On 1 January 2020 the NDIS Verification auditing stream will be opened up to Pty Ltd/Body Corp businesses who provide low risk/low complexity supports to participants. This is a welcome move as the previous need to go through the more thorough certification stream had put many of these providers off the idea of registering with the scheme.
But what is verification and what is it going to need to have a quality and safeguarding assured system of work in place? We at i40 don't like bureaucracy or heavy paperwork for the sake of it. Keep it simple, keep it effective - so here's a very basic summary of the four primary areas that you will be asked by an auditor:
Within disability support, any incident is an important event worthy some form of some sort of business management process. You should have in place a policy and clear procedure for you and your staff to manage and report any incident that may be connected with your service offering. This includes knowing when and whom to report to and logging all incidents for evidence and learning/improvement purposes.
As with incidents, complaints and feedback are a big indicator of the quality of what you are providing to your customers. Your policy and procedures should make it simple and clear for you and your people what needs to be done to manage complaints. In addition to this, it should be very easy for a participant to understand how they can make complaints and what will happen if they do. We don't want complaints, but we can learn from them - this is what continual improvement is all about.
Remember - Risk can mean threats and opportunities. Risk management is incredibly important and business that take the time to focus on this area will get better results over time. You should define how you manage risks in your operations (There should be a focus on WHS included in this but risks are not only safety and health related) and keep a log of any identified risks and how they are to be managed. Identified risks should be kept front of mind in everything you do and you should be always looking for potential new risks in your service offering. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" - Benjamin Frankin.
This area underpins all of the above. Do you have the right people? Are tey qualified? Have they undertaken the right NDIS module? How to you manage performance to make sure everything is perating as it should? How do you let them know how we manage the above three sections? You should have a clear, simple and effective policy and procedure to make sure this is clear, alongside some other documents to ensure you are staying on top of things.
So there is a very brief introduction to the four pillars of verification. Remember though, your participants should understand how you are managing the above through clear communicative materials. Your services should always focus on the needs of the individual in a safe environment.
i40 provides NDIS verification documentation in our online store, as well as free resources for those who are new to quality and safeguarding- you can find out more here.