Residential Disability 

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Applicable Standards

Applicable Standard(s):

Required: Health and Disability Service Standard 8143 Certification is required by regulation if you have a house(s) with 5 or more residents. The Residential Disability scope covers the following three different types of disability support:

  • Intellectual Disability

  • Physical Disability

  • Sensory Disability

The MoH HealthCERT will define the scope of the disability services based on the client mix. The audit might include a sampling methodology for larger numbers of homes within a service. 

Choice: If you have four or less residents in a home, you can voluntarily undertake Certification to the standard. DAA Group will issue the Certificate. If you have a mix of over and under five residents in your homes the scope can include the under 5 beds. Please discuss your needs with us. 

Additionally, to stretch your organisation and focus on improvement, the EQuiP Accreditation can be useful. The period of Accreditation would align with the MoH Certification timeframes. Note: these can be completed together as a dual event.

General Process:

To view the general audit process please click here

To view the EQuiP accreditation process please click here

Frequently asked questions


What is scope in relation to Residential Disability Certification?

The Residential Disability scope covers the following three different types of disability support. - Intellectual Disability -Physical Disability - Sensory Disability The Certificate issued by HealthCERT details the scope of the disability services that the provider is certified to provide.

I'd like to know more on the specifics of the standards that are applicable?

The applicable standards for Residential Disability providers are NZS 8134:2008 Health and Disability Services Standards, specifically;

NZS 8134.1.1 – Consumer Rights

NZS 8134.1.2 – Organisational Management

NZS 8134.1.3 – Continuum of Service Delivery

NZS 8134.1.4 – Safe and Appropriate Environment

NZS 8134.2.1 – Restraint Minimisation

NZS 8134.2.2 – Safe Restraint Practice

NZS 8134.2.3 – Seclusion

NZS 8134.3.1 – Infection Control Management

NZS 8134.3.2 – Implementing the Infection Control Programme

NZS 8134.3.3 – Policies & Procedures

NZS 8134.3.4 - Education

NZS 8134.3.5 - Surveillance

NZS 8134.3.6 – Antimicrobial Usage

You can purchase a copy of these standards from Standards New Zealand -

When do I require certification as a Residential Disability provider?

Generally certification is required when a provider has more than 5 people living in their service. The provider should contact HealthCERT or their Contract Relationship Manager to discuss if they are required to have certification.

Do I require additional certification?

In addition to the Residential Disability Certification process, some disability providers are also certified for the Allied Health Services Standard NZS8171:2005, or accredited to the EQuIP Evaluation and Quality Improvement Programme. Generally these are larger disability providers, who provide physical disability services, or rehabilitation services.


What is the audit process?

There are two stages to the certification audit process. The first stage of the audit involves an offsite document review, by the lead auditor, of the disability provider’s policies and procedures. The second stage of the audit involves the onsite audit of the provider’s office and services.

Following the onsite audit, all of the reporting and peer review processes are the same as for all of the other HDSS MoH audits.

Any Corrective Action Requests identified as part of the audit process, are followed up by the DAA Group Client Manager.

How is the audit sampling decided?

For larger residential disability providers who have multiple sites or services, a sampling plan is completed to determine how many sites are visited as part of the audit process.

For a certification audit the sampling plan is based on the square root of the total number of services that support 5 or more people. This figure is rounded up to the next whole number. The types of service, and when each service last had an audit event, are all factors which are considered when developing the sampling plan. HealthCERT approve the sampling plan prior to each multi site/service audit.

How is the audit team chosen?

The selection of the audit team members for an audit are determined by the requirements of the Ministry of Health’s Designated Auditing Agency Handbook.

These include:

  • Every audit team having a qualified and experienced Lead Auditor
  • An auditor who has management or clinical expertise in disability services
  • An auditor has demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2008, and the NZ Disability Action Plan; and current experience of disability services relevant to the sub-category (ie Intellectual, physical or sensory.)
  • If the provider has physical disability in their scope, there is an auditor with experience as a consumer of these services
  • If the provider has either or both intellectual or sensory disability services in their scope there is an auditor who is a family member of a consumer of these services
  • Consumer auditors are required for residential disability certification audits. Generally surveillance audits do not require a consumer auditor to be part of the audit team.
Additionally to this we try to chose auditors who are locally, or very closely based to your location.


Are there surveillance audits?

Surveillance audits are not automatic for residential disability providers. If a surveillance audit is not required at the midpoint of the certification period, the provider will complete a “Provider Surveillance Declaration,” which incorporates information related to any developmental evaluation events which have occurred since their certification audit. Their DAA Group client manager reviews this declaration and decides whether an onsite surveillance is needed. A “Surveillance Declaration Report” is completed and submitted to HealthCERT by the DAA Group Client Manager.

If an onsite Surveillance Audit is required by HealthCERT these are announced for residential disability services with intellectual, physical or sensory disability in their scope.

What is the sampling method for surveillance audits?

For multisite residential disability providers, there is a different sampling methodology used to calculate the number of services that will be visited at the surveillance audit. This is based on 0.6 x the square root of the total number of services that support 5 or more people.