One of the primary considerations for organisations contemplating registration as an NDIS provider is the associated costs. This guide will identify some of the costs of becoming an NDIS provider.
While there is no cost to apply for NDIS registration, there are other costs for the audit and staff clearances that will be required for your application, in addition to the types of insurance your organisation will require for a successful application.
After your NDIS registration application, the NDIS Commission will outline registration requirements and the type of audit that your organisation will require. There are two main types of audits:
- Verification Audit
NDIS providers seeking a verification audit typically offer less complicated and lower-risk services. An approved quality auditor will run a desktop audit of documentary evidence including qualifications, experience, processes and policies for incidents and complaints management, and risk management processes. The cost for an audit like this is usually $500 or more. Some of the lower-risk services include support funding management, assistive technology for household tasks, vehicle modifications, and personal mobility equipment.
- Certification Audit
For NDIS providers offering higher-risk services, a certification audit is required. This thorough assessment aligns with the NDIS Practice Standards, encompassing potential site visits and participant interviews. Certification audit costs can vary largely, usually costing $3000 or more. Higher-risk services include daily skill development, early intervention support, specialist behaviour support, high-intensity personal activities, support coordination, and access to employment and higher education support.
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission mandates that registered providers be appropriately insured. These provisions may be examined during an NDIS Certification Audit or Verification Audit. Auditors may request evidence of your insurance, including:
- Public liability insurance
- Professional indemnity insurance
- Personal accident insurance or workers’ compensation insurance
Other optional insurances include business interruption, theft, equipment breakdown and employee fraud.
NDIS workers will need to undergo screening checks. Sometimes the worker pays for them upfront as many job roles require these checks beforehand. Some of the screening checks include:
NDIS Worker Screening Check
The NDIS Worker Screening Check is a crucial measure to guarantee the safety and protection of vulnerable individuals involved in the NDIS. The purpose of the check is to ensure that individuals working with NDIS participants do not present an unacceptable level of risk.
The NDIS Worker Screening Check is required for roles that are deemed ‘risk assessed’. These roles are typically associated with the provision of support or services to people with disabilities under the NDIS.
The cost of the screening check varies between states.
Working with Children’s Check
The Working with Children’s Check (WWCC) is required for services provided to children with disabilities, in addition to the NDIS worker screening check. Each state and territory has a single screening unit to conduct these checks and permits. The validity and cost will once again depend on where you apply.
Other Expenses for NDIS Providers
Aside from the mandatory audit, insurance and screening checks, NDIS providers may also encounter other expenses while working with participants.
Unless you’re operating from home, you’ll most likely need business premises. Rental costs vary based on business size and scale, ranging from less than $100 per week for a smaller space to thousands of dollars for sizable commercial offices
Staff Wages and Training
Unless you work as a sole trader, your expenses will include hiring, training, and paying staff wages. The cost to hire includes advertising, screening, interviewing, and onboarding. You can do this yourself or outsource to a recruitment agency, costing a few thousand dollars per hire. Other costs will involve paying staff wages weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Depending on your services, training staff may also be a cost.
Some NDIS organisations may choose to invest in marketing for more visibility. While some activities like networking and social media can be handled independently, you may need professional help developing a website, with graphic design, and advertising. A marketing agency can help you gain new clients, but it is a cost you will need to consider.
Depending on the services you offer, you may need specific equipment to be an NDIS provider. This can include office furniture, printers and scanners, uniforms, personal protective equipment, and support-related equipment such as assistive technology devices and personal care items. The equipment cost will vary depending on the size and scale of your services.
A functional workspace requires regular utility costs, which must be considered when starting as an NDIS provider. These may include electricity, water, internet, and other utility expenses for your day-to-day operations. The costs can vary and should be part of your budget.
Relying on traditional paper-based documentation often falls short when NDIS providers must provide high-quality care to meet NDIS Practice Standards and the NDIS Code of Compliance. Choosing the right NDIS software can enhance efficiency across various business tasks, including invoicing, rostering, and administration. This cost will vary again depending on the size and scale of your operations.
Even though it is free to register as an NDIS provider, there are several costs involved in starting up. These costs can vary greatly, depending on your services, size, infrastructure needs, insurance, staff wages and training, and other operational costs.
Once you set up your business, NDIS software like CTARS can help you streamline operations and meet all NDIS compliance requirements in one central dashboard, making it easy to have a complete overview of all your business tasks. By minimising administration time, you can focus on providing top-quality care and services to participants.
CTARS is a paperless client management software designed for NDIS service providers. We offer a range of functionalities such as invoicing and billing, activity logs, incident reporting, goal and outcome tracking, and participant financials.
If you want to learn how CTARS works, schedule a demo to speak to our team about your needs.