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Key terms

We use these terms throughout the series of guides we have developed for services-for-one users who need to register with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.


An audit is a formal check to make sure a service-for-one is meeting the NDIS Practice Standards. In an audit, the auditor will ask questions about how things are done in the service-for-one. They will look at documents about the service-for-one. They may also do a site inspection.


Auditors are the people who do the audits. They are trained to complete audits of NDIS providers. Auditors work for Approved Quality Auditors.

Approved Quality Auditor

An Approved Quality Auditor is an organisation that completes audits of NDIS providers. The organisation is approved by:

  • the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
  • the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ).

It is independent from government.

Audit team

A team of auditors who run an NDIS audit. Audit teams work for an Approved Quality Auditor. Usually there are two auditors in a team.

Behaviour support

Behaviour support creates strategies for a person with disability that:

  • respond to their needs
  • reduce, or eliminate, the need to use regulated restrictive practices.

Behaviour support plan

A behaviour support plan is a document that a behaviour support practitioner develops with the person with disability, their family and other supports. The plan addresses the needs of the person if they have behaviours of concern. It includes strategies that can be used to support them.

Behaviours of concern

Behaviours of concern are where someone does things that hurt themselves, other people or other people, or damages property. These behaviours may impact on their day-to-day life.


Certification is a type of audit for NDIS providers who deliver high-risk supports and services for an NDIS participant. This may include some services-for-one. See also, NDIS registration.

Certification audit

A certification audit is the type of audit required for NDIS providers who deliver high-risk supports and services.

The audit has two stages. It assesses services-for-one against the ‘core module’ of the NDIS Practice Standards and other ‘supplementary’ modules that relate to the complex, high-risk supports.

A certification audit includes:

  • document reviews
  • site visits
  • interviews with workers and participants.

Certification audit cycle

Certification is a three-year cycle that includes an:

  • initial certification audit
  • 18-month mid-term audit.

The next cycle starts with a recertification audit three years from your Registration Decision (made by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission).

Chemical restraint

Chemical restraint is when you use medication to influence a person’s behaviour.

It does not include using doctor-prescribed medication to treat or to support treatment of:

  • a diagnosed mental disorder
  • a physical illness
  • a physical condition.


Compliance means having evidence to show that you meet the legislation (laws), rules and guidelines that the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission sets out for the type of service you run.

Core module

The core module of the NDIS Practice Standards applies to all providers going through certification.

The core module covers standards relating to:

  • the rights of participants
  • the responsibilities of providers
  • governance and operational management
  • providing supports
  • the environment where you provide supports.


A complaint is when someone says they are not happy with an NDIS support or service. Valuing and learning from complaints can help all services-for-one find any problems and keep improving the service to better meet the person’s needs.

Document review

A document review is a when an audit team reviews a services-for-one’s policies and procedures. The review will make sure necessary systems and processes are in place so that you comply with the relevant NDIS Practice Standards.

Early Childhood Supports (Early Intervention Supports for Early Childhood)

Early Childhood Supports is a supplementary module of the NDIS Practice Standards. Early Childhood Supports provides supports to build capacity, including key worker’s capacity, to help a child (under seven years of age) with developmental delay or disability and their family or carers. The support can be in their home, community and early childhood settings. It aims to help them become more independent and take part socially.

Note: This module may not apply to many services-for-one.

Environmental restraint

An environmental restraint restricts a person’s access to anything in their environment, including items and activities. For example, locking a door, cupboard or fridge to stop a person getting into them.


Auditors look at a range of evidence to show that you are meeting your compliance requirements. Evidence can include documents such as:

  • policies and procedures
  • records (registers, completed forms, file notes etc)
  • interviews with staff and participants
  • observations.

High-intensity daily personal activities (HIDPA)

High-intensity daily personal activities is a supplementary module (Module 1) of the NDIS Practice Standards. This module sets out the conditions for a range of complex health or clinical supports. These supports include:

  • complex bowel care
  • enteral management
  • tracheostomy management
  • urinary catheter management
  • ventilator management
  • subcutaneous injections.

You can find more information on managing these clinical supports in Skills Descriptors.

Implementing behaviour support plans

Implementing behaviour support plans is a supplementary module (Module 2a) of the NDIS Practice Standards. It sets out the conditions for providers who implement behaviour support plans that include regulated restrictive practices in the delivery of any NDIS supports and services. These providers must also comply with the NDIS (Restrictive Practices and Behaviour Support) Rules 2018.

Implementing provider

An implementing provider is a registered NDIS provider that uses a regulated restrictive practice as part of a behaviour support plan. Implementing providers need to be registered with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, after being assessed against Module 2A of the NDIS Practice Standards: Implementing behaviour support plans.

Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ)

JAS-ANZ is an organisation responsible for the accreditation of Approved Quality Auditors. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission uses this information to approve auditors for the Approved Quality Auditor list on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission’s website.

Key personnel

People who have governance, executive, management or operational positions in an organisation, such as directors, managers or chief executive officers. These details must be included in the online registration application for a service-for-one. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission closely looks at these people to make sure they are suitable to run an NDIS service.

Mechanical restraint

Mechanical restraint is when you use a device to prevent, restrict or contain a person’s movement to change their behaviour. It does not include using devices for therapeutic or non-behavioural reasons. For example, a seatbelt guard is not a mechanical restraint if you need to use it while travelling from one place to another. However, it is a mechanical restraint if you leave the guard in place when the car is not moving.

Mid-term audit

A mid-term audit is an 18-month audit of an NDIS provider to check how things are going. It is normally done on-site. It will usually be shorter than an initial audit or recertification audit. It mainly focuses on governance and operational management.

National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)

The NDIA is the Australian Government agency responsible for running the NDIS.


  • provides plans and support to NDIS participants
  • organises payments and access to plans for NDIS providers
  • manages complaints about plans or the NDIA.

The NDIA is not the same as the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

NDIS behaviour support practitioner

A person the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission considers suitable to complete behaviour support assessments and develop behaviour support plans that may contain the use of restrictive practices.

NDIS Code of Conduct

The NDIS Code of Conduct sets clear and enforceable expectations for how supports and services should be delivered ethically.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) is an Australian Government agency set up to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services.

The NDIS Commission is responsible for overseeing the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. This includes NDIS providers of any size and with any number of participants.

NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework

The NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework provides a nationally consistent way to give quality supports for NDIS participants across Australia. It makes sure that all NDIS participants have access to safe, high-quality supports and services.

NDIS Practice Standards

The NDIS Practice Standards are legal requirements that NDIS service providers need to meet.

The NDIS Practice Standards have a core module and several supplementary modules that providers need to follow. The supplementary modules will depend on the types of supports and services you are providing.

Each NDIS Practice Standard includes an outcome and a set of quality indicators. The ‘outcome’ is the planned outcome for the participant. The quality indicators are what the provider needs to show they are doing to meet each outcome.

NDIS participant

An NDIS participant is someone who eligible for the NDIS. This means they have a permanent and significant disability, as well as meeting the other eligibility criteria. NDIS participants have an NDIS plan, which provides individualised funding for ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports to live and enjoy their life.

NDIS provider

NDIS providers are people or organisations that provide supports or services to an NDIS participant. The supports must be in line with what is in the participant’s NDIS plan.

NDIS (Provider Registration and Practice Standards) Rules 2018

The NDIS (Provider Registration and Practice Standards) Rules 2018 shows:

  • when providers need to be registered for the NDIS
  • what providers and key personnel need to be suitable as registered providers
  • what changes providers need to tell the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission about
  • what providers need to comply with, including the NDIS Practice Standards.

NDIS (Restrictive Practices and Behaviour Support) Rules 2018

TheNDIS (Restrictive Practices and Behaviour Support) Rules 2018 explains the conditions for using and reporting regulated restrictive practices. These rules apply to all registered NDIS providers, as well as services-for-one.

NDIS registration

To register for the NDIS, services-for-one need to show that they meet the standards of quality and safety in the services and supports they provide. This involves an independent audit and a decision by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

NDIS registration application

The NDIS registration application is an online application that you can submit through the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission website. Services-for-one need to give information on:

  • important organisational details, like key personnel
  • NDIS supports and services
  • a self-assessment against the relevant practice standards
  • suitability.

NDIS Worker Screening

NDIS Worker Screening is one of the things that registered services-for-one need to do to reduce the risk of harm to people with disability. Worker Screening checks are mandatory for all ‘risk assessed roles’. These roles include:

  • key personnel
  • the direct delivery of supports to people with disability
  • where there is likely to be more than incidental contact with people with disability.

Physical restraint

Physical restraint is when you use physical force to stop, restrict or contain the movement of a person’s body, or part of their body, to influence their behaviour. Physical restraint does not include using a hands-on technique to guide or redirect a person away from potential harm or injury, as long as it can reasonably be seen as the exercise of care towards a person.


What you need to do to register and meet the NDIS Practice Standards are in proportion to the size, scale and type of supports you provide. This means that providers, such as services-for-one, with only a few workers and one participant do not need to show the same level of evidence that a provider with a large workforce and many participants needs to show.

Registration groups

There are 36 registration groups linked to the types of services and supports that NDIS providers deliver. Some registration groups are high risk and some are low risk, and each registration group has different compliance requirements depending on what supports and services your service-for-one delivers.

Restrictive practice

A restrictive practice is any practice or intervention that restricts the rights or freedom of movement of a person with disability.

Regulated restrictive practices

A restrictive practice is regulated if it is or includes:

  • chemical restraint
  • environmental restraint
  • mechanical restraint
  • physical restraint
  • seclusion.

Regulated Restrictive Practices Guide

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission developed the Regulated Restrictive Practices Guide to explain the different categories of regulated restrictive practices. It includes examples of what is and what is not considered a restrictive practice.


Seclusion is when a person with disability is confined in a room or a space on their own. It includes any hour of the day or night where the person cannot leave this space. The person may:

  • be stopped from voluntarily leaving the space
  • not be given any help to leave
  • believe they are not allowed to leave.


A self-assessment is a part of the NDIS online registration application where providers need to explain how they meet the NDIS Practice Standards. This includes uploading supporting evidence. For guidance on completing the self-assessment, read How to meet the practice standards.


People who self-manage their NDIS plan will:

  • manage all or part of their funding
  • choose what supports they use to reach their goals.

Site visit

A site visit is when an audit team visits the place where supports are provided. A site visit includes interviews with the participant and workers.


Services-for-one provide support for a person with a disability through a service just for one person. They are often used for people with complex behaviour needs when other service models have not been successful. In such cases, some people with disability and their families have worked out other ways of meeting the person’s support needs by setting up their own service.

This guide defines a service-for-one as a service that directly employs their own staff and is responsible for their own business processes. It does not include employing staff through other disability services.

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

Specialist Disability Accommodation is a supplementary module (Module 5) of the NDIS Practice Standards. This module sets the accommodation requirements for people who need specialist housing. They include help to deliver housing supports for people with:

  • extreme functional impairment
  • very high support needs.

Specialist Behaviour Support (SBS)

Specialist Behaviour Support is a supplementary module of the NDIS Practice Standards (Module 2). This module sets the requirements for specialist behaviour support providers who develop behaviour support plans for people with disability. These providers also must comply with the NDIS Restrictive Practices and Behaviour Support Rules.

Specialised Support Co-ordination

Specialised Support Co-ordination is a supplementary module (Module 4) of the NDIS Practice Standards.

This support is delivered using an expert or specialist approach because of the specific high-complex needs or high-level risks in a participant’s situation.

Stage One Audit

A Stage One Audit is sometimes called a desktop audit or document review. It is usually done off-site. It includes a review of your completed self-assessment and any documents you have provided, such as policies and procedures. The auditor can access these through your record on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission’s system.

Stage Two Audit

A Stage Two Audit is usually done on-site and checks how effective the provider’s systems and processes are in meeting the NDIS rules and the modules of the NDIS Practice Standards. It includes:

  • looking at records and files
  • talking to participants, staff, management and people on the governing body, such as directors.

Supplementary modules

The supplementary modules are part of the NDIS Practice Standards. They apply to providers of specialised high-risk supports.

The supplementary modules include:

  • high-intensity daily personal activities
  • specialist behaviour support
  • using behaviour support plans
  • early childhood supports
  • specialised support co-ordination
  • specialist disability accommodation