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Top Audit Tips

You’d be hard-pressed to find a provider who doesn’t find audit time stressful. Paula shares the top tips to prepare for NDIS audit time.

By Paula Spencer

Updated 15 Apr 202410 May 2023
The word AUDIT and then images around it of people and a calculator and magnifying glass and coffee

NDIS audits are expensive, time consuming, disruptive, and stressful. And that’s before you even get the report listing your nonconformities—ahhh!

 But if you’re a registered provider, they are part of the deal.

So, how do you prepare? After supporting many an organisation through the auditing process, these are the tips we recommend for all providers:

Set yourself up for success:

  • Prework is crucial. Allocate sufficient time and resources to prepare.
  • Start early- it’s a lot of work, and ongoing, so don’t leave things to the last minute.
  • Don’t look at audit prep as an isolated project, but rather incorporate it into everyday business.

Know the standards:

  • Get across the modules of the NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators that you will be audited against.
  • Complete a gap analysis against each indicator to identify where there are areas for improvement, and then start working through your to-do list. DSC has developed a simple resource to use that is available from Practice Standards: Gap Analysis (teamdsc.com.au).
  • Be across changes to the standards. If you haven’t already, sign up for regular updates from DSC and the Commission.
  • Use your internal audit program to confirm that procedures and processes are being followed and that everything is up-to-date. 
  • Put yourself in the auditors’ shoes- they are going through the standards looking for evidence that you meet each indicator. Tick, tick, tick… Make it simple for them. Have your evidence ready. This does not mean you have a policy on everything, but rather that you have evidence of how you actually address them in practice such as results of tests and audits, meeting minutes, case notes, newsletters etc. 

Get everyone involved:

  • Manage time effectively. Can you delegate anything? Is there anyone on your team who is capable and looking for a task? Can you outsource, minimise duplication and put simple reminders in place?
  • Make sure that everyone who completes a task related to the standards is across the relevant rules and indicators.  We regularly see that only one in the organisation who has read the standards: the quality person. Whereas people in roles like HR, IT etc have no idea that the standards even apply to their areas. There is at least one indicator from the standards that applies to every single person in the organisation.

Continuous improvement will save you time in the long run:

  • Once you have set up your systems and processes, schedule time to regularly monitor and manage them. Pressure at audit time will be greatly reduced if you keep records up-to-date. It’s simple little things, such as keeping records of when you had meetings, when you completed checks and when you reviewed incident reports. Keep a schedule and tick off when you have done things.
  • Keep records of all your audit preparation, including your gap analysis and meetings, as evidence of continuous improvement.

Good luck with your audits!

We’ll be discussing all this and more in our upcoming Get Audit Ready course. We are also in the middle of developing a new e-learn, which includes setting up an internal auditing program, so keep a look out for that in the coming weeks.

Authors

Paula Spencer

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