NDIS Provider Obligations: Here’s All You Need To Know
NDIS providers have to deal with all kinds of changes and obligations set by the NDIS Commission and, more broadly, the NDIA.
The NDIS represents a change in the way disability service providers traditionally operated, making it still a new undertaking for many.
It can be confusing to figure out what your responsibilities and obligations are as a provider of disability services under the scheme.
Here’s all you need to know about your obligations as an NDIS provider, and how that fits into the bigger picture of disability services.
Why Obligations Aren’t a Bad Thing
Serving people with disabilities is a big responsibility, and it comes with the reward of being paid well by the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Notoriously, the scheme has introduced a lot of competition from small private organizations because of its financial incentives.
But serving people with special needs as a registered NDIS provider isn’t just about making money. There are obligations to take into account.
Here’s all you need to know about them…
Obligations Set by The NDIS Code of Conduct
Your responsibilities as a service provider with the NDIS means you must follow the NDIS Code of Conduct as a baseline to everything.
The Code of Conduct sets the rules and expectations for the appropriate and ethical delivery in support and services. Obligations include:
- Any goods and services funded under the NDIS guidelines of “Reasonable and Necessary” must be supplied; you can’t refuse to work on them.
- If you’ve delivered goods and services to an NDIS Participant, you must provide the ATO compliant tax invoices (check out a template!).
- You must be responsible for maintaining records or evidence that the supply of goods and services have been delivered. These include invoices, service agreements, and other documents that can validate the claim for supports provided such as timesheets. In this case, using a software solution can be of great help to maintaining order.
- If you’re working with children, most states will require workers to obtain a Working With Children check that is relevant and up to date.
- When things change in your business, you have to promptly report the modification to the NDIA. This includes bank account details, personnel contacts, business name changes, address, and so on.
Another last bit of record-keeping that is mandatory are progress notes, specifically for reportable incidents with a participant.
If these incidents are not tracked or, worse, kept secret, your organization may face serious legal consequences, including removal from the NDIS.
Obligations Set by The NDIS Commission
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission operates as an independent body that works with service providers to ensure that participants have relevant and efficient support throughout their Scheme lifecycle.
The commission monitors registered NDIS providers to ensure their compliance with the scheme. They are authorised to investigate any issues that arise from misinterpretation or negligence of the guidelines.
Your obligations under the commission include:
- All paid and volunteer employees who have minimal contact with people with a disability must have National Workers Screening clearance.
- Making sure that all personnel and employees who have more than minimal contact with people with a disability have the experience and qualifications to provide the supports and services necessary.
- Ensuring service providers are up to date with the NDIS Practice Standards and Code of Conduct in order to provide the best quality and safety services to people with a disability.
- Making sure NDIS contractors have Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurances to conduct their business.
Under section 73F of the NDIS Act, any registered NDIS provider who does not comply with the updated news violates conditions for registration. The punishment for such a violation is 250 penalty units ($52,500).
That’s not just a lot of money to pay upfront, but a big blow to your chances of achieving success as part of the NDIS ecosystem. Obligations aren’t a bad thing, they help providers and participants align on expectations.
Obligations Mean a Safer Environment for NDIS Participants
Your role in the NDIS is important, and so is that of obligations set by the Code of Conduct and Quality and Safeguards Commission.
Following the rules and committing to the responsibilities set by the NDIS is not only necessary, but a true representation of the principles that are necessary to work with people with special needs.
It’s true that, with so many obligations to follow, it’s hard to keep track of all of them. That’s why a software solution for NDIS providers can help.
Record-keeping, progress notes, worker checks… These are all things you’re bound to forget. With the obligation to keep track of them, a software tool can make the difference between a smooth operation and a troubled one.
Originally published Jan 29 2021