human services quality standards

National Standards for Disability Services – National Disability Advocacy Program

This standard applies to organisations that receive Australian Government funding for programs administered by the Department of Social Services for disability advocacy.


Certification against the National Standards for Disability Services – National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) is a three-year cycle involving an initial two-stage certification process

In the first certification cycle, two annual surveillance audits will be undertaken. In all subsequent certification cycles one surveillance audit will be undertaken at the 18-month point.

NDAP has six service models: Individual Advocacy (IA), Self-Advocacy (SA), Family Advocacy (FA), Citizen Advocacy (CA), Legal Advocacy (LA), and Systemic Advocacy (SA).

There are 11 Disability Advocacy standards and 24 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).


The Stage 1 audit involves a review of documentation to determine your organisation’s readiness to proceed to the Stage 2 certification audit. Your organisation will be provided with advice on areas of potential nonconformity with the standards. These should be addressed prior to the Stage 2 audit. The process may be conducted on or off-site; IHCA Certification will discuss this with you.

Certification Audit

The on-site certification audit will be conducted according to a documented audit plan, which will be developed in consultation with your organisation.

The Audit Team will involve a Lead Auditor and a Consumer Technical Expert. They will assess your organisational work practices by reviewing your policies, procedures, and records; conducting interviews with board, management, staff, service users and other stakeholders as appropriate; reviewing service user files; and observing the conduct of activities onsite.

Surveillance Audits

After the first certification cycle the surveillance audits will be undertaken at the 18-month point to ensure your organisation’s work practices are being maintained and periodically monitored and reviewed for continuous improvement. A report will be provided to you with feedback regarding the results of this audit.

Corrective action planning

Where a nonconformity is identified, your organisation will need to develop a corrective action plan before being eligible for certification. The lead assessor will advise your organisation on the timeframes for corrective action remediation at the closing meeting.

Formal certification decision and registration

IHCA Certification will provide a written report to your organisation, which will be formally certified against the Standard if there are no nonconformities or where corrective action requirements have been met. Upon certification, your organisation will be issued with a certificate confirming your organisation’s conformance to the Standards and the right to use IHCA Certification’s distinctive symbol in promotional activities. Your report will be uploaded to the Department of Social Services online funding management system.

IHCA Certification will also add your organisation’s name to the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JASANZ) register of certified organisations, which is publicly accessible on the JASANZ website:


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