Service agreements can be a fantastic tool to help you and an NDIS participants that you support to be on the same page when it comes to the services that are being provided. For some providers (e.g., those who are NDIS registered) a service agreement is already standard practice. But what about unregistered providers? What are the benefits of having a service agreement in place?
What is a service agreement?
A service agreement is a document that outlines the services you intend to deliver, what is expected of you as a provider, and what is expected of the NDIS participant engaging your services.
While NDIS registered providers already use service agreements, unregistered providers are not mandated to. However, it is strongly recommended by the NDIA that they have a service agreement in place. This is to ensure that communication is clear and that both the provider and the NDIS participant know what the agreement entails. It’s much easier to be able to refer back to an agreed understanding that has been signed off by both parties if any challenges in the relationship or communication arise.
What to include in a service agreement?
Each NDIS participant is different, so having a standard service agreement that can be tailored to suit individual needs can be really helpful.
Things to consider when creating a service agreement are:
Outline the general nature of the services to be provided
Include a list of defined terms as an explanation any industry specific jargon you may use
What type of support you provide, the Support Category number and a description of the support
The cost of each support line item
What the NDIS participant’s responsibilities and what your responsibilities are
Your NDIS number
The start and end date for this service agreement
Your ABN number and GST registration status
The best contact details for both parties
Describe how a change to this service agreement can occur (e.g., must be in writing, mutually agreed by both parties and be signed off and annexed to the current agreement)
Describe how the service agreement can be cancelled and what notice period may be required from either party)
Describe the conflict resolution processes
Advise to whom this service agreement can be shared with
We know it sounds like a lot to include in a service agreement. To make things easier, you can check out our First2Care Service Agreement that our plan managed participants sign when they engage our services to give you an idea of how to set up your own service agreement.
As always, it’s important to ensure that NDIS participants who are engaging your services understand what they are agreeing to in the service agreement. Adjustments to the language or way of communicating the content of the service agreement so that it is fully understood may be needed and should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Who signs a service agreement?
Service agreements are for the provider and the participant to sign. However, a service agreement can be signed by an approved nominee, guardian or representative of an NDIS participant on their behalf.
It should be noted that if a person other than the participant is signing on their behalf, they need formal authorisation. A friend, family member or support worker without formal authorisation cannot sign a service agreement, but they can help the participant to better understand the terms of the service agreement.
Yes. A service agreement is definitely worth it. Although they can sometimes be confusing to navigate, they work as a fantastic resource for both you and an NDIS participant to help avoid any unnecessary confusion. The terms of your service agreement should always be fair and easy to understand.
A service agreement also provides NDIS participants with choice and control over their supports, and how your services can help them to reach their goals and fulfil their support needs.
It’s important to share a signed copy of the service agreement so that you and the NDIS participant can both use it as a reference if there is ever a need.
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.