Updated: Oct 27
Allied Health Practitioner (AHP) students, provisional psychologists, and Allied Health Assistants (AHA) (we’ll refer to them as ‘therapy assistants’ throughout the article) can play a major role in assisting a person with disability to access and benefit from supports. However, like with anything related to the NDIS, there are some rules and regulations laid out by the NDIA that therapy assistants need to adhere to.
Are there specific qualifications therapy assistants need?
To be qualified to assist NDIS participants, therapy assistants must meet specific criteria established by the NDIA. These requirements may include:
Qualifications: Therapy assistants need to be working under the delegation and supervision of a suitably qualified health professional.
Ongoing Professional Development: Therapy assistants must commit to continuing professional development to enhance their skills and knowledge, ensuring they stay up-to-date with the latest practices and advancements in disability support
What services can therapy assistants provide?
Therapy assistants on clinical placement can provide supports and services to NDIS participants under the supervision of a qualified Allied Health Practitioner (AHP). The AHP should ensure the NDIS participant consents to a therapy assistant delivering specific aspects of the support prior to delivery. Therapy assistants must be covered by the professional indemnity insurance of the supervising allied health professional or their employing provider.
As well as direct service provision, therapy assistants can claim for:
Non-Face-to-Face Support Provision
Short Notice Cancellations
NDIA Requested Reports
Even though it may be effective and beneficial to have a therapy assistant provide supports, the additional cost can add up and may result in overspend if the NDIS did not originally budget for it in the plan. Which is why it’s so important for providers who plan to bill for a therapy assistant to discuss this with the participant and outline the arrangement in a service agreement.
Payments and Claiming
The Pricing Arrangements and NDIS website have provisions that allow for student therapists to claim for their supports which fall under two levels.
Level 1: Therapy Assistants can only deliver support under the direct supervision of a therapist.
Level 2: Therapy Assistants can deliver supports under indirect supervision but may require specific training in the needs of the participant from the therapist before they take responsibility for the delivery of the therapy.
Examples of claimable supports for Therapy Assistants (level 1 & 2) from the Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits 2023-2024*:
15_007_0118_1_3 - Early Childhood Supports - Therapy Assistant - Level 1 - $56.16/hour
15_008_0118_1_3 - Early Childhood Supports - Therapy Assistant - Level 2 - $86.79/hour
15_052_0128_1_3 - Therapy Assistant - Level 1 - $56.16/hour
15_053_0128_1_3 - Therapy Assistant - Level 2 - $86.79/hour
The supervisor can claim the relevant professional rate from the NDIS to create and supervise an appropriate program to be delivered by the student, with the participant’s consent. However, if a student is on placement, they should not claim in addition to the supervising professional.
As a paid unsupervised practitioner, a provisional psychologist can charge at the rate applicable to an Allied Health Assistant Level 2 or as a counsellor
If you’re unsure about claiming for therapy assistants, you can reach out to our friendly team or find out more on the NDIS website.
*Price Limits are subject to change.
If you have a participant who is plan managed with First2Care, you can register your details with our First2Care team for quick and easy payment processing. Read more about First2Care Plan Management here.