NDIS

As of 2016, the National Disability Insurance Scheme has undergone a full national roll-out. It now provides services and funding packages to over twenty thousand disabled individuals throughout Australia. Any individual with permanent impairments that reduce their physical or mental capacities in any way is eligible to apply to the NDIS. After reaching the age of 65, participants may choose to continue with NDIS support or move to an elderly care package. 

Service providers are required to match the requirements set by the NDIS quality commission. They require preparation and must introduce changes that will match the guidelines and rules set by the NDIS. 

Why it’s a necessity

Before the formation of the NDIS, state governments employed disability service providers to deliver services such as home personal care. The system was deemed effective until a 2011 productivity commission which determined that these disability services were underfunded, fragmented, and inefficient. 

Different states had varying service provisions. One service provider was to be assigned to a single person receiving support. They were previously restricted to the supports that the agency provided, and changing providers was an unnecessarily difficult task. Disability activists were not satisfied with the results of this scheme and supported the formation of the NDIS. The system now allocates varying amounts of funding to support individuals with different disabilities and living situations. The NDIS makes sure that these institutions are providing adequate care and support to their applicants. 

Significance to providers

Since the implementation of the system, disability service providers have a new set of rules and regulations that they need to follow. The NDIS’s new requirements put the service provider’s services to the test, to verify the quality of the provider. 

Should a provider be unable to meet the criteria, they will often face very harsh penalties and disciplinary action. In most cases, they will be given further education, but this depends on the extent of the inability to meet the necessary criteria. In extreme cases, they may be banned from the NDIS and lose their licenses.

NDIS Commission audit

To determine whether or not the provider is adhering to the standards and regulations set by the NDIS, the NDIS requests that they get an independent audit done. In many cases, adequate ndis audit preparations can often cost the service provider a lot of money, time, and effort, but they serve to inform the provider of the quality of their service.

Audits give great insight into the performance and state of the provider’s staff and services. It becomes a lot easier to determine what needs improvement when all the metrics are being covered and examined by the audit. The good news is that very few provider will need much preparation for the audit, as they are already performing what the NDIS requires. The process simply allows the services to be formalized.

Obligations

The organization that is being audited has several obligations that they must fulfill. These depend on two factors – whether or not the organization is registered with the NDIS, and the level of risks that their services provide. As would be expected, high-risk services will often see more obligations and their work will be scrutinized to a greater degree than other organizations. 

The NDIS code of conduct is one of these essential obligations for every service provider. It outlines seven crucial rules that must be followed when providing services. These rules ensure the ethical treatment of people with disabilities within the service. It includes the protection of the individual’s privacy and the delivery of adequate care and support. Should there be any concerns for safety, they must also be addressed according to the rules.

Complaints must also be taken seriously within the frameworks of the system in place. The service provider must have a complaints management process available to all participants, should they have any complaints about their service.

Conclusion

The NDIS is projected to include hundreds of thousands of more participants in the coming years. Service providers must be well-equipped to meet the requirements of the NDIS, which is why they should prepare well in advance. While they might not need significant modifications, there’s always a risk of incurring fines or requiring additional training for staff and support. 

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Neil White
Neil White
A journalist from Sydney, Australia.

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