What Makes A Good NDIS Provider?

Do you want to know more?

What Makes A Good NDIS Provider?

Written by: Anthea Taylor l NDIS Plan Management Team


The disability sector in Australia has grown exponentially since the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, 10 years ago.  The data gurus of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) report that there are currently over 610,500 active NDIS Participants on the scheme, and over 189,500 active providers delivering a wide range of supports to agency-managed and plan-managed NDIS Participants.  Add to this number of providers who only deliver supports to self-managed NDIS Participants, and we’re looking at a much higher number of providers!  The types of providers range from large organisations and businesses delivering a comprehensive suite of supports and services, to specialists, to independent individual disability support workers and everything in between.

With the increasing number of NDIS Participants, the federal budget funding the scheme has also increased substantially.  A cool $41.9 billion for 2023-2024.  The increasing number of NDIS Participants on the scheme and the available funding has contributed to the increase in providers.

Want to know more about the 2023-2024 budget?  Check out our previous article that we put together: NDIS Budget Breakdown… Budget, Don’t Fudge It!

A fundamental principle of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is choice and control.  It’s a tenet embedded in the National Disability Insurance Act 2013, with no less than 13 references, including the right of NDIS Participants to choose who delivers their supports and how they are delivered.  With so many providers in the marketplace, the range, levels and quality differ from the gold star standard to the shonky!

Want to know more about choice and control?  Check out our previous article that we put together: What Actually Is Choice + Control?

The Good + Bad Of It…

The majority of NDIS Providers are ‘good’ providers.

They deliver what they say they can, and comply with the requirements of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the law.  However, more often than not, when the NDIS and providers are mentioned together in the media, it’s in relation to fraudulent, predatory and inappropriate providers.  Minister of the NDIS, Bill Shorten in his April 2023 address to the National Press Club, and various references to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Review in speeches and interviews has highlighted the need for the need for greater scrutiny and checks and measures for providers for greater accountability and compliance.  The ABC’s recent confronting Four Corners investigation into the exploitation of people with disability and the progress reports from the Disability Royal Commission provide evidence of the unscrupulous and criminal behaviour of some providers.

Missed the Four Corners investigation?  Check it out here: Careless: How The NDIS Fails To Protect Our Most Vulnerable.

Registered -VS- Non-Registered NDIS Providers

NDIS Providers fall into one of two groups:

  1. Registered; or
  2. Non-Registered.

Registration is meant to provide NDIS Participants with some assurance the provider’s services and supports meet a high level of quality and safety standards.  Registration is not a determinant or differentiates between “good” or “bad” providers.

A registered provider has successfully completed and met the registration conditions and Practice Standards set by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, and must maintain the conditions and standards.  Requirements include appropriate and recognised qualifications and membership of peak bodies in the industries or sectors the support or service relates to, insurances, policies and procedures, all of which must be audited and verified by an independent Approved Quality Auditor for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Canny Plan Management is a registered NDIS Provider.  NDIS Plan Managers, Specialist Behaviour Supports and Specialist Disability Accommodation providers must be registered to be able to provide supports and services to NDIS Participants.  Only registered providers can provide supports to an NDIS Participant who has agency-managed NDIS Funds.

All providers, registered and non-registered, must adhere to the NDIS Code of Conduct to:

  • 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 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.

NDIS Participants with plan-managed or self-managed NDIS Funds have the option to engage registered and non-registered providers other than Specialist Behavioural and Specialist Disability Accommodation providers.  The majority of providers engaged by NDIS Participants with plan-managed funds are non-registered providers.  A provider may opt not to become a registered provider or renew their registration due to the cost and time associated with the registration and audit.

Where an NDIS Participant is engaging a non-registered provider, they have the right to expect and be provided with evidence that the provider can meet the requirements to deliver the intended supports the same as a registered provider.

What To Look For In An NDIS Provider…

When asked by our Canny Plan Management clients about what to look for in a provider, we recommend confirmation of:

  • Appropriate qualifications, skills and experience of the provider, practitioner, or worker.  There are a number of supports which mandatory qualifications and peak body membership, or specified level of skill and training are required regardless of whether the support is provided by a registered or non-registered provider;
  • NDIS Workers Screening Check.  This is mandatory for all registered providers, and workers employed by registered providers;
  • Working with Children Check;
  • Police Check;
  • First Aid;
  • Drivers Licence, if providing transportation;
  • Policies and procedures; and
  • Insurances; public liability, professional indemnity, car, accident and/or WorkCover.

We also recommend to our NDIS Participants that they have service agreements with their providers as supports, claims and rates must be agreed upon in advance.

Want to know more about Service Agreements and why they are so important?  Check out this previous article we put together: NDIS Participants + Service Agreements.

NDIS Plan Management with Canny Plan Management

A good provider will be person-centred and ensure that they work in partnership with the NDIS Participant and their family/carers, taking their direction from the NDIS Participant.  A good provider will deliver supports in-line with the NDIS Participant’s plan.  A good provider will have a working knowledge of and be compliant with the National Disability Insurance Scheme requirements, including the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits, the NDIS operation guidelines, and NDIS information in relation to the supports they deliver.  A good provider is there for the NDIS Participant.

It pays to do a bit of research on potential providers to check there is substance and evidence to support they can and will do what they say they can do.

Want to know more about registered and unregistered providers?  Check out this previous article we put together that goes into great depth: NDIS Registered Providers -VS- Unregistered Providers… What’s The Difference?

Get in touch with our NDIS Plan Management team to have a chat about your providers!

Head of NDIS Plan Management Anthea Taylor stands centre in the photograph wearing thick red framed glasses and wearing a white dress with a large black paisley print covering

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