Hot Topics

Get ready for the new NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) starts operating in NSW and SA from 1 July 2018. The NDIS Commission replaces the quality and safeguards that currently operate in each state and territory. The NDIS Commission will be responsible for complaints about providers, oversight of reportable incidents, provider registration and monitoring the use of restrictive practices in the NDIS.

Under the NDIS Commission, a nationally consistent provider registration and quality and safeguards regulatory system will make it easier to operate in multiple states and territories.

The NDIA and the Department of Social Services are working together to ensure a smooth transition for registered providers to the new NDIS Commission. Existing NDIS providers' approved registrations will continue to be recognised. The NDIS Commission will initiate renewals progressively and advise providers directly about what they need to do and when.

Until the NDIS Commission is operational in a jurisdiction, the existing state and territory quality and safeguards requirements will continue to apply to providers and participants.

Providers will continue to interact with the NDIA for a range of functions including service bookings, payment requests and viewing participants' plans in the myplace portal.

More information is available on the NDIS Commission website.

Information is available in Hot Topics about applying for registration in New South Wales or South Australia.

UPDATED: Quality and Safeguards registration changes in NSW and SA

From 1 July 2018 registration processes and requirements will change for providers in New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia (SA) as the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) begins registering and regulating providers.

Providers in these states will apply for and manage their NDIS registrations with the NDIS Commission rather than the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

What does this mean for registered providers?

Registration details for existing registered NDIS providers will transfer from the NDIA to the NDIS Commission from 1 July 2018. Please note, only approved registration groups will transfer to the NDIS Commission. If you have registration groups that are pending, see below for more information.

If you are a registered provider in these states, please ensure your details are up to date in the NDIA myplace provider portal. Also review and update the staff members who have access to your organisation in the NDIA myplace provider portal. These users will also be granted access to your organisation in the NDIS Commission portal once it is available after 1 July 2018.

What if I have a pending registration application?

If you have a pending application for registration as a provider in NSW or SA, or you are an existing provider applying to add new registration groups in these states, you should complete all registration requirements as soon as possible.

From the 30 June 2018 the NDIA will no longer have the authority to approve applications for registration groups for NSW and SA providers.

Only registration groups that have been approved by the NDIA before 1 July will be transferred and recognised by the NDIS Commission. If your application is not completed or approved, you will need to begin a new application for those registration groups with the NDIS Commission.

Pending State Approval

It is important to note that under the current Transitional Quality and Safeguards Working Arrangements in NSW and SA, some NDIS registration groups require state approval and this process will take time to complete. Timeframes for achieving state approval are outside the influence or control of the NDIA but where required, evidence of state approval must be provided before the NDIA can approve registration.

Providers should consider these requirements and likely timeframes before applying for NDIS registration prior to 1 July 2018. Any registration groups that have not been granted approval by the NDIA before 1 July will not be transferred to or recognised by the NDIS Commission.

State approval – South Australia

The Department of Human Services (DHS) in South Australia has advised it will not assess any new applications after 24 May 2018. If you haven’t begun the assessment process with the SA DHS by 24 May 2018, you will need to wait until the NDIS Commission comes into effect on 1 July 2018 to begin a new registration application. Read Apply to be a disability service provider on the SA DHS website for more information.

Should I wait until the NDIS Commission begins operating?

If you are thinking about registering in NSW or SA and haven’t begun the process yet, you should consider waiting until 1 July 2018 to submit your registration application to the NDIS Commission. This will ensure you will not need to start a new application in the event your application is unable to be processed by the NDIA before 1 July 2018.

More information

See Section 2 and Section 3 of the Provider Toolkit for more information about current registration processes.

More information about current registration requirements in NSW and SA, and Pending State Approval status, is on the NDIS website.

Further information is available on the NDIS Commission website.

Provider forum presentations

Over 2,000 providers attended nine provider forum events over six weeks in all capital cities and Townsville during February and March 2018. The presentations from the forums are now available on the NDIS website.

Specialist Disability Accommodation Provider and Investor brief

The NDIA Provider and Investor Brief aims to support the development of the Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) sector. It includes information on:

  • SDA funding principles including price reviews
  • eligibility and funding levels for SDA
  • some innovations made possible by SDA funding
  • dwelling standards
  • enrolment processes including work underway to develop third-party certification standards to improve confidence with compliance

In our role as market steward, the NDIA provides information about policies and processes relating to SDA to assist providers and investors in making informed decisions about investment and development opportunities in the sector.

Independent Pricing Review released

The NDIA has been engaging with providers and peak bodies to understand the best way of implementing the recommendations from the Independent Pricing Review released in March 2018.

We are prioritising those recommendations that provide the most immediate support to providers during transition, with every endeavor being made to implement those recommendations on 1 July 2018 as part of the FY2018-19 Annual Price Review.

Read more about the IPR and the latest updates on the NDIS website.

In March 2018, the Board of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) released the Independent Pricing Review Report (IPR) undertaken by McKinsey & Company, giving in principle support to all of the Report's 25 recommendations.

Key recommendations made by the IPR include:

•Adding a third tier to the complexity loading to account for higher level skills or experience of workers and additional training required;
•Allowing providers to charge up to 45 minutes of travel time in rural areas;
•Allowing providers to quote on the delivery of services in isolated regions;
•Changing the cancellation policy to allow providers to recover 90% of their costs if a cancellation is made after 3pm on the day before the service;
•Removing the annual $1000 travel cap for therapy supports and aligning the travel policy with the attendant care travel policy;
•Changing therapy prices to better reflect different therapy types, and introducing a second tier of pricing for therapy assistants;
• Introducing temporary overhead assistance equivalent to 2% to 3% loading on the price for providers delivering attendant care for the next 12 months.

Other recommendations relate to price limits, interventions to address specific market challenges and improvements in market monitoring and engagement

To support implementation of the recommendations, a Pricing Committee will be established to help provide greater transparency and an active monitoring of pricing decisions as the market evolves and grows to adequately meet the needs of participants.

The NDIA Board commissioned McKinsey & Company to undertake an independent review in June 2017 in response to market feedback that some providers were under pressure during transitions and that the potential existed that the needs of participants would not be met.

During the review, McKinsey & Company consulted with over 1,000 individuals across Australia, in addition to undertaking extensive market benchmarking and detailed analysis of the market for disability supports,

Read the report and NDIA's response. Updates on work as part of the IPR is available in the News section of the NDIS website.

Pathways Review update

The NDIA is committed to improving the experience people and organisations have with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The pathway refers to the experience that participants and providers have from their first interaction to their ongoing engagement with the NDIS.

In February 2018, the NDIS Pathways Review Report was released. It describes how participants, their families and carers, and providers will interact with the Scheme in future.

Provider pathways improvements are also underway as a result of the review. An overview and the full report 'Improving the NDIS Participant and Provider Experience' is available on the NDIS website.

New Provider Payment Team 

Based on feedback from providers, the NDIA has formed a new National Provider Payment team to help manage claim payments for providers.

We know a significant number of providers report experiencing issues in claiming payments through the provider portal and we are committed to working with them to resolve their concerns.

The new National Provider Payment team is a single point of contact for providers who are having difficulty claiming, as well as a dedicated resource for our regional staff to refer issues.

The NDIA is also working on a review and redesign of current provider payment processes.

If you are experiencing difficulty claiming through the portal, or have an outstanding payment, contact the provider.payment [at] (National Provider Payment Team).

Key registration requirement: Declaration of Suitability

A Declaration of Suitability is to be completed and submitted by all individuals and organisations applying for NDIS provider registration. In order for the NDIS to progress your registration, the Declaration of Suitability must be signed by an authorised person for the organisation and all three pages of the document uploaded in myplace. If you don't supply this information your application will not be progressed.

An incomplete or missing Declaration of Suitability is a common cause of slowing the registration process. This often requires several calls from our contact centre to organisations and substantially increases the time it takes to process applications.

Information about the Declaration of Suitability and the form can be found in the Provider Toolkit.

Last modified 18/06/2018