Are you curious about how to choose the right NDIS approved service provider for you? Many people are not aware that they even have a choice here. However, you do have a right to choose your specific provider and we’re going to explore some key points to consider.
It’s important to understand what a provider is and how they can help you. A provider can be an organisation, business or individual that provides the support you need.
Not all providers are approved by the National Disability Insurance Agency and we will discuss what this means a little further down.
When selecting your provider, it’s important to be aware that they will always have different levels of expertise and skills in particular areas. This is going to be a key part of determining whether they are right for you.
A good starting point when selecting your service provider is considering what services you require. You can then narrow down the list of providers that will be able to offer this support. You should check what providers are available in your area and explore each one further.
You might also already have a provider. If you are unhappy with the level of care or support they are offering or the quality of their service, you do have the right to change your provider.
What Is An NDIS Approved Service Provider?
An NDIS approved service provider has met the conditions and requirements of the National Disability Insurance Agency. The NDIS operates in every Australian state with the exception of Western Australia where the NDIA continues to manage operations until July 2020.
There are numerous conditions of registering with the NDIA. One of the key requirements that will be relevant to you is that workers must be approved before being used to provide support to individuals. The provider must also have an in-house complaint management and resolution system. This will be used to ensure that any complaints can be effectively managed.
A registered provider will also have demonstrated compliance with NDIS Practice Standards.
NDIS approved service providers will have also completed a suitability assessment. The assessment considers a number of key details including whether the provider has been registered before or there has ever been a banning order put in place. Past convictions are also considered here as well as those that have been the subject of fraud or misrepresentation investigations.
NDIS approved service providers must also complete quality audits. These audits determine whether the provider does meet the standards of the NDIS for each of the services that are available.
Ultimately, when you select an NDIS approved service provider, you will get the peace of mind you deserve that you are getting a quality service. These providers meet the strict standards that have been put in place by the NDIS.
Providers must demonstrate evidence that they do have the correct qualifications, expertise, and experience. They must also show that they have the right procedures in place.
Are You Required To Use An NDIS Approved Provider
Selecting an NDIS approved provider does bring a lot of benefits but it’s important to note that this is not typically a requirement. There are however a few exceptions to be aware of. For instance, you could require specialist disability accommodation or support where restricted practice will be necessary. If that’s the case then you will need a registered NDIS provider. That’s true, regardless of the management plan that you have chosen. Your planner will be able to inform you whether an NDIS approved provider is a requirement for you.
Completing Your Own Research
While the path to receiving NDIS approval is extensive, you should still make sure that you are completing research on a provider yourself.
You should be able to find reviews for different providers online. Reviews will be sourced from individuals who have used the services of these companies or individuals. As such, they are one of the most accurate representations of the quality of service that the provider can offer you.
You may also want to consider getting advice from friends, family members and other people you know. It’s quite common to choose a provider based on a referral. The benefit of doing this is that you will be able to trust that you have an accurate and valid understanding of the service available. It can also be useful to explore referrals if you are unhappy with a current provider.
Providers Available To You
The providers that are available to you will depend on the type of plan that you are currently on. The plans available are:
- NDIA managed
Self-management means that you have chosen to manage NDIS funding and transactions yourself. You gain a high level of flexibility and choice to select your providers. This ensures that you can find the right providers to meet your targets and your plans. There is a considerable level of paperwork completing this plan and you can access non-NDIS approved service providers if you wish.
If you opt for a Plan-managed service, then the NDIS is responsible will pay the manager of your plan who will pass on the payment to your provider. A plan manager does need to be registered with the NDIS and meet their standards. A manager that is not registered will still need to have completed the right level of checks. They can also not pay more than the price limit that has been set by the NDIS.
NDIA-managed is where the NDIS will directly pay your provider. There is very little flexibility and your provider must be NDIS registered. You can also not pay more than NDIA price limit that has been put in place.
Thinking About Services
When you are selecting your NDIS approved service provider, you do need to think about the services available. A key point to be aware of us is not every provider will be able to deliver every service that you might need. The services a provider can offer should be apparent on their website. Alternatively, this topic can be discussed in a face-to-face meeting.
The services you need will depend on your disability and indeed your level of mobility. It will also be determined whether you suffer from a debilitating condition such as chronic pain which could be treated with the right services.
Some of the services that could be available are meal preparation, house cleaning as well as assistance with levels of self-care.
Advanced options could include music therapy, a sensory gym, and garden maintenance. Don’t forget, certain providers will specialize in particular areas. An NDIS approved service provider is also not required to offer all the available services.
So, make sure to consider which options are going to meet your needs and individual requirements.
How To Find An NDIS Approved Service Provider
When you have thought about your different management options and the services you need, you should think about finding your service provider.
You can use your LAC, NDIS Support Coordinator or ECEI Coordinator to help you make this decision. You can also use the Provider Finder available through the my place portal.
When you start searching for providers, make sure that you arrange to discuss options with ones that match your requirements. You should consider a face-to-face meeting or speak with providers over the phone before selecting the service they are offering.
Asking The Right Questions
When you begin to contact and speak to service providers, you should make sure that you are asking the right questions. The first step is always going to be making sure that they are NDIS registered. They should be able to provide you evidence that this is the case and ensure that you do get peace of mind when selecting their service.
You need to make sure that you understand how they are going to help you achieve your goals. The right service provider will be able to offer a clear plan of action based on your unique position. They should have a clear and set focus on how they are going to help you reach your target. The plan provided should be easy to understand and clear.
Of course, you also need to think about the cost of the service in question. It’s important that you find a provider that will match your financial requirements. This can be difficult as you will need to weigh the cost against the services that are available. More expensive providers will typically be able to offer a wider range of solutions that could help you achieve your goals.
You should think about the flexibility of the service that is available as well. Ask a provider whether you will be able to choose the staff who are going to work with you. You might want control over the individuals who will be providing your support and certain providers will grant you this option. Others will ensure that you are able to make sure that you can choose when you want a service.
Different providers will be able to offer more flexibility to match your specific schedule. Ultimately, if a service is flexible that then the provider will cancel and change shifts where necessary. This also ensures that you don’t have to worry about extra payments when changes do need to be made.
As well as this, you need to consider the complaints procedure. As mentioned, an NDIS approved service provider will have a system in place for handling complaints. This is a key requirement for being registered. However, it’s important that you understand how the system that they have in place works and how you will be able to interact with it. Don’t forget, there should also be a system to handle issues with payments as well.
Are They Speaking Your Language?
When you get in contact with a service provider, make sure that they are friendly and forthcoming. Don’t forget, the people you speak to are the ones who will be responsible for providing your care. If they aren’t speaking your language, then you shouldn’t select them to achieve your goals. They should be considerate of individual requirements and listen effectively to what you want. A great service provider will also take into account mood changes and remain compassionate. You will typically see evidence of this through an interview and shouldn’t need to discover it after choosing a service.
An interview is also a great chance to get a good idea of the level of customer service and support that you can expect from a provider. It will show you how effectively a particularly provider communicates and whether they can answer your concerns.
Should You Share Your Plan?
With the myplace portal, it is possible to share your NDIS plan. This can be a smart decision because it will ensure that service providers will be able to understand and view your specific goals. This can help them determine whether they are the right match for you while gaining an understanding of what you want to achieve.
You might be worried about issues with privacy here. However, NCIS approved service providers do need to follow the set privacy rules that are in place. As such, they are not permitted to share your information with anyone if you have not given permission.
Is There AN NDIS Provider In Your Area?
NDIS is still relatively new. As such, it’s possible that there are not many service providers that are approved in your area. This could be true for rural locations and smaller towns. It is again at this point that you should work with your ECEI Coordinator or LAC to make sure that you find the right support service for you. They will work to ensure that you find the right team that will be able to help you achieve your goal.
We hope this helps you understand how to effectively choosing the right NDIS approved service provider to match your needs. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact us today. As an approved NDIS service provider we can deliver the quality of support that you deserve and offer a range of services to ensure that you can reach your particular targets.