• Claire’s story

    Claire is a sole trader physiotherapist in Newcastle. She has some idea what the NDIS is and knows that there’s going to be a lot more funding available to people with disabilities to get the support they need. She also knows the new system can be complicated but that lots of other therapists are signing up. She asks a colleague from a rehabilitation centre (who has been registered for a while) what’s involved and also checks out the NDIS website.

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  • Clive's story

    Clive runs 'Clive’s Commercial Cleaning', a small commercial cleaning business in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. He employs around 10 people at a time on a casual basis. Clive mainly services offices and event spaces and hasn’t considered domestic cleaning for people with disability before. 

    He hears about the NDIS from one of his staff, who works for another cleaning company that just registered for the NDIS and is getting lots of new work. After chatting to her about it, he checks out the NDIS website to find out whether it’s something he should consider.

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  • Maraya's story

    Maraya is the Business Development Manager of Accessible Horizons,*  a not-for-profit organisation specialising in Disability Support Services in Cairns, Queensland. 
    For over 15 years, they have been funded by the Queensland Government to provide specialist adult disability services, including Social Support and Community Access Services. Accessible Horizons would now like to provide these services under the NDIS and expand their offering to include ‘Support Coordination’ for NDIS participants. 

    Maraya now needs to look into what’s involved with registration and working with the NDIS. She starts by looking at the NDIS website and finds a lot of helpful information in the Provider Toolkit.


    *This is not a real service in Cairns, but developed as a case study.

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This section covers:

Completion time: 15 minutes

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a whole new approach to supporting people with disabilities. It’s a lifelong approach to disability that’s been developed around two core principles:

  • giving people with disability better choice and control over their funding and supports and
  • helping them reach their goals through reasonable and necessary supports.

Changes under the NDIS

Until the NDIS was introduced, governments funded providers directly through block funding, but going forward participants are in control of their own funding. This approach marks the start of an exciting new phase for the Australian disability market with more flexibility and opportunities for both participants and providers. If you or your organisation are registered with the NDIS, you can provide services to all NDIS participants including those that manage their own funds.

The role of registered providers

NDIS providers are individuals or organisations that deliver a support or products to NDIS participants. Providers can be either registered with the NDIS or unregistered, however registered providers have access to a much wider range of participants. This is because participants with NDIA managed plans can only work with NDIS registered providers.

By 2019, the NDIS will see government spending on disability supports more than double, reaching around $22 billion per year and supporting 460,000 participants. This expansion represents a huge opportunity for providers to grow their businesses and become part of a new vibrant, innovative and competitive marketplace.

This guide, along with handy videos for each activity, will help you through the Provider Toolkit and to prepare your NDIS registration. 

Before you become a registered provider, you’ll need to understand how the NDIS operates including the Terms of Business and have a clear understanding of what’s required of you to help participants achieve their goals.