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Everything you need to know about NDIS registered and unregistered service providers

Updated 5 October, 2020
NDIS Registered and Unregistered provider tugging rope.

Update 25 March 2020:

To make sure participants can continue to access their supports throughout COVID-19, the NDIS have made it easier to switch to Plan Management and utilise all service providers – including those who have not registered with the NDIS. To make the switch, call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 and request a plan review over the phone.

We have also created a dedicated page to answer the most frequent questions about COVID-19.

Contact our friendly team on 1300 333 700 to discuss how we can help you.

Does the term unregistered provider make you uneasy? You’re not alone, as the difference between NDIS registered and unregistered providers is something that’s often misunderstood. In this post we explore the world of unregistered providers, so you can make an informed decision and can get the best supports available.

What’s the difference between NDIS registered and unregistered?

For NDIS participants, the main difference is that you can only access unregistered providers if your NDIS plan is Plan Managed or Self Managed. Whereas if you are NDIA Managed, your options are restricted and you can only access NDIS registered providers.

If you Self Manage your NDIS plan, unregistered providers will send their invoices to you to pay and you will then have to manually claim the funds back from the NDIS using the NDIS portal - but if you're Plan Managed, your Plan Manager does this for you.

For more information on the differences between Self, NDIA and Plan Management, read our blog.

Why wouldn’t service providers become NDIS registered?

The registration process takes time, money and effort - three things that many smaller providers don’t have a lot of.

As a result, a lot of smaller service providers chose not to register with the NDIS.

Should I use unregistered providers?

Whether you use unregistered providers is entirely up to you, but here’s three things to keep in mind:

  1. Despite not being NDIS registered, many of these providers are highly skilled, passionate and dedicated to making life better for people with a disability.
     
  2. But unlike providers that are registered with the NDIS, unregistered providers do not have to adhere to the quality and safeguards requirements of the NDIS Commission. They do not need to conduct audits to show they are compliant with these requirements. So when it comes to unregistered providers, it is entirely up to you to determine their quality and safety. If you’re in doubt, always ask for certificates or any other proof of qualification.   
     
  3. There are many unregistered providers. These are often small organisations or sole traders, but some larger organisations are not registered either. Using these providers gives you access to a much larger network and helps you find the right NDIS provider for your needs.
     
  4. If you’ve been with a service provider before transitioning to the NDIS, they may not be registered. If you want to keep receiving the supports you’re used to, you’ll need to use unregistered providers.

How can I access unregistered providers?

To access an unregistered provider, you’ll need to either Self Manage your NDIS plan, or use an NDIS Plan Manager. If your plan is NDIA Managed, you can only access NDIS registered providers.

If you have Plan Management with Plan Partners, we will not only let you use your NDIS funds to access unregistered providers, we also deal with all the administrative hassle of processing invoices. This opens up a lot more opportunities and causes a lot less stress. We will get your providers paid directly, taking all the administration hassle away from you and your providers. You will always to be able to track your invoices and spending in your online Plan Partners Dashboard.

Whether you're searching for a registered or unregistered provider, finding the right one for your situation can be difficult and time-consuming - so we've listed 5 different ways you can find the perfect service provider

Becoming a NDIS provider

If your business would like to become NDIS registered, you can find out more here.

Have any questions?

Whether a provider is NDIS registered or not doesn’t change the level of support they provide – it simply dictates who can access them. If you’re currently NDIA Managed but would like to use unregistered providers, our friendly team can help you explore your options. Give us a call on 1300 333 700 or chat with us. We're here to help.

Top tips

  • It takes time and money for service providers to become NDIS registered, so many chose not to. They’re known as unregistered providers. 
  • Being unregistered has nothing to do with a service provider’s professionalism or quality of supports.
  • Your NDIS plan must be Self Managed or Plan Managed to access unregistered providers, as they’re unable to claim their invoices directly from the NDIS.
  • Accessing unregistered providers opens up many more options, which can be particularly useful in regional or rural areas.
  • If you have Plan Management with Plan Partners, you can access unregistered providers, so contact us to find out more.
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