Registration with the National Quality and Safeguarding Commission
Please find below responses to questions Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) members frequently ask about registering under the National Quality and Safeguarding Commission (the Commission).
The information contained in this document is of a general nature. For specific advice tailored to your individual needs private practitioners are encouraged to seek independent legal or professional advice.
If you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact Speech Pathology Australia on 03 9642 4899 or 1300 368 835 or [email protected]
What is the Commission, is it the same as the NDIA?
The Commission is an independent agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. Its remit is to regulate the NDIS market, provide national consistency, promote safety and quality services, resolve problems and identify areas for improvement. Previously the individual states were responsible for registering and regulating providers within that state, but following full roll out of the National Quality and Safeguarding Framework (NQSF) there will be one consistent system for all of Australia.
The Commission is separate and independent of the NDIA, and has its own website, provider portal, and phone number. There is also separate legislation governing the Commission, and it has additional powers regarding NDIS providers. You can read more on their fact sheet.
When will my state transfer to the Commission?
The NQSF has now rolled out in all states and territories. Following the transfer of safeguarding arrangements to the Commission providers will receive a Certificate of Registration which details the supports they are registered for, and will give a date for them to start the re-registration/renewal through the Commission. The Commission has provided quite a long lead time for people to make the decision about whether they want to commence on the process of re-registration/renewal, and once they commit to do so, to actually complete either certification or verification. Members can read more about the differences between certification and verification on the SPA ‘Verification vs Certification: NDIS National Quality Indicators Guidelines’ document on the NDIS page of the SPA website.
I am already a registered provider, how do I re-register under the Commission?
Please check your certificate of registration from the Commission regarding the date by which you need to start your re-registration/renewal with the Commission. There are detailed instructions on the provider registration page and a quick reference guide regarding how to renew your registration.
What if I did not receive a certificate of registration?
You can contact the Commission on 1800 035 544 to check on your status and what you need to do.
I am not yet registered, but I want to register to deliver NDIS supports, who do I go through?
You will need to submit your application through the Commission here and meet the required standards. You can read more about the standards on the SPA ‘Verification and Certification guide to audit requirements’ document on the NDIS page of the SPA website.
I have heard my business has to be audited, how does this work?
After you submit your registration application, you will receive an ‘initial scope of audit’ document, summarising the registration requirements that apply to your organisation. All providers seeking registration (or re-registration/renewal) will be required to undertake an audit (at either the verification or certification level). You will then be able to approach approved auditors to get a quote for their services, by providing them with the ‘initial scope of audit’ document. Providers can only be audited by an approved quality auditor.
If I am only registering for therapeutic supports do I still have to be audited?
Yes, every provider wishing to register (or re-register) under the Commission is required to undertake an audit, however the type and extent of the audit (certification vs verification) is dependent on your business structure and size.
How do I know if I need to do certification or verification?
This will depend on the structure of your business, and the supports you are registered for. The scope of audit document will tell you which you are required to do, and there is also a table you can refer to on the SPA ‘Verification vs Certification: NDIS National Quality Indicators Guidelines’ document on the NDIS page of the SPA website.
Please note that sole traders and small partnerships that are not incorporated companies should have a smaller scope of audit, and not be required to complete the full core module. If members feel this smaller scope has not be reflected in the Scope of Audit document, please contact the Commission directly.
What if I don’t register, or start my re-registration/renewal by the date on my certificate of registration?
If your organisation does not start the renewal process by this date, your status as a registered NDIS provider will lapse. This means you will be unable to provide NDIS supports to agency managed participants, but will continue to be able to provide services to self-managed or plan managed participants.
If you change your mind and wish to re-register after allowing your registration to lapse, you will need to apply to be registered under the Commission as a new applicant.
So do I have to finish my self assessment by that date?
No, providing you have started the renewal process by that date, you have fulfilled the Commission’s requirements. You will have additional time to complete the self assessment, and engage an auditor.
Do I have to have been audited by that date?
No, you just need to have started the re-registration/renewal process.
Can I still see my NDIS clients before I am audited?
Yes, you are able to see both plan managed and self managed participants under early childhood and/or therapeutic supports regardless of your registration status. NDIA managed clients can only be seen by registered providers, therefore it depends on whether you choose to renew your registration.
As above, if you do nothing before the date on your certificate of registration then your registration will lapse following this date, and you will no longer be able to see NDIA managed clients. However, if you agree to re-register then you will be able to continue to see clients until you are audited by an auditing body. Following the success of your audit you will then be registered for three years under the Commission and be able to continue to see NDIA managed clients under those groups you are registered for.
If you choose to re-register, but only for certain groups, you can only continue to see NDIA managed participants up until the date on your certificate of registration. You will not be able to see any NDIA managed participants for any supports that you are not registered for e.g. if you continue to be registered under therapeutic supports, but not early childhood supports you will not longer be able to see NDIA managed clients under EI.
If you are registering for the first time you will not be able to see NDIA managed clients until you have completed and passed your audit.
How can I get further information or support?
The Commission website has a provider registration page, Registration renewal process guide and quick reference guide regarding how to renew your registration that you can refer to for guidance, you can also call the Commission directly.
There are also a range of different resources on the NDIS page of the SPA website under the ‘NQSF’ section, including a NDIS policy and procedure manual, and several webinars that are free to access for members.
Members can also join the disability member community on Facebook, for regular updates regarding the NDIS and Commission.
Specific questions can be emailed to the Professional Practice Advisor or directed to National Office on 1300 368 835.
Original: February 2019
Updated: March 2021
Disclaimer: To the best of the Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited’s (“the Association”) knowledge, this information is valid at the time of publication. The Association makes no warranty or representation in relation to the content or accuracy of the material in this publication. The information in this publication is of a general nature; it does not apply to any specific circumstances. The information does not constitute legal or other advice. The Association expressly disclaims any and all liability (including liability for negligence) in respect of the use of the information provided. The Association recommends you seek independent professional advice prior to making any decision involving matters outlined in this publication.
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