NDIS and Quality Audit

Oct 24, 2017

I don’t know about you, but this NDIS Transition is quite a ride!!!

My latest experience with the NDIS is that of having my NFP’s first external Quality Audit process that includes the new requirements as an NDIS Provider.

And I’m pleased to say that not only did we survive, but we smashed it!

Many of you have probably experienced a QMS Audit as a community service provider in Queensland.  So you may be wondering what’s so different about going through it as an NDIS  Registered Provider?

Here’s a quick snapshot of what I experienced as the key differences:

  • Risk Management – Whilst the Human Sector Quality Framework includes indicators and elements of risk, the NDIS specifically refers to the AS/NZS ISO 31000 Risk Management Principles and Guidelines.  So as a Registered NDIS Provider your organisation has to make sure it specifically meets this standard.
  • Complaints Management – Once again the Human Sector Quality Framework already includes indicators around the handling of complaints and disputes, however the NDIS standard specifically refers to the Australian/New Zealand Standard Guidelines for Complaint Management in Organisations (AS/NZS 10002:2014).  As a registered NDIS provider your complaints management processes need to also reflect these dual standards.
  • Extra Audit Time – Our particular Auditing Body required a whole additional day to be added to the Audit process stating that it was required to include the NDIS requirements!  A whole day!! For a small, single site provider this shocked me.  So be prepared for the additional COST of this new layer.

Why do I think we faired so well?  

I put it down to these three key things:

  • Review:

We have had very successful audits since they were introduced to the sector, and done so without having to utilise any external assistance/consultants.  However, I don’t mind admitting to you that this year, with all the major systemic change that we have experienced as a direct result of the NDIS, I felt that we would benefit from a ‘fresh set of objective eyes’.

This year we enlisted the assistance of an external reviewer to go over our policies to make sure that we were meeting the new requirements – and I am SOOO glad we did.

Not only did it save us time, and money, but it was like a big heavy object was lifted from my shoulders – RELIEF. And it meant that I could get on with the bigger picture stuff associated with a very rapid NDIS rollout.

If this is something you’re considering we used Only About Quality and were very happy.

  • Visuals:

Auditors come in all varieties, don’t they?!  And of course they all process information differently.  Knowing this means that to assist us achieve a smooth audit process that it would serve us well to have our evidence documents presented in a variety of formats.

Instead of having your policies only written in a word based format, you may consider including framework diagrams to help express and demonstrate how you deliver a particular framework; you may present a process in a flowchart or workflow as well as a documented procedure.

  • Culture:

Culture truly is King (oh, and cashflow in NDIS transition – cashflow is King too!).

The greatest evidence an Auditor can have in whether or not your organisation is meeting its requirements is it’s PEOPLE.

A strong, positive, quality-based culture will shine through your people – your team, your Board, your clients.  Because, if your culture matches your policies then what you say you do, you actually DO!

The best way to build your organisations culture is at the very core – establishing values, beliefs, mission,vision, and purpose.

One of the biggest ‘take-aways’ and words of wisdom I can give you about your first audit under NDIS is that you don’t have to do it ALL all by yourself  as the CEO/Manager of your NFP.

Meeting quality standards is a responsibility of everyone in your organisation, no matter how big or small. Your role as the leader is to engage your team in the quality culture and in delivering on the quality systems.

Need some help with doing this? Then please, click on the links below or drop me an email.

If you have a quality audit coming up for your Not For Profit, and it’s inducing a sense of overwhelm and anxiety, this little Flip It tool is for you! You can download it FREE.


Is your organisation getting ready for the transition to the NDIS? Are you located in Brisbane? This NDIS Lunch and Learn is an opportunity to hear from two service providers about their experiences in the transition – what worked for them and what they wish they had done differently.

If I can be of any assistance to you in your NFP and Leadership, from NDIS Readiness to establishing a great organisational culture, please contact me:

NewSky Book Now