NDIS Audit – Verification vs Certification

NDIS AUDIT: What is The Difference Between Verification and Certification? 

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)  provides essential funding for individuals seeking support with the costs associated with disability. Providers are a crucial component of the NDIS, helping participants improve their quality of life by delivering support and specialised services.

If you are confused about the difference between NDIS audit types, don’t worry, this is a common feeling among potential providers. Keep reading for a clearer understanding.

    1. What is an NDIS Audit? And do I Need One?
    2. Different Types of NDIS Audits
    3. NDIS Verification Audits
    4. NDIS Certification Audits
    5. How Much Does an NDIS Audit Cost?
    6. Comparison Table of Verified vs Certified NDIS Audits

What is an NDIS Audit? And do I Need One?

To become a registered NDIS provider, your organisation must undergo an audit. 

The audit process is an assessment mandated by the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission, ensuring that Practice Standards are met by providers. Providers must engage an approved quality auditor to assess their organisation’s compliance. Unfortunately, there is no escaping it. All NDIS providers must complete the auditing process during registration. 

Although the process can be strict, you will see throughout the upcoming sections that it is easily manageable with the right guidance. 

Different Types of NDIS Audits

The NDIS audit pathway for you depends on the level of support provided. Verification is for lower risk services; Certification is for more in-depth and complex disability support. When you have submitted your application form, you will receive a scope of audit form that outlines which pathway you will need to take, based on the registration groups and other questions asked in the application. 

NDIS Verification Audits

Verification audits are for those providing lower-risk services. Often, providers that require a verification audit are already subject to professional regulation as a business requirement, such as AHPRA. Because of this, an approved quality auditor will perform a desktop review of the required documents. These audits must be performed every 3 years. These audits generally take half a day for an auditor to review, and there are only 4 standards that are being assessed. 

Providers will need to show evidence of the following:

    • Risk management processes

    • Experience and expertise in the support being delivered 

    • Relevant qualifications and where relevant, professional body membership 

    • Incident management policies 

    • Complaints management processes

NDIS Certification Audits

Certification audits are for organisations providing higher-risk and more complex services. These are the supports you would generally think of as disability services. 

Certification audits are more in-depth than verification audits and can take months to complete. They are conducted in two parts and are a more thorough, on-site assessment. 

Providers will need to demonstrate they have systems and processes in place around the 24 core standards, including: 

    • Rights and responsibilities 

    • Governance and operational management

    • Provision of safe environments 

    • Medication and waste management

    • Delivery of supports and continuity of supports 

    • People centered practice 

    • Provision of supports 

There are two stages of a certification audit;

Stage 1: Documentation review – Similar to a verification audit, your policies will be reviewed by the auditor. You may be asked for examples of how the policies are implemented. Any failures or areas of concern will be recorded in your stage 1 report. 

Stage 2: On-site assessment – The auditor will conduct an on-site visit. Documentation will be re-assessed, especially any with areas of concern highlighted in stage 1. Auditors will interview both staff and participants to confirm that policies are understood. 

At the end of stage 2, once all interviews have been conducted, you will receive a report. If the auditor finds any Minor Non conformances at audit, a ‘Corrective Action Plan’ must be created outlining how any problems identified in the audit will be solved and you will be given 18 months to close these Non conformances out. If you receive major Non Conformances, you will need to undertake a third audit, called a Corrective Close Out Audit within 90 days. 

How Much Does an NDIS Audit Cost? 

Finally, we address the big question. 

When looking at the cost of an NDIS Audit there are many varying factors, including your organisations’ size and scope. 

The average prices we see are: 

    • Verification audits are from $800-1,200 

    • Certification audits are $2,500 – $5,000

    • If you deliver any of the specialist Modules (Module 1, 2, 2a, 3, 4 or 5) you can add on an additional $1,000-2,500 per module. 

These prices will also vary depending on the number of participants, staff and sites that you have during the audit. 

Comparison Table of Verified vs Certified NDIS Audits

 Verified Certified 
Types of providers Allied health, cleaners, plan managers, gardeners, equipment suppliers, community nursing Disability support workers, Support coordinators,  Behaviour support practitioners, SIL providers, SDA providers, complex nursing care, community participation.   
Number of standards assessed24+ 
Participants are interviewed at audit No Yes
Staff are interviewed at audit No  Yes 
Average days for audit 0.5 audit days 2-5 audit days 
Audit is conducted onsite No Yes 
How long registration is valid for3 years 3 years 
Audit cycle  Audit every 3 years Audit every 18 months 
Average cost of audit$800$5,500 

If you would like more information or need an NDIS consultant, please feel free to contact us. We are always happy to walk you through these processes and look into your individual needs.