensure that the participant has a friend, family member, or advocate during the audit, especially if they have agreed to speak with the auditor. Doing so ensures that the audit is as fair and unbiased as possible and that the participant can voice any concerns freely and respectfully.
Support persons must be aware that they should not interfere with the auditor and participant’s discussion. Nor should they try to pressure—or, worst case scenario, threaten— participants to say only positive things about the services and supports. (Although the chat is usually held privately for safety and confidentiality reasons).
All crucial documentation, including financial records and participant plans, must be handed over to the auditor before the audit. While support persons should always have this on hand during a shift, It’s also a good idea to ensure they have all important documents related to support provision readily available, such as the participant’s plan, emergency procedures, etc.
Remember, the auditors are not seeking to catch service providers or support persons out or get them in trouble. They are simply trying to do their jobs and ensure the participants receive quality and prompt support.
An audit is an important step in registering or maintaining your status as an NDIS service provider. It allows you to show compliance with the NDIS and government regulations while also ensuring you, as a service provider, are offering the best service possible to your clients (the participants).
And since the NDIS aims to provide as much support as possible to people with disability, it makes sense to ensure your clients are involved in the audit process. Service providers should, therefore, ensure they explain the process to participants and empower them to participate in the process.
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