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2019 Support Management Solutions Pty Ltd T/AS First2Care. Provider Registration No. 4050003364 First2Care.

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NDIS glossary: 24 key terms explained

New to the NDIS? Master the NDIS jargon and break through the confusion

One thing government agencies do well is creating programs filled with a whole new spectrum of technical jargon. Why do they do this? Each key term describes an important function or feature within the NDIS that influences how things operate and are understood. 

We might not like or understand the NDIS buzzwords, but it’s important to become familiar with them, so you’re well informed and prepared to begin your NDIS journey. You can also read our overview of what the NDIS is about and get answers to your frequently asked questions.

For now, we’ve categorised each term for you in this NDIS glossary to make them easier to understand, but if you have any questions jump over to our contact page and we’ll get back to you asap.

NDIS Glossary


NDIS: National Disability Insurance Scheme (body that provides the funding)

Official NDIS Website

NDIA: National Disability Insurance Agency (that manages the NDIS)

Achieve Australia explain in more detail what this means.

NDIS Access: Qualifying for the NDIS or NDIS eligibility

NDIS Access requirements list

Support Plans

NDIS Examples of services and support


Otherwise known as a NDIS Support Plan or Support Plan, is a Participant’s support and goal strategy for allocation of funding for the first 6 – 24 months.

Interchange Australia help clarify your Plan Management options

Agency Managed:

When you decide you’d like the NDIA to manage your finances and support for you. The NDIA will choose what support they believe is most suitable for you from a list of Registered Support Providers, and arrange your funding to pay for it.

Plan Managed:

When the financial and reporting part of your plan is managed by your chosen Plan Manager, but you maintain control over choosing your support.

Self Managed:

When you decide to take control of both the support and the financial aspects of your Plan. This includes finding, engaging and paying for supports, assistance, and consumables as well as keeping receipts and adequate records for the NDIS.



Achievements that require support for participants to achieve. For example, regular, fulfilling employment could be a goal that requires support from a job agency, and ongoing assistance from a support worker in the workplace.

Reasonable and necessary supports: Supports designed to help participants achieve their goals, increase independence, social and economic participation and develop their capacity to actively take part in the community.

Capacity Building:

Services and support that assist participants to build their skills and independence to enable them to get the most out of their funding and become less reliant on services and more engaged in the community.

Formal supports:

Paid supports where a formal agreement or contract has been entered into – such as the support engaged from a worker or provider.

Informal supports:

Support provided by family and friends without any agreement or payment.


A nationally consistent quality and safeguards framework is being developed to ensure that people interacting with NDIS can expect consistent standards and safeguards wherever they live in Australia.

Supporter types

In Charge help you understand what the types of support mean


Person nominated by the participant to assist with the unpaid organisation and managements of supports. This may be a parent, guardian, other family member or a friend.


Otherwise known as a Support Planner / Pre-Planner. Can be a service provided by a Service Provider who acts as a Local Area Coordinator or from the NDIA. This person is engaged to help participants entering the NDIS with their pre-planning. This is usually done via a guided interview, so they can help you identify which goals are reasonable and necessary to include within your plan. 

Local Area Coordinator (LAC):

A person who will link you with the NDIS, link you with information and support in the community and work with their local community to make sure it is more welcoming and inclusive for people with disability. This may include: Helping you understand the NDIS, helping you access the NDIS, helping you create your first plan and implement that plan. They can also help you review that plan when it’s time to do so.

Early Childhood Partner:

Support to assist children aged 0-6 years, who have a developmental delay or disability and their families/carers.

Support Coordinator:

A person from an registered organisation who works to assist you to find, connect and continue to engage the right supports, and implement your plan to make the most of your NDIS funds.


Otherwise known as Support Provider or Service Provider. An organisation who provides programs and individual support for NDIS participants and others with a disability to help them achieve their goals within their Support Plan and in life.

Support worker:

An individual person you engage to provide one on one support, usually self-employed but may be a sub-contracted employee of a Service Provider.

Advocacy Program:

A support person you engage to help you advocate for the best outcomes within your plan and proposed NDIS funding arrangements and who may help you develop your self-advocacy skills.

NDIS Plan Management app:

Designed for participants to manage their NDIS journey from pre-planning to funds acquittal, carers/nominees to collaborate on planning and management, support workers to connect with participants and find meaningful employment, and service providers to connect with and manage their participants’ funding.


NDIS Price Guide:                      

A guide that contains the outcomes and projected costs Providers should charge to adhere to the ‘value for money’ policy of The National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013.

UPDATE: The 2019-2020 Price Guide has just been released. We recommend you review it regularly.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013:

The legislation which establishes the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

Are you preparing for your planning meeting or your plan review and want help understanding your new plan? Learn how First2Care and SMS can help.

Read more about the benefits of working with a Plan Manager. Alternatively, register with our FREE NDIS Plan Management platform, so we can start helping you best manage your plan today.

Read more about First2Care’s plan management features.

Over to you

What is the most confusing part of the NDIS for you? Is there anything you’d love us to include in this NDIS Glossary that you think we’ve forgotten? We’d love to hear about it.