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NDIS providers: Doing what you say you do

23 April 2020 at 7:00 am
Bruce Nixon
If we thought productivity was an issue in 2019, it has become even more important in 2020, writes Bruce Nixon, Holocentric CEO.

Bruce Nixon | 23 April 2020 at 7:00 am


NDIS providers: Doing what you say you do
23 April 2020 at 7:00 am

If we thought productivity was an issue in 2019, it has become even more important in 2020, writes Bruce Nixon, Holocentric CEO.

The latest State of the Disability Sector Report 2019 noted a marked shift in Australia’s disability sector.

Many more organisations are aiming to improve performance and productivity.

  • 92 per cent are actively working on improving productivity due to perceived worsening in operating conditions.
  • 75 per cent believe that helping people understand and navigate the scheme is taking them away from service provision.
  • 75 per cent agree that the NDIS policy environment is uncertain.
  • 58 per cent believe there are too many unnecessary rules and regulations their organisation must follow.
  • Most believe the NDS Quality and Safeguards Framework will improve the quality of services / outcomes.

More organisations also reported a need to improve their HR strategy, workforce planning and ICT management, along with employee learning and development.

However, it’s hard to grow in a sustainable and profitable way without having transparency across the entire organisation. Providers can’t fix something if they don’t know it’s wrong.

Genuine growth happens when providers have visibility across their whole enterprise. By closing the gap between reporting and practice, they are best placed to increase compliance and pass their external audit.

Disability best practice: Customer-centric compliance

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is now underway, shining a light into so-far hidden corners of the disability sector. 

The NDIS has also recognised people with disabilities as consumers, with their own unique needs and expectations. The NDIS has empowered these consumers to exercise choice in their health, ancillary and personal care provision. One size no longer fits all. 

As a result, providers must now empower themselves to be customer-centric – offering best practice services which are targeted, competitive, cost-effective and sustainable.

Opportunities for improvement

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has been set up to oversee disability services, ensuring they reach these standards across the board – in governance, conflict of interest, complaints, incident management and employee screening.

While the majority of NDIS service providers believe that the policies are too complex, most believe that the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework will improve the quality of services and outcomes.

Smart, practical measures can help providers align what they do in theory with what they do in practice. This approach can deliver greater quality at a lower cost. This places them in the best possible position to pass their external audit and build a prosperous, sustainable business.

Yet providers can only achieve best practice using a fit-for-purpose system of self-assessment. This requires multi-level documentation of organisational processes and full reporting on all business operations.

Proactive providers are using cloud-based internal audit systems to stay ahead of the curve and achieve organisational transparency.

Here are four things all providers should consider:

  1. Digital internal audits

Traditional paper-based audits often result in valuable information being thrown away or misfiled. It’s hard to ensure they are consistent and complete. 

Digital auditing systems store data securely on the cloud. Audits can be planned, scheduled and reported on to help track the organisation’s improvement over time.

  1. Continuous improvement 

Providers must have continuous improvement plans in place for every aspect of their organisation. This is designed to increase service consistency and quality.

An internal auditing system lays the foundation for ongoing continuous improvement within the enterprise. Gaps in compliance can be identified and fixed using a process of scheduled and regular audits.

  1. Transparency measures

Providers must use practices which boost transparency and meet NDIS Practice Standards and Code of Conduct.

A fit-for-purpose audit system helps providers see what is really going on in their organisations, at the deepest level. Genuine visibility enables them to improve reporting, documentation, communications and organisational management.

  1. Evidence-based reporting

Providers must now provide data and information in line with NDIS Practice Standards quality indicators.

A system of internal audits is an easy way to collate and record the vital evidence required. This builds up the cache of evidence over time and reduces the headache usually associated with quality audits.

How internal auditors achieve real visibility  

Internal Audit by Centro ASSIST is a user-friendly system which helps service providers meet their statutory obligations, by tracking the performance of internal audits over time.

As the only NDIS-specific self-auditing system geared to sector requirements, Internal Audit allows providers to plan, schedule and assess internal audits tailored to meet the demanding needs of NDIS Service Providers

The eventual outcome being more time to focus on service provisioning without worrying about possible compliance gaps and doing “what you actually say you do”.

Learn more here.

Bruce Nixon  |  @ProBonoNews

Bruce Nixon is the CEO of Centro ASSIST.


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