The National Disability Insurance Scheme funds costs associated with permanent and significant disability. It ensures Participants access trusted disability services, when and how they need them.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the government service behind this scheme. They’re the ones who help eligible Aussies receive this life-changing benefit. And, they inform NDIS Providers how to deliver complex services to approved Participants.
Without NDIS Providers, NDIS-funded services cannot exist.
If YOU are interested in becoming an NDIS Provider, well done! You’re considering a role that could significantly improve the lives of others.
Keep reading, as this article will help you understand:
- how to become a Provider
- whether being Registered or Unregistered is best for you.
Types of NDIS Providers
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) oversees the quality and safety of NDIS services and supports. They regulate offerings from Registered and Unregistered Providers. Both types of Providers must follow the NDIS Code of Conduct.
Registered Providers are considered gold-standard.
They are premium as they meet registration requirements set by the NDIS Commission.
An approval process, suitability assessment and complex audit are part of this process.
It takes a certain level of commitment to complete the registration process. However, it also makes it easier to assist the Australian disability community.
Avaana can help to simplify the process for eligible businesses applying for NDIS Registration.
Generally, Registered Providers have greater opportunities for business growth and enhanced reputations. They can also offer Plan Management Services and implement restricted practices.
- Advertisement on the NDIS website
- Huge business potential
- Instantly viewed as trustworthy
- Work directly with NDIA-managed Participants
- Receive faster payments via the NDIS portal
- Offer a range of products and services across various support categories.
- Expensive set up
- Lots of paperwork
- Key Personnel must undergo mandatory worker screening checks
- Participants have to connect with you via the NDIA, which limits relationship building
- Must compete with the market pricing of Unregistered Providers.
Unregistered Providers are not registered with the NDIS.
They may offer some types of services to Participants, but have limited opportunities. This is because some support categories do not require registration.
Many Providers are Unregistered as it avoids a lengthy and costly registration process.
- Minimal setup process and costs
- Work directly with NDIS Participants, making it easier to build relationships
- Don’t have to follow the NDIS price guide, so rates can be more competitive
- Typically not required to undergo audits
- Must work hard to build a trustworthy reputation
- Limited client potential
- Unable to access NDIA-provided lists that help with business growth
- Regulated by the same authority as Registered Providers (NDIS Commission)
Criteria for becoming an NDIS Provider
Businesses applying to become an NDIS Provider must meet eligibility criteria. This helps ensure Participants receive effective supports, including complex supports.
NDIS Providers must have relevant qualifications and meet experience requirements. These need to align with the disability support services they offer.
This fosters happy clients, as Participants receive the level of care they need.
Restrictive Practices are NDIS Commission guidelines that help protect Participants from harm. This could relate to poor quality services or unsafe supports.
All Providers must agree not to partake in these 5 restrictive practices:
- Chemical restraint
- Mechanical restraint
- Physical restraint
- Environmental restraint
Online Application Process
Use the NDIS online portal to complete the application process.
Here, you will need to choose an approved quality auditor to complete your audit.
Once you submit all requirements, the NDIS will assess your application. You’ll be notified of the outcome after they’ve made their decision.
The Registration Process
The following steps outline the process for Registration with the NDIS Commission:
1. Start on online application form
- Provide information:
- organisation’s contact details
- business’s corporate structure
- operating location
- key personnel.
- Choose which supports your business wants to offer
- Do a business self-assessment using the the NDIS Practice Standards
- Upload required documents
- Submit your application within 60 days.
2. Choose your approved quality auditor
You’ll receive an Initial Audit Scope (Scope of Audit) document via email. This details:
- what kind of audit you need
- how your business must comply with NDIS Practice Standards.
You’ll need to engage the services of an approved quality auditor before moving onto the next step.
3. Complete an audit
There are 2 types of audits:
- Verification audit
- Certification audit.
The type of audit you need depends on the types of supports your business offers.
External audit agencies will complete your audit.
They will consider all factors while working alongside you. And they will do their best to get you the best outcome. Their results are submitted to the NDIS Commission for final assessment.
4. Be assessed by the NDIS Commission
The NDIS Commission will assess your application, including audit results. They will notify you of the outcome.
NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators
These standards set the quality indicators that must be adhered to in order to provide services.
There are core modules and supplementary modules within the standards. The modules that relate to you depend on the range of services you deliver.
An initial NDIS business audit helps put these standards in place. External auditors refer to quality indicators during their assessment.
A follow up NDIS audit occurs during registration renewal. This checks on whether supports are up to standard. If they aren’t, you won’t be able to retain Provider registration.
Ongoing Compliance and Continuous Improvement
The Continuous Improvement Continuum helps maintain high standards for NDIS Participants.
They do this by assessing an organisation’s commitment to the scheme, using:
- Quality audits, to maintain service standards
- Practice reviews, to examine Provider engagement and possible improvements.
All service Providers must follow regulatory changes and complete registration updates as required.
Building a Service Portfolio
Building a service portfolio begins with identifying which support services to offer. There are a wide range of support categories to choose from, including:
- Assistance with Daily Life
- Products and consumables
- Assistive Technologies
- Home Modifications
- Support Coordination
- Improving Living Arrangements
- Assistance with Social & Community Participation
- Increased Community Participation
- Education and Employment
- Maintaining Relationships
- Health and Wellbeing
- Life Choices.
Having expertise in your chosen area is essential. That’s why Providers must ensure that key personnel:
- complete relevant training
- have experience in the service areas offered.
It’s also important to consider Participants needs and budgets. The 3 areas that NDIS Providers can deliver supports and services are:
Core Supports: Help Participants to complete daily activities.
Capital Supports: Assist with investments for equipment, or home or vehicle modifications. It may also fund capital costs (e.g. paying for Specialist Disability Accommodation).
Capacity Building Supports: Help Participants to build independence and life skills.
Pricing and Payment
NDIS Providers are expected to provide value for money disability-related services. This is why the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits exists.
It establishes the pricing framework that Registered Providers must follow. Unregistered Providers have pricing flexibility and are not bound to the same regulations.
How you get paid depends on how the participant manages the funds allocated in their plan.
NDIS Participants use the MyPlace portal to pay Providers directly after an invoice is issued
Providers send an invoice to the NDIS Participant’s Plan Manager for payment.
Registered Providers submit invoices via the Provider portal within 90 days.
The NDIS supports eligible Australians with permanent and significant disability. By fundings supports, it helps NDIS Participants access the specific help they need.
NDIS-Registered Providers are usually viewed as most trustworthy. They also have exponential growth opportunities.
Despite this, both Registered and Unregistered Providers are valuable. Each helps Participants reach their goals and improve their quality of life. Without their love, care and expertise, the NDIS could not function.
Interested in becoming a Registered NDIS Provider, but still unsure of the process? The team at Avaana provide expert business advice and specialise in helping eligible businesses get NDIS Registered with ease.