You might chose to continue with a current service provider, or change service provider for whatever reason, or you might need a new service provider for a new type of support
You can use the ‘Find registered service providers’ on NDIS website – or if you are using a Plan Manager or Support Coordinator they will help you find suitable services, word of mouth or use the internet to search.
Providers may choose to be registered with the NDIS or they may choose not to register
Registered Providers must comply with the NDIA terms of Business, which includes not charging fees higher than the Price Guide, and the relevant State Quality and Safeguarding Working Arrangements. They must provide evidence of their suitability to provide the types of services they want to provide.
Unregistered Providers have decided not to undertake the NDIA registration process, for whatever reason – it may be because they are a small business or sole trader and they feel the registration process is too arduous, or they might not have many clients who will be NDIS funded.
However, even if they are not registered with the NDIS, there are still guidelines and regulations which providers must follow, depending on the type of provider they are. For instance – professionals, such as therapists and psychologists, must still comply with requirements of their professional body. Disability service providers are mostly registered with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and must comply with their guidelines.
Important things to remember if you wish to use an unregistered provider include:
- Ask if they are registered with DHHS or their relevant professional body
- Check their fees – they are not bound by the NDIS Pricing Schedule so you may have to pay a gap fee
- You must self manage or use a Plan Manager for the portion of your budget allocated to unregistered providers (cannot use Agency management for unregistered providers)
You should have a service agreement with each provider. A Service Agreement is a document between a participant and provider so there is a shared understanding of:
- Expectations of what supports will be delivered, how and when they will be delivered
- Each party’s rights, responsibilities and obligations
- How to resolve any problems that may arise
- A clear understanding of what notice is needed to end the agreement
- The protection of confidential information
- And include any special arrangements
If your child is receiving any supports or services now, chances are you have a service agreement in place, so this is not a new practice.
Service bookings are different from Service Agreements.
Service Bookings must be created between the participant and each provider in the online portal. Either party can create the Service Booking, but it must be accepted by the other party. The purpose is to ensure that both parties are aware of the requirements for service, the length of time the service is required, and that the participant will be able to pay for the service.
If you are going to use a Plan Manager, only one Service Booking is required between you and the Plan Manager, and the Plan Manager will create the service booking for all the providers that they are liaising with on your behalf.
A service booking can only be made within the timeframe of your child’s current plan, so – for a 12 month period or shorter. This ‘locks’ the allocated funds to the chosen provider for that period. You can cancel a Service Booking with 28 days’ notice for whatever reason.
Your child’s budget for a support category can be allocated to one provider (therefore one Service Booking) or split across a number of providers, requiring one Service Booking for each provider.
A Monthly Payment Statement will be available online. This statement will contain a summary of the previous month’s payments, available budget remaining, committed budget and spent budget. It will list which participant and provider claims have been received, which Service Bookings they relate to, which Support Categories the money was deducted from and on which dates the deductions were made.