After Claire chatted to her colleague and visited the NDIS website and Facebook page, she felt excited about the NDIS and was keen to register. Claire enjoys working with people with disabilties and she finds it really rewarding to be a part of their progress. She’s been looking for ways to expand her business and likes the idea of promoting herself as an NDIS specialist in the Hunter region. Claire’s next step is to read through the Terms of Business carefully and to make sure she understands everything that’s required of her.
Now that he’s done some research, Clive feels positive about getting on board. Even though everything is new to him, he’s excited about the opportunity to branch out and the potential of new clients. Because he’s personally never worked with people with disabilities he knows he has a lot to learn, but is up for the challenge. Clive talks to his staff and finds out that two of them have family members with disability. They are happy to help Clive adapt his business to clean the homes of NDIS funded participants.
Clive prints out the Provider Readiness Checklist and uses it to work through important documents including the Guide to Suitability and Terms of Business. Most of it makes sense, but where it doesn’t he looks up the glossary provided in the Provider Toolkit.
Maraya checks the roll out information for Cairns on the NDIS website. She finds out that their services can be provided under the NDIS from 1 July 2018.
Maraya has worked in the healthcare sector for over 10 years so she’s very comfortable with navigating Government documents and requirements. She shortcuts to the pre-registration steps to find out what she needs to prepare.
After checking the NDIS Guide to Suitability she sees that there are specific requirements for her organisation as a provider of specialist disability services. They'll need to comply with Quality and Safeguards requirements in Queensland. She organises a meeting with the management team to go through what this means.
This section covers:
Completion time: 15 minutes
There are a few things you’ll need to consider in order to assess whether you or your organisation are ready to register as an NDIS provider. These are:
- the roll out stage of your location,
- complying with the NDIS Terms of Business,
- overall suitability and quality of what you offer and
- a thorough understanding of how the NDIS operates, including pricing and payments.
Preparing for the NDIS roll out
Since July 2016 the NDIS has been in the process of full roll out. There are now NDIS sites in all states and territories. To ensure the new program is successful the NDIS roll out is being done in stages depending on the location, age, and living arrangements of participants.
You’ll need to check if the NDIS has been introduced where you are. If it isn’t in your area yet, it’s still a good idea to assess what you may need to do to prepare your organisation for the NDIS.
Select your state to find out about the NDIS in your area:
All prices for NDIS services are developed by the NDIA and updated on an annual basis, effective on the 1st of July each year. You can find the latest Price Guide (including price limits for some supports and services) for all locations towards the end of the Pricing and payment section of the NDIS website, including different pricing for ‘remote’ and ‘very remote’ locations.
Making sure your organisation is ready
There are various resources that have been developed to help you understand what changes you might need to make to your operations in order to work most effectively with the NDIS. A couple of really helpful ones are:
- NDIS Provider Readiness Toolkit (external) – developed by the peak body National Disability Services (NDS) and specifically aimed at disability service organisations that were operating under the previous funding arrangements
- Costing and Pricing Learning Program (external) – to understand how the new NDIS pricing arrangements work and develop your costing and pricing skills to match
- IT Planning and System Selection (external) – to help you assess whether your IT systems and governance need any changes
- Marketing from the Frontline e-learning module (external) – to help you understand how to market your services to NDIS participants
For providers new to disability services it’s also important to think about whether your business is ready to meet the needs of people with disability. For example, you may need to install a wheelchair ramp or handrails to your premises. It’s also a good idea to make sure your promotional materials are accessible, such as any printed brochures or any online information. If you have a website, you might want to check whether it meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0). Website accessibility refers to websites that are designed so that people with a disability can easily use them.
Case study: Stepping Stone
Stepping Stone is a community based organisation in Brisbane that provides support to 2500 adults with mental illness. The NDIS will be introduced to Brisbane in July 2018 so between now and then, they’re preparing in a number of different ways. Morag Roseby, Assistant Director of Stepping Stone said: “...The news of the NDIS roll out initially set off alarm bells throughout the organisation. Will our programmes be eligible? Will our participants be eligible? How will be able to sustain ourselves financially? How do we set ourselves apart in an open and competitive market?”
They realised that they would need to make a number of changes in order to transition from the current funding model to the NDIS. “We formed an NDIS committee consisting of Stepping Stone participants, staff and committee members. The role of the committee was to ensure we were ready to make the change, meet the new requirements and to embrace the opportunities that NDIS offers while keeping the culture and integrity of our current model."
Ensuring great quality providers
The NDIA Terms of Business are a set of a protocols and processes for NDIS registered providers that outline commercial requirements, business practices, payments and pricing, maintenance of records, audits and overall compliance. The Terms of Business aren’t only a mandatory part of the registration process, but as a registered provider you’ll also need to recommit to them every year.
These also cross reference the Price Guides, the Guide to Suitability and Quality and Safeguards Working Arrangements for each state/territory. Until the NDIS is rolled out in full in mid 2019, existing Commonwealth, State and Territory quality and safeguard systems will continue to apply.
These protocols and guidelines speak to the overall high standards that will define the NDIS and the symbol of trust it means for participants and providers. After full roll out, the NDIS will support around 460,000 Australians with disabilities, estimated to cost $22 billion. You’ll be representing a world-class system dedicated to high quality care, services and products.
See how Blue Line Laundry in Tasmania got ready to work with the NDIS
Provider Readiness Checklist
Before you complete the NDIS registration process, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of how the NDIS operates and what your role as a provider is.
Making sure you meet each requirement of the checklist and that you have all the relevant documentation ready will help to ensure a smooth and successful registration. Depending on how many support categories you’re registering for, it may take you 1-2 days to complete your registration and provide all the required documentation – or it may take you a lot longer to pull all this information together.
The Provider Readiness Checklist is a good way to assess overall if you or your organisation are ready to move forward with registration – it’s the most important tool you’ll need during the registration process.