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Enrolling Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) with the NDIA

SDA assisted bathroom with ceiling track hoist lifting gear

With the introduction of the SDA Design Standard, the NDIA has implemented a new process for all new as-built dwellings wishing to meet the criteria for enrolment as SDA.  As of 1st July 2021, Certification of the Design and As-built stages for new build SDA must be provided by an Accredited SDA Assessor.

Under the new process a dwelling is required to be certified by an Accredited Assessor to a particular SDA Design Category at two stages:

    1. Design (Provisional) Certification, and
    2. Final-as-built Certification (Mandatory for SDA enrolment).

The 2-stage certification process, as outlined in the Implementation Plan, aims to assure all parties involved that if the dwelling is constructed based on the certified design then the dwelling will most likely be approved for use by the NDIA.

At Design (Provisional) Certification stage, an Accredited SDA Assessor must be engaged to assess the design against the requirements of a particular SDA Design Category. Once satisfied that the design is compliant with the SDA Design Standard, the assessor will issue Design (Provisional) Certification. The certification is ‘Provisional’ at this stage as the dwelling has not yet been built. It is important to note however that Design (Provisional) Certification cannot be registered with NDIA, as only a built dwelling can get a Final Certification suitable for NDIA enrolment.

Young woman with a disability in wheelchair at home in living room.Once the dwelling is built, the SDA Assessor is required to undertake a site inspection to ensure all relevant features, as listed in the design requirements section of the SDA Design Standard for the relevant design category, have been provided. If the assessment is successful and the Final-as-built dwelling is deemed compliant, the Accredited Assessor will issue the applicant with a Final-as-built Certificate of SDA Category Compliance as well as a copy of the SDA Assessment Summary Form. These documents are required to enrol the dwelling as SDA with the NDIA.

All SDA dwellings must be enrolled with the NDIA before any SDA supports can be provided.  To enrol an SDA dwelling, registered providers must complete the SDA Dwelling Enrolment and Declaration form and submit it to the NDIA.

Only Registered SDA Providers can enrol a dwelling, as provider details must be recorded at the time of enrolment. Providers registering for SDA in all other states except Western Australia need to register with the NDIS Commission. Providers in WA, however, are required to comply with the NDIA Terms of Business, Guide to Suitability, and the Quality and Safeguards Working Arrangements.

A list of Registered SDA Assessors and more information on the NDIS SDA Design Standard and Implementation Plan can be found at the following link:

https://sdaassessors.org.au/

Additionally, further information regarding SDA Registration as well as the Dwelling Enrolment and Declaration forms can be found here:

https://www.ndis.gov.au/providers/housing-and-living-supports-and-services/housing/specialist-disability-accommodation/sda-registration-and-dwelling-enrolment#registering-as-a-provider-for-sda

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