How To Become An NDIS Provider
Today there are more than 530,000 NDIS funding recipients across Australia, representing an enormous market. For that reason, countless care companies are entering the sector, generating regular, guaranteed income from this essential government scheme. NDIS business opportunities abound.
The process of becoming an NDIS provider and setting up your own business, though, can be quite complex. Here, we break it down into simple, manageable steps in this post. This is what you need to do.
- Find Out If There Is NDIS Demand For What You Sell
The first step is to find out whether the product or services you sell fall under the NDIS scheme. Can participants use NDIS funding to buy your services?
There’s no need for guesswork. The NDIS has a Support Catalogue that lists all qualifying items. Here you can see which registration groups apply to each line item.
- Fill Out The Online Application Form
Next, you need to apply to become an NDIS provider online. You need to do this even if you are buying an NDIS business for sale. At this stage, you must provide the commission with relevant information concerning your business. Forms will request information regarding your address, contact details, area of operation, and key people.
You’ll then need to select the registration groups your business provides. This way, the NDIS knows which Practice Standards apply to you.
You only need to apply for the registration groups relevant to your products and services. You do not need to apply for supports outside of your scope of expertise.
If you want to take a look at all the registration groups before you start your application, the NDIS provides a helpful document: Provider Registration Guide to Suitability.
The last part of the application process involves the completion of a self-assessment. This form identifies the types of supports and services your business delivers against NDIS standards.
- Discover Which Type Of Audit You Require
Once you submit your application, the NDIS will engage in a fact-finding mission to learn more about your organisation and the services you offer.
First, the Commission will send you an initial scope of audit document. It provides more information regarding the registration requirements that apply to your business.
It will tell you if:
- You need a certification or verification audit
- Your organisation needs to do anything to comply with NDIS standards
You can only complete an audit with the help of an “approved auditor.”
- Go Through The Audit
The next step is to pass the audit. The shape this takes will depend on the nature of your organisation.
- Verification audits: These audits are for low-risk organisations offering less complex services. To complete this audit, your business must satisfy the criteria in the NDIS Practice Standards Verification Module
- Certification audits: These audits are for providers of riskier and more complex services.
You don’t have to pay to register as an NDIS provider. However, you will need to meet the cost of the audit. The fee depends on the scope and complexity of the auditor’s work.
Even if you initially begin with a verification audit, you may require a certification audit at a later date if any of your services fail.
- Wait For The NDIS To Assess Your Application
The next step is to wait for the NDIS Commission to assess your application and decide whether to accept your business into the scheme. When making their decision, they will consider both the audit outcomes and the ability of your organisation and key people to meet the needs of NDIS participants.
Make sure that you include all key people in your application. The more senior staff you have, the more likely your application will be successful.
Once the NDIS has made a decision, they will call you to let you know the outcome. If you have failed, they will tell you why.
- Get Your Application Outcome
If you are successful, you will then receive a certificate of registration. This document will list the services and supports the NDIS says you can offer to patients. They will also list any conditions that you must follow while you practise.
If you are not successful, you can:
- Request the NDIS to conduct a review within 3 months
- Seek a second review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal if the first is unsuccessful
Getting Help With Registration
You can get help registering with the NDIS Commission from a variety of third-party agencies. They can provide application support and tell you which types of insurance you need before you begin operating.