Want to become a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider but don’t know where to start? Maybe we can help!
Providers are an important part of the NDIS, delivering support and services that help participants pursue their goals.
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) is responsible for the regulation of NDIS providers, and the registration requirements for providers seeking to become registered NDIS providers.
Some existing, smaller or independant providers might be looking to switch to being an NDIS-registered company or looking to start their own NDIS-registered provider service but there are providers out there who are not registered with the NDIS for various reasons but who still offer the same services to participants.
It can be confusing.
In a nutshell, as Brevity Care explains, the key difference between registered and unregistered is the legal status with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and how it relates to a business.
There are a lot of reasons why registration is important, including, but not only:
- Providers can work directly with NDIA-managed participants, allowing for more business intake in their local area as well as expansion opportunities;
- Participants are keener on trusting registered NDIS providers rather than unregistered providers (even though quality of service should be similar);
- From a legal standpoint, registered providers are fully-recognised as a provider committing to a certain standard of quality, allowing for easier access to financing, and;
- There’s no back and forth between the participant and the agency as providers can request the funds from a participant’s plan directly through the NDIS portal.
But Brevity Care said there were also some considerations to make before registering as an NDIS provider, at least in the early days of a business venture, when cash flow tends to be slow:
- Registration and audits can be prohibitively expensive for small providers, potentially leading to poor ratings or a worsening of the services provided;
- Some participants deliberately prefer to work directly with their provider instead of the NDIA, making it easier to build a relationship with them;
- Prices aren’t subject to the limits within the NDIS price guide, meaning that smaller providers can offer competitive prices while staying profitable, and;
- While the NDIA recommends registering, operating as an unregistered provider is not illegal and can be done as long as the participant sees value in it.
Brevity Care is able to provide more information for providers who are still unsure whether to register or not.
According to the NDIS, there are a number of requirements providers must meet to become registered and maintain registration with the NDIS Commission.
Providers looking to register will need to apply on the NDIS Application Portal and include information such as:
- Your organisation’s contact details
- Your corporate structure
- Your outlets/places of operation, and
- Your key personnel
Service providers who register with the NDIS Commission can:
- Deliver services and supports to NDIS participants who have their plan managed by the NDIA
- Deliver specialist disability accommodation, use restrictive practices, or develop behaviour support plans
- Deliver services or support to older people with disability who are receiving continuity of support under the Commonwealth Continuity of Support Programme relating to Specialist Disability Services for Older People.
A common question is, can NDIS participants only use registered providers?
Self managing NDIS participants can access services from registered or unregistered providers (except for the specific services as mentioned above, and support that requires registration with the NDIS Commission) if they:
- Self-manage the supports and services in their plan;
- Have someone else to do it for them (a plan nominee); or
- Use a registered plan manager.
To find out more, visit the Registered provider requirements page on the NDIS Commission website.