Are you ready for the NDIS audit? Do you know your rights and responsibilities?
24 August 2021 at 7:00 am
Maz Nabavi, technical manager at LMS TRG, addresses 10 of the most common questions to help NDIS providers get audit ready.
Several things have to be done to become ready for the NDIS audit. From establishing the NDIS policies, procedures, templates, and business processes, to conducting an NDIS internal audit.
Knowing your rights and responsibilities will help to improve the quality and effectiveness of the audit. Here, we’ll be answering the 10 most frequently asked questions about the auditee’s rights and responsibilities.
1. Can I select my approved quality auditor (AQA)?
Yes, you have the right to select the approved quality auditor you prefer to work with. Your choice can be based on the following: fees, recommendations, or any other reasons.
2. Can I select my preferred auditor (i.e. person)?
In most circumstances, this may not be possible. However, if you have a specific auditor in mind, you can ask the AQA. Keep in mind that they have the right to say no as it may impact the audit’s integrity, quality, and impartiality.
3. What has to be prepared on the day of the audit?
It depends on your scope of activity and audit criteria. However, as a minimum, the following needs to be in place: relevant NDIS policies, procedures, and templates, NDIS internal audit program, insurance, risk assessment, and mitigation plans, adequate and competent resources.
4. Do I have to be present on the day of the audit?
Yes. It is your responsibility to be present on the day of the audit. Normally, the audit plan is communicated three weeks before the audit date. The audit will go ahead if both parties (auditor and auditees) have agreed on the plan. You, your team, and whoever is required to be audited should be available on the day of the audit. You need to inform the AQA if any changes have occurred.
5. Can I seek help/recommendation from my auditor?
No. Auditors are not allowed to give any consultation. Their scope of work is to evaluate your compliance against NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators. However, auditors may come up with some opportunities for improvement, but as a general rule, it is not part of their job to give advice on how to fix audit nonconformities. Therefore, the auditors should stay away from giving any consultation or suggestions.
6. What if I get an audit nonconformity?
Nonconformities are gaps that can be addressed and rectified. The auditors will be expecting an action plan in case there have been any audit nonconformities. Your certification process will go ahead once the action plans are accepted and approved by the auditor.
7. How do I know if a nonconformity is a valid/legitimate nonconformity?
Audit nonconformities should be supported by objective evidence. It usually occurs when you could not demonstrate compliance to audit criteria or requirements. Your auditor should inform you about the requirements they use to support their audit nonconformity. Each nonconformity has been shaped from three components: a) relevant requirement, b) description of nonconformity c) objective evidence to support nonconformity.
8. What if I disagree with a nonconformity?
Inform your auditor about your point of view. Ask your NDIS auditor to explain the reason they believe the finding is a nonconformity. You have the option to give feedback to the AQA if you believe the audit finding is invalid and the presentation of the audit nonconformity was not meeting your expectations.
9. What if my feedback was not addressed by the AQA?
After giving your feedback to the AQA and expressing your concerns, they should review and address your feedback. However, if you did not receive a fair resolution, you can escalate your case to the NDIS commission or JAS-ANZ.
10. Do I have to pay for the follow-up audit?
It is your responsibility to meet payment obligations as agreed in the contract between you and the AQA. The follow-up audit occurs when there are major nonconformities raised during the audit. The auditors charge NDIS providers according to the number of days they spend on auditing. In most cases, you will be charged for the extra days/time spent for the follow-up audit.
Knowledge is power
Being an auditee does not have to be stressful, but often is. Knowing your rights and responsibilities is an essential factor in helping you to overcome stress. To achieve such an outcome, you should learn about the NDIS audit, become familiar with the process, and learn how it works.
LMS TRG’s NDIS Internal Auditor training is an online self-paced course developed exclusively for NDIS providers. The intention of this course is to give essential knowledge and skills on performing internal audits to become ready for the NDIS audit.
Who we are
LMS TRG is an Exemplar Global recognised training provider for courses in management systems auditing. We come together from various specialist backgrounds to produce unique online learning experiences. Our team is composed of auditors, management systems consultants and providers, with over 15 years of experience in delivering high-level quality training. We were founded with the policy of being pioneers in fully online and smart training solutions. Click here to learn more.