The term service provider is used a lot when talking about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and rightfully so. Service providers are the backbone of the Scheme, providing important supports to NDIS participants to help them achieve their goals. But this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a disability or health specific business. In fact, they can deliver an extremely wide range of supports and services. Let’s explore exactly who is a service provider, why some choose to register with the NDIS, what your obligations are, and more.
Are you a service provider?
A service provider is what the NDIS calls any business, organisation or person who provides a funded service or product to an NDIS participant. So, if you have a customer who pays you using their NDIS funds, then yes – you are indeed a service provider.
Service providers come in all shapes and sizes, from sole traders with a single NDIS customer, to huge organisations specialising in disability. The products and services they offer are broad and varied, from cleaning and dance classes to speech therapy, disability accommodation, and consumables.
Do you have to register to become a service provider?
Most providers are not required to go through any sort of registration process, although some choose to register with the NDIS. However, service providers that offer very specific services, such as Specialist Disability Accommodation providers and Plan Managers, are required to register. These are generally providers with a high level of risk, or providers that deal with large amounts of participant funding.
There are some differences between how registered and unregistered providers operate. Becoming a registered provider takes a bit of time, money, and effort, but it also allows you to work with all NDIS participants, including those whose funds are managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
If you chose to remain an unregistered provider, you’re limited to working with NDIS participants who are plan managed or self managed (these make up around 80% of all participants, so you may decide the registration process isn’t necessary).
Are there any compliance requirements for service providers?
As a service provider, you’re required to meet certain responsibilities and obligations. This applies regardless of whether you’re registered or not – although registered providers do have more checks and balances in place, including regular audits.
One key bit of compliance that all providers must adhere to is the NDIS Code of Conduct. This is basically a set of guidelines designed to protect NDIS participants and ensure they’re receiving a quality service. It covers things like respecting your customers’ privacy, taking steps to prevent and respond to any forms of neglect or abuse, and ensuring you provide supports and services safely and competently.
In 2021, the NDIS Worker Screening Check was introduced as a way of making sure people who work with participants don’t pose a risk to them. All registered service providers and their staff must go through the screening process, which is fairly straightforward and can be completed online.
How much can you charge for your services?
The NDIS puts price limits on how much providers can charge. These amounts vary depending on the service or support and can even change based on the day and time it was delivered.
Our Price Guide Navigator makes it easy for you to work out how much you can charge your NDIS customers. It also includes other important information, like whether you can charge for travel expenses, whether you need to provide a quote first, and the line-item number to include on your invoice.
It’s important to note that participants who self manage their funding don’t need to stick to the pricing limits set by the NDIS.
How can Plan Partners support you as a service provider?
As service providers ourselves and experts in NDIS funding, we understand many of the challenges you face navigating the NDIS. We provide helpful tools and resources that offer you fast, simple invoicing and transparency over your cashflow.
- Service Provider Dashboard: manage all your customer invoices plan managed by us in the one place. Through your Dashboard, you can easily create and submit invoices and get paid in just 4 business days.
Invoice templates: Create invoices quickly using our simple templates to make sure you include all the required details avoiding payment delays.
Fast Payment System: Get paid in just 4 business days through our Fast Payment System and have invoices automatically checked to pick up any discrepancies, so they are NDIS compliant.
Payment Security through Service agreements: We support our plan managed customers to set up service agreements with all their providers. Service agreements are essentially a contract between you and your customers, outlining what service you’ll provide and how much you’ll charge. With our customer’s consent, w can then use this agreement to set aside enough funding to pay for your services.