To improve the provider experience, an end-to-end review of the provider pathway was undertaken between April and June 2017. Initial findings have identified a range of ideas that will improve the quality of the provider experience, including improving communications for both existing and new providers.
To that end, a number of initiatives are already underway to review outcomes and work is progressing to improve the provider portal.
Provider registration and payments
The Agency has been developing and implementing business and system process improvements to enhance the provider registration experience and decrease waiting times for processing of provider registration applications.
The Agency ensures providers meet the criteria prescribed by the Scheme rules including that they are accredited against, and compliant with, jurisdictional quality and safeguarding requirements.
In 2016–17, the number of providers registered was substantially more than were registered during the three-year trial period:
- During the three years of trial the provider registration team approved and registered 3,519 entities to become registered providers of supports.
- By 30 June 2017, the number of registered providers rose to 8,698, an increase of 5,179 from 30 June 2016.
A national commitment to NDIS Quality and Safety
Nationally consistent protections for NDIS participants will be put in place under a Quality and Safeguarding Framework released in February 2017 by the Council of Australian Governments Disability Reform Council.
The Framework is designed to ensure high-quality supports and safe environments for all NDIS participants. The new system will be nationally consistent and establishes the responsibilities of providers and their staff. Key components of the new Framework include:
- worker screening and reducing restrictive practices;
- a national complaint and serious incidents system;
- NDIS Code of Conduct for providers and their staff; and
- a national registrar responsible for registering providers and overseeing their compliance with registration requirements, including compliance with the National Standards for Disability Services and Mental Health Services.
States and territories will maintain current quality and safeguarding arrangements until the Framework is implemented in their jurisdiction.
In May 2017, the Commonwealth Government announced the establishment of the Independent NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission to implement the Quality and Safeguarding Framework and oversee the delivery of quality and safe services for all NDIS participants. The Commission will be established in early 2018 and is expected to commence operations in each state and territory by 1 July 2020.