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Choosing & Managing Service Providers

This guide provides information about choosing and managing service providers, where Support Coordination and Plan Management is not funded within a participant’s plan. OOHC casework staff need to ensure they request Support Coordination and Plan Management be funded in the plan. Refer to the Overview for important contextual information about these guidelines and the NDIS. These guidelines are dynamic and will be regularly updated to reflect a changing NDIS model and procedures as the Scheme is implemented.

Important information for OOHC casework staff - if Support Coordination and Plan Management are funded in the child or young person’s plan, you do not need to undertake any of the actions in this guideline, they will be managed by the support coordinator and plan manager.

The information provided in this guideline may help Early Intervention and Child Protection casework staff explain the process to families who choose to engage supports and manage NDIS plan funds themselves.

For self-managed plans, supports can be purchased from registered providers, as well as providers who are not registered with the NDIS.

The NDIA has developed a number of resources to assist participants when choosing a provider or employing a support worker. It is important to choose the provider or providers that are right for the participant. These resources include information about how to manage cancellations and ‘no shows’ of scheduled appointments. For more information on choosing a provider and a list of registered providers in the local area see Finding and engaging providers.

A provider is an individual or organisation delivering a support or a product to a participant of the NDIS. Organisations or individuals can apply to be a registered provider with the NDIA. Registered providers have met requirements regarding qualifications, approvals, experience and capacity to deliver the approved supports.

All providers are required to agree to the NDIA’s Terms of Business as a condition of registration. The Terms of Business require registered providers to ensure they proactively manage perceived and actual conflicts of interest, including through development and maintenance of organisational policies.

Most NDIS supports will be delivered by providers - people or businesses of the participant’s choice. Participants will normally need to make a written agreement with their provider(s). This is called a Service Agreement. Service Agreements should be simple and set out how and when supports will be delivered. Service Agreements can be made between participants and providers, or between another person (like a family member or friend) and the provider.

Service Agreements are different from the NDIS plan. The plan lists the NDIS supports, but a Service Agreement is about delivering those supports.

When making a Service Agreement, participants and their supporters should take a copy of the NDIS plan. If the participant agrees, a copy of the NDIS plan can be attached to the Service Agreement(s). This will help the provider deliver the right supports in the right way.

Further information and a model Service Agreement is provided on the Making a Service Agreement with Providers fact sheet at Service agreements with providers

When people buy goods and services including disability-related purchases, they have rights under Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Resources for consumers with disability including consumer rights under ACL can be found at the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website.

Participants self managing their plan must provide the NDIA with details of an account with a financial institution into which NDIS amounts can be paid, and the NDIA must pay NDIS amounts into the account nominated by the participant. A participant who receives an NDIS amount, or a person who receives an NDIS amount on behalf of a participant, must spend the money in accordance with a participant’s plan. For more detailed information about payments, see Payment and Assurance

Payments from the NDIS for approved reasonable and necessary supports are not considered income by the Australia Taxation Office and therefore are exempt from tax. For more information see National disability insurance scheme

The Myplace Provider Portal is the secure government online service for registered providers to communicate with the NDIA for the provision of services and supports to NDIS participants, including billing.

Sharing a participant’s NDIS Plan in full on the Myplace Provider Portal will enable all of their registered providers to have a better understanding of what they want to achieve and enable them to support participants to achieve their goals and objectives. It also enables them to understand what participants are doing with other people and organisations to achieve these goals and objectives.

If the NDIA is managing the funding for the participant’s supports, registered providers will already be able to see a list of the funded supports they are registered to provide to the participant on the Myplace Provider Portal. Further information can be found at Sharing your NDIS plan.

If you have a question about the NDIS and Early Intervention, Child Protection and OOHC email safehomeforlifereform@facs.nsw.gov.au

If you encounter a situation with the NDIS that differs from these guidelines and needs clarification, speak to your manager to determine whether the matter needs to be raised with the NDIA locally or go through the FACS NDIS issues escalation pathway for resolution.