I first wrote about changes to SDA Design Standards, and new SDA Assessor courses, back in early January.

Without much fanfare, balloons, a sausage sizzle or even a limited edition NDIS iced coffee give away, the prerequisites of who will be eligible to register and become an Accredited SDA Assessor must have slipped past me in the wee small hours of the night in mid to late January. 

It’s all now crystal clear and in the Access Institute’s “SDA Course Information Handbook V1.1

The “.1” is the important bit because the Handbook used to say things like…

Anyone can undertake the course, however, only individual Specified Professionals who meet prerequisites nominated by National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), can become an Accredited SDA Assessor. (Awaiting confirmation from NDIA). 


Or 


Therefore, only
Specified Professionals are eligible to apply to become registered Accredited SDA Assessor: 

Currently the NDIA has not confirmed who the Specified Professionals will be, nor what their relevant prerequisites will be. We have been advised that a decision is imminent. 

However, in order to meet market demand for training in relation to the SDA Design Standard, Access Institute has been authorised to deliver the course. 


We wish to confirm that candidates who undertake the course and can meet the Specified Professional prerequisites, once confirmed by NDIA, will be eligible to undertake the online exam and register as an Accredited SDA Assessor. 

(Please note: Access Institute has no discretion in relation to the determination of the Specified Professions or the required prerequisites and cannot provide exemptions for candidates who are not specified professionals and who do not meet the specified professional prerequisites.)  

But now we know. So, opening the envelope…the winners are…

  • Architects
  • Building Surveyors 
  • Access Consultants
  • Occupational Therapists

Which looking at it, is a fairly reduced group of professionals who can obtain their LHA Assessor’s licence, but who can’t go on to obtain a SDA assessor’s accreditation. Which, I presume like most of us, would have been the obvious progression seeing how a lot of the new SDA Standard is based on the LHA guidelines and they were heavily involved in producing the SDA Standard.

Ok, so what’s this mean for SDA dwelling registration? Looking at all these bits of paper in front of me, we are still working on the business as usual SDA Design Category’s minimum requirements, which is LHA Accreditation and the Additions set out in the SDA price guide. 

If your SDA project will be completed by June 2021 you can work to the old system of registration, the good old NDIS Dwelling Enrolment Form. 

As it states in the SDA Standard, that only from July 2021 it will be required that all SDA dwelling enrolment applications will need a certificate from an Accredited SDA Assessor nominating the design category of the dwelling and it is deemed to be satisfied that it meets the SDA standard.

But… they are accepting enrolments using third party SDA Assessors design and final as-built certification from April 30th 2020. 

In any case, I would be thinking for any new SDA project you’d be silly not to follow the SDA standard. 

But wait, there’s more…there’s always more.

As mentioned in the SDA Information Handbook V1.1 (don’t forget the .1 bit), our lucky winners above still have a few little additional prerequisites before they can become fully fledged SDA Assessors.

Prerequisites for Architects

In addition, as per the skill set required for the role of an Accredited SDA Assessor, Architects must also provide evidence that they have completed the CPP40811 Certificate IV in Access Consulting or CPP50711 Diploma of Access Consulting nationally recognised qualification.


Prerequisites for Building Surveyors/Certifiers

In addition, as per the skill set required for the role of an Accredited SDA Assessor, Building Surveyors must also provide evidence that they have completed the CPP40811 Certificate IV in Access Consulting or CPP50711 Diploma of Access Consulting nationally recognised qualification.


Prerequisites for Access Consultants

In addition, it is mandatory that Access Consultants must be qualified in Access Consulting and provide evidence that they have completed the CPP40811 Certificate IV in Access Consulting or CPP50711 Diploma of Access Consulting nationally recognised qualification.


Prerequisites for Occupational Therapists

In addition, as per the skill set required for the role of an Accredited SDA Assessor, Occupational Therapists must also provide evidence that they have completed the CPP40811 Certificate IV in Access Consulting or CPP50711 Diploma of Access Consulting nationally recognised qualification.

If you jump onto the Access Institutes courses web page you will see that the prerequisite course ranges in cost from $5,500 to $7,000! That’s for about 8 to 11 days contact time and then you get 12 months to complete all your assignment material. Lucky you!

Then you can do your 1 day SDA Accreditor’s course at $715 plus $150 plus GST to sit the online exam and $50.00 plus GST for any resits if you panic, or get distracted looking at motorbikes on the internet and stuff it up. 

How many will pursue all this and obtain the accreditation given the cost vs their expected increases in SDA Assessments as a component of their business? We’ll have to wait and see.