If you're a member of any Support Coordination groups on Facebook, you will see this question get asked regularly. Quite often, the response ranges anywhere from $7,500 - $10,000.00.
Admittedly, when I first saw these numbers, I thought, is it worth it? Secondly, no wonder there are so many independent Support Coordinators that aren't registered.
I have gone through the registration process for my own business, and If I were presented with these numbers, I would be giving it serious thought as well.
Before we go further, it’s worth explaining the auditing process in a bit more detail.
In order to receive a quote for your Audit, you will be required to fill out what's known as an Initial Scope of Audit.
Initial Scope of Audit
The Initial Scope of Audit is a self-assessment against the NDIS Practice Standards. The questions in the self-assessment all relate to the services you will be providing and questions about the Participants you will be supporting. This is quite a lengthy process (2 hours from memory), possibly why so many people go straight to Facebook to find out the costs of an audit.
To give you an idea of what our quotes were based on, we have included our initial scope of audit document.
Keep in mind that these quotes are based on a myriad of factors, which are all determined by the answers you provide to the Initial Scope of Audit Questions.
Your actual quote may vary quite significantly based on the support needs of your Participants, the number of people you employ and the services you will be providing.
Based on your answers in the Initial Scope of Audit, the NDIS will determine whether or not you will require Verification or Certification.
Verification vs Certification
There are two ways in which you can become registered, Verification or Certification.
A Verification Audit is for supports of lower complexity and minimal risk.
Certification is for more complex supports and will assess the operation and governance processes of an organisation and its ability to provide high-quality supports.
To enable you to deliver Support Coordination, you will be required to complete a Certification Audit.
A Certification Audit is completed in two stages. Stage 1 is an audit of your policies and procedures which can be completed off-site. Stage 2 is completed on-site. It includes reviewing records, Participant files, interviewing staff and Participants, and ensuring that your systems comply with the NDIS standards.
To deliver Support Coordination Levels 1 and 2, you will be assessed against the Core Module and Module 4.
The Core Module covers Participant rights as well as the responsibilities of the provider. It will look at governance and operational management, risk management, and your feedback and complaints procedures. Some examples of outcomes an auditor will be looking for in this module are;
Each participant accesses supports that respect and protect their dignity and right to privacy.
Each participant accesses supports that respect their culture, diversity, values and beliefs.
Risks to participants, workers and the provider are identified and managed.
Each participant has knowledge of and access to the provider's complaints management and resolution system. Complaints and other feedback made by all parties are welcomed, acknowledged, respected and well-managed.
Module 4 covers Specialist Support Coordination, Management of Supports, as well as your ability to manage conflicts of interest. Some examples of outcomes an auditor will be looking for in this module are;
Each participant receiving specialised support coordination receives tailored support to implement, monitor and review their support plans and reduce the risk and complexity of their situation.
Each participant exercises meaningful choice and control over their supports and maximises the value for money they receive from their supports.
Each participant receives transparent, factual advice about their support options which promotes choice and control.
Alright now let's look at the quotes we received from a sample of 9 Auditors from the commission's list of approved Auditors;
|NDIS Approved Auditor||0 Participants||0 - 15 Participants||15 - 30 Participants|
In one instance, we were able to get quotes for 0 Participants & 0 - 15. These quotes were provided without an Initial Scope of Audit. So, take that with a grain of salt.
Keep in mind that these fees are only estimates, and if there are changes from your initial quote, there may be further costs. The terms and conditions you receive from your auditor should outline these costs and where you may be charged further. These extra costs may come as a result of;
Extra follow up where there have been non-conformities identified
Changes to the Initial Scope of Audit
Other travel costs such as airfares, accommodation, meals, and car hire
Annual surveillance audits
So, does getting registered cost $10,000.00? Not quite.
All things considered, if your Initial Scope of Audit looks anything like ours, you're looking at $5,400 and up! It's not chump change.
If you are planning on getting registered, we highly recommend that you do your own research and ensure that you complete the Initial Scope of Audit document, as this will directly affect the actual cost of the audit.
To find the list of NDIS approved quality auditors, head to https://www.ndiscommission.gov.au/resources/ndis-provider-register-and-compliance-and-enforcement/auditors