Australian Government - Department of Health - Office of Hearing Services
Hearing Services Program

How to become a contracted service provider

The Hearing Services Program is currently experiencing a high level of applications for accreditation. The estimated times for processing applications for accreditation is currently about ten weeks after receipt of a complete, correct application. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience may cause.

The application process involved in becoming a contracted service provider of the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (the program).The Hearing Services Administration Act 1997 (the Act) makes provision for hearing services to be delivered to voucher holders by contracted service providers (provider).

A business wanting to provide hearing services to clients under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (the program) must first be accredited under the Hearing Services Providers Accreditation Scheme 1997 (the Scheme) and then contracted to provide hearing services. Successful applicants are notified in writing. The written notification contains a Certificate of Accreditation and the offer of a service provider contract.

What is accreditation and why do I need it?

Accreditation is the process of approving an entity to provide hearing services to the program clients. The Scheme was created in 1997. It establishes the criteria that businesses need to demonstrate in their application to join the program.

The criteria are

    1. experience in providing hearing services
    2. proposed staffing profile and qualifications of the staff
    3. the accessibility of the premises in which it is proposed to provide the services
    4. whether the proposed premises are of a satisfactory standard
    5. capacity to meet the rules of conduct
    6. financial viability, and
    7. any other matter that might affect the standard of service.

Businesses that are not accredited cannot be offered a contract to provide hearing services through the program.

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What is the accreditation process?

You must submit an application for accreditation. Your application will be assessed against the accreditation criteria.

It is important to note that the accreditation process may involve the disclosure of personal information to other Australian Government agencies, however, the privacy of applicants will be protected in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988. Any information provided will be used for the purposes of processing your application for accreditation only.

Flow chart showing the process involved in becoming a contracted hearing services provider.

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Completed applications must be emailed to hearing@health.gov.au, or posted to

Hearing Services Program
Department of Health
MDP 113
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601

Tip: Take some time to read the Application for Accreditation Kit Manual before attempting to complete the Application for Accreditation. The manual contains some very useful pieces of information which may help in reducing the time frame taken to assess your application.

Note: Any decision to accredit a hearing services provider under the program is subject to the condition that applicants have not provided false or misleading information in connection with the Scheme, or the provision of hearing services to the program's clients. If false or misleading information has been provided the service provider’s accreditation will be cancelled.

What happens after I submit my application?

When the completed application is received it will be assessed. As well as the main criteria, the assessment also includes having the financial viability of the applicant assessed by external financial advisors.

If successful, the applicant will be approved as an accredited service provider and will be offered a service provider contract to provide hearing services to the program’s clients (Section 20 of the Act). Written confirmation will be provided which outlines the procedures for completing the contract process. You will need to

  • sign a copy of the service provider contract; and
  • return it for the Minister’s delegate to sign.

After the contract has been signed, a Contractor Number will be created. This Contractor Number is unique to each individual service provider, and must be shown on all claims for services forms.

Each site that was listed in the application will be allocated its own unique site identification number (site ID). When making claims both numbers (Contractor Number and site ID) must be noted on all claims for services forms.

How long will it take for me to be told if my application has been successful?

Estimated processing times of applications for accreditation are between six and eight weeks after receipt of a complete application. However, this benchmark is a conservative estimate of the length of time needed to conduct a rigorous analysis of all the information provided by applicants. Delays may be experienced due to the number of other applications currently being processed ahead of yours as well as other factors that impact our workload from time to time.

Please note we cannot guarantee that all applications will be processed within this estimated timeframe. The estimate is based on the average time taken to process an application once it is considered to be complete, meaning that the applicant has submitted all of the required information. We will return incomplete applications and ask you to resubmit them with the missing information included.

Any business decisions the applicant makes in anticipation of accreditation approval are at the entity’s own risk, including ceasing prior employment and commencing operations.

Tip 1: Trading Name and Australian Business Number

Make sure, before you apply, that the trading name of the business is registered, that the business has a registered Australian Business Number (ABN) and that the ABN registration includes (a) registration for the Goods and Services Tax and (b) your trading name. (If you are unsure about the difference between the name of a business and its trading name, talk to your lawyer or business adviser before you make any arrangements or spend any money).

Tip 2: Bank and insurance accounts

Your bank account (for payment purposes) will also need to be in the (exact) name of the business, as will the public liability and professional indemnity insurance certificates you will need to supply before your contract begins.

Tip 3: Complete and sign all documents

Make sure that you have completed and signed the various declarations contained in the application form.

Tip 4: Contact Us

If you have any further concerns contact us via email hearing@health.gov.au.

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How to become a contracted service provider (PDF 129 KB)

Legislation

Contracts

Application for Accreditation Kit Manual

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