The NDIS has now rolled out across all parts of Australia. Over 502,000 participants are receiving funds as part of their NDIS plans to spend on disability supports and services. This has created many opportunities for new and existing businesses to expand into the disability industry. We have providers ask us daily how to start their own NDIS business, so here is our summary.
Steps to start your own NDIS business
1. Is there demand by NDIS participants for your services or products?
To find this out, start by checking the NDIS price list which contains a list of all items that can be bought using NDIS funds. This will give you a good idea of how your service/product may be included.
When you register you would need to choose the NDIS Registration Groups that apply to your business. See our NDIS Provider Registration Guide which contains a list of all the NDIS registration groups, with examples and the types of providers (the qualifications you need) that can register for each group.
2. Apply to the NDIS Commission
The first step is completing the NDIS registration process with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.
3. Complete a self-assessment
Each new provider completes an NDIS Self Assessment against the NDIS Practice Standards relevant to the support and services your organisation delivers. You may need to upload evidence of the services you offer.
This is an online process and must be completed within 60 days from the start date. The NDIS published this checklist for registration to help guide providers.
4. Select an approved quality auditor
After you submit your online application, you will receive an ‘initial scope of audit’ document by email from the NDIS Commission. This document contains the registration requirements that apply to your organisation.
- whether you require a ‘verification’ or ‘certification’ audit and
- what your organisation needs to demonstrate to comply with the relevant NDIS Practice Standards
You need to now select an approved quality auditor to undertake the audit.
5. Undergo an Audit
All providers seeking registration will be required to undertake an audit against the applicable NDIS Practice Standards as part of the NDIS Commission’s registration requirements.
Under the new NDIS Commission, there will be two ways:
- Verification audit
A Verification is for providers delivering lower risk or less complex services. It is a desk top audit and the least costly audit.
- Certification audit
A Certification Audit is Certification is for higher risk, more complex services and supports. It is more complex and costly than a verification audit.
6. Receive your application outcome
After assessing your application, the NDIS Commission will:
- consider the audit outcomes and
- conduct a suitability assessment of your organization and key personnel.
- For successful applicants: you will receive a certificate of registration outlining the services or supports you are registered to provide, the period of registration, and any conditions you must follow to keep your registration.
The NDIS will then make a decision and contact you to let you know if your application has been successful and the reasons why or why not.
The cost of registering as an NDIS provider on the website is completely free. However, it might be time-consuming, and mentally draining. The only money you take out of your pocket is when you are to get a registered auditor to assess your application. You will have to pay by your service risk level; low-risk services require a lower fee than high-risk services.
The amount paid for the verification ranges from $900-$1,500, while certification varies between $3,000-$5,000. The latter is a bit on the high side because it requires an onsite visit and evaluation by the auditor.
Is it hard to become an NDIS provider?
Becoming an NDIS provider is not as hard as it may be perceived once the 5-steps mentioned above are duly followed. It may only be difficult if one or more of the requirements are not met by the applicant.
How do I start an NDIS company?
To start an NDIS company, you need to put these five things into order: fill the online form, follow the Quality Systems requirements set by the NDIS, conduct self-assessment, get audited, and finally, await the result of assessment by the Commission. Once your application has been approved, you are on your way to owning an NDIS company.
How do NDIS Providers Get Paid?
NDIS providers can either be paid via a request for payment from the support. This request can be made by submitting an invoice or timesheet to the myplace.com portal. This payment request will be paid into the nominated account of the support, and subsequently paid to the provider. The second option is to pay your provider with your own money and make the request later. This request is based on the invoice submitted by the provider.
Do NDIS Providers Need an ABN?
Yes, providers need an Australian Business Number to be considered an NDIS provider. There are some discrepancies though: providers may not need an ABN if they intend to offer simple services that do not require strict oversight. However, when such a provider intends to scale up the ‘simple service’, an ABN is a must.
How Much Does It Cost to Register as a Provider?
The application stage is free, but when it gets to the stage where you need to hire the services of an auditor, you may need to pay around $900 to $1,500 for verification, while you will need up to $3,000 to $5,000 for the certification process. This price variance is based on the complexity involved in auditing.