NDIS Registered Providers -VS- Unregistered Providers… What’s The Difference?

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NDIS Registered Providers -VS- Unregistered Providers… What’s The Difference?

Written by: Canny Plan Management


You have gone through the National Disability Insurance Scheme planning process, and you now have an NDIS Plan, good work and well done!  During this time, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed with navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme as there is a lot of jargon relating to the NDIS, especially when you are first entering the process.  The language on applications, NDIS Plans, and the overall material, including the language around NDIS Providers to name a few!

One of the most often-asked questions is, “What is the difference between a registered NDIS provider and an unregistered NDIS Provider?”

The fund management of your NDIS Plan can come in different forms; self-managed, plan-managed, agency-managed (NDIA) or a mixture of two or three of the management types.  The choice an NDIS Participant has on the providers for their NDIS Supports is dependent on how their NDIS Funds are managed.  The funding management type determines whether an NDIS Participant can engage registered providers or unregistered providers.

Registered NDIS Providers are providers who have applied and been approved by the National Disability Insurance Agency through the NDIA Quality and Safeguards Commission to provide specific types of supports to NDIS Participants.   Unregistered NDIS Providers have not.

All NDIS Providers, whether registered or unregistered are still accountable to the National Disability Insurance Agency and the NDIA Quality and Safeguards Commission and must keep records of their business with the NDIA and NDIS Participants, adhere to the NDIS Code of ConductAustralian Taxation Office requirements and Australian and applicable state laws.

Breaking Down The Different NDIS Funding Management Styles

  • Self-Managed: this means you are managing your own NDIS Plan funds.  Under self-management, you as the NDIS Participant pay the NDIS Providers for your supports directly.  You claim the funds directly from the NDIS and make the payment to the provider.  You are also responsible for managing and keeping copies of the provider invoices.  If you are self-managed, you can generally use either registered or unregistered NDIS Providers.  Exceptions to this may apply if the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) requires the delivery of supports only to be undertaken by a registered provider, such as behavioural supports.
  • Plan-Managed: this means a third-party financial intermediary provider known as an NDIS Plan Manager such as Canny Plan Management, helps you manage your NDIS Funds.  NDIS Plan Managers assist you in monitoring your NDIS Funding, pay providers on your behalf, act as record keepers for the invoices submitted, noting the support claims made against your NDIS Plan, and send you monthly budget reports.  Canny Plan Management clients also have access to a client portal to view their current balances, expenditures and copies of invoices received and processed to date.  NDIS Plan Managed funds enable NDIS Participants to have a greater choice of providers.  As with self-managed, plan-managed funds can generally be used to engage both registered or unregistered providers, unless a specific support can only be delivered by an NDIS Registered Provider.
  • NDIA Managed: this is referred to as agency-managed funding.  It means the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) manages your funding.  When you are NDIA-managed, you can only engage registered providers.  The National Disability Insurance Agency will manage your payments and records of spending against your NDIS Funds.  Registered providers claim their payments directly through the NDIA.  You are still able to monitor your funding and the provider claims and payments through the MyPlace Portal.

Who Is A Registered Provider?

A registered NDIS Provider has satisfied stringent government quality and safety requisites in the services they provide and are approved by the National Disability Insurance Agency.

A registered provider has met the requirements set by the NDIA and has successfully completed a complex auditing process, providing evidence of their compliance with the National Disability Insurance Agency requirements including qualifications, skills, experience, professional registration, and policies and procedures for the supports they have applied to deliver to NDIS Participants.

Who Is An Unregistered Provider?

An unregistered NDIS Provider has not gone through the registration application and auditing process of the National Disability Insurance Agency.

Being an unregistered provider, however, does not mean or indicate that as a provider they or the supports and services they offer are of any less quality than that of a registered NDIS Provider.  Dependent on the support or services the unregistered provider is offering, the staff and workers delivering the supports still need to meet the minimum qualification, skills and professional registration required by the National Disability Insurance Agency where applicable to the support.

Unregistered NDIS Providers can not be engaged to provide supports for any NDIA-Agency-funded supports.  Unregistered NDIS Providers are not subject to an audit or other procedures faced by registered providers.  You, as the NDIS Participant should have comfort in knowing that unregistered NDIS Providers still have the same obligations as registered NDIS Providers to adhere to the Code of Conduct set by the National Disability Insurance Agency and the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits.  Unregistered NDIS Providers, just like registered NDIS Providers still need to have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and the applicable insurances and registration for their sector.

Although not mandatory, except for Specialist Disability Accommodation, we highly recommend NDIS Participants have a Service Agreement with their provider, regardless of whether they are registered or not.

Want to know more about Services Agreements and their importance?  Check out this article we put together that takes you through everything you need to know: NDIS Participants + Service Agreements.

NDIS Code of Conduct

Registered and unregistered NDIS Providers and their workers alike are required to adhere to the NDIS Code of Conduct:

  • Act with respect for individual rights to freedom of expression, self-determination, and decision-making in accordance with relevant laws and conventions;
  • Respect the privacy of people with disability;
  • Provide supports and services in a safe and competent manner with care and skill;
  • Act with integrity, honesty and transparency;
  • promptly take steps to raise and act on concerns about the matters that might have an impact on the quality and safety of supports provided to people with disability;
  • Take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to all forms of violence, exploitation, neglect, and abuse of people with disability; and
  • Take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct.

Why Do NDIS Providers Choose To Stay Unregistered?

There are many reasons as to why some NDIS Providers choose to be unregistered.  Time, energy, and ongoing costs of registration and auditing are the most common reasons.  Being registered also comes with more paperwork and stricter compliance requirements which is often too big of a hurdle for smaller businesses even though they have all the necessary qualifications, skills, experience and commitment to providing high-quality services and professionalism to their clients.

How Does A Non-Registered Provider -VS- A Registered Provider Affect You As The NDIS Participant?

You may engage any appropriate provider if you are self-managed or NDIS Plan Managed.  However, if you are agency managed, you can only engage registered NDIS Providers.

Having access to engage both registered and unregistered providers is just one of the benefits of having NDIS Plan Managed funds.

Is Canny Group registered with the NDIS?

Yes, Canny Plan Management is registered with the National Disability Insurance Scheme.  All NDIS Plan Managers must be registered.

Canny Plan Management was specifically formed for the purpose of and helping NDIS Participants to manage their NDIS Funding, understand the NDIS and their NDIS Plans.  We aim to help you do just that!

Canny Plan Management, Your Registered NDIS Plan Management Team

We aim to help empower you to make the most of the supports that best suit your needs.  Let us help to free up your time to enable you to live your life to the fullest.

Having plan-managed funding and engaging an NDIS Plan Manager allows you to have choice and control over the providers you use.  Using NDIS registered and unregistered providers, negotiating pricing to pay less than the NDIS maximum rates, make value for money decisions in line with your NDIS Plan and view your plan on the portal to keep track of your NDIS Budgets are just some of the many benefits of engaging Canny Plan Management.

Get in touch with our team to find out how we can become part of your support network!

Pictured, Mekayla Lambert, Anthea Taylor and Christine Friel standing next to an orange circle that gives an insight into Canny Plan Management's NDIS Services.

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