Volume 23, Number 3 - October 2020

Changes to certification of NDSS forms from 1 August 2020

Rachel Freeman

BHSc (Nut & Diet), MSc (Diabetes), APD, CDE

Professional Services Manager, ADEA

After attaining a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition and Dietetics) at the University of Newcastle in 2002, Rachel spent 3 years working in Inpatient/Outpatient Service roles within various locations in New South Wales and Victoria within the public health system. This work experience provided Rachel with clear insight into the needs of patients with diabetes and a desire to develop a meaningful career in this field.

In 2007, Rachel obtained a Graduate Certificate (Diabetes Education), as well as establishing a private dietetics and diabetes education consultation practice in Perth of which she was the Director until 2011.

From 2011-2013 Rachel continued clinical work as a Diabetes Dietitian and Diabetes Educator for NSW Health. During this time, Rachel was also involved in national policy reviews and national guideline development for various projects relating to people with diabetes.

In 2015 Rachel completed a Master of Science (Diabetes) with a project to evaluate the ADEA mentoring program.

As Professional Services Manager at ADEA, Rachel responds to all enquiries from members, health care professionals and the general public regarding professional matters. Her role includes liaising with stakeholders on various projects and programs to continually support ADEA members and to improve the health care of people with diabetes. Contact Rachel at po@adea.com.au


The Department of Health has undertaken a project to deliver updated NDSS IT systems and simplified business processes to reduce administrative time and costs for NDSS stakeholders.

The project includes delivery of a contemporary NDSS IT system which will simplify business processes to reduce administrative time and costs and provide smoother, more rapid NDSS registration. The Department intends that the new system will provide people with diabetes with almost immediate access to NDSS products and services.

Changes to certification of forms

During stakeholder consultation for the project, the Department was advised by GP clinics, that following a diagnosis of diabetes by a GP, it is common practice for a Primary Care Nurse to complete the certifier section of the NDSS registration form, with the GP subsequently signing to certify the form.

ADEA would like to thank all members who contributed to our advocacy on this issue, as well as the Australian Diabetes Society and Diabetes Australia, who supported our advocacy, which opposed this change and described the important role of the Credentialled Diabetes Educator and their appropriate and specialised skills and knowledge in diabetes management and care. Unfortunately our efforts were unsuccessful.

In introducing these changes, the Department has advised health professional associations including the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) and the RACGP that “Normal referral processes to health professionals such as credentialled diabetes educators, accredited practicing dietitians or other health professionals continue as required.” The Department has also advised that adopting this new process will be optional for each GP/clinic, and a Primary Care Nurse would not be required to certify a form unless it was within their scope of practice, knowledge and experience to do so. Primary Care Nurses will have the option to complete the certifier section of the following NDSS forms:

  • NDSS Registration form;
  • Blood Glucose Test Strip (BGTS) Six Month Approval form; and
  • Medication Change form.

Health professional certification of all other NDSS forms remains unchanged, and is limited to medical practitioners, CDEs and Nurse Practitioners.

To certify the three forms listed above, Primary Care Nurses will be required to:

  • complete the ‘Certifier’ section of the relevant NDSS form to provide the diabetes diagnosis and medication details for the person with diabetes (Registrant) as specified by the GP / medical practitioner; and
  • sign the form to confirm that they have sighted written confirmation of the diagnosis.

This optional change for the certification of NDSS forms came into effect from 1 August 2020.

Over the coming months ADEA will be focusing heavily on working with the RACGP and APNA to promote referral pathways to CDEs, including those newly diagnosed with diabetes, and those transitioning to more frequent blood glucose monitoring or new medications so that they receive the necessary specialist diabetes education, management and care.

Further information and updated NDSS forms reflecting this change are available from the NDSS at: https://www.ndss.com.au/health-professionals/resources/practice-nurses/

NDSS IT System

At the moment, many NDSS business processes rely on the completion of paper forms. The new NDSS IT system will offer health professionals the option of online NDSS registration and online completion of other NDSS forms. The Department expects this will:

  • reduce delays in access to NDSS products and services for people with diabetes, as a result of incomplete or illegible information on forms;
  • reduce overall administrative time and costs for the NDSS;
  • provide immediate registration, and confirmation of registration; and
  • improve national consistency and equitable access to services regardless of location.

Health professionals will still be able to complete paper registration forms where online registration is not feasible.

The Department of Health has a number of user groups, including a broad range of CDEs, involved in providing advice and testing the new NDSS system.  Again, we thank our members who are involved in this project and who have been testing the IT system. It is important that the Department receives our feedback on the planned new system to keep CDEs and ADEA in the loop about how the new system will work and what it will look like. Testing and providing advice will help us to shape the system to meet the needs of CDEs.

The first online testing and feedback session is planned to take place in October 2020.

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