Knowing the roles and responsibilities of your support team is important. It helps to ensure that you know what to expect, who to talk to if you have questions or issues. When it comes to the roles and responsibilities of a service provider, whether they are registered or unregistered with the NDIS, the core roles and responsibilities are much the same.
What is a Service Provider?
A service provider is an individual, business or organisation that delivers NDIS funded supports to participants. Providers can be large companies, charities, small not-for-profits, sole traders, or any other type of business.
There are many providers to choose from each with different skills, experience, and expertise in their respective fields. It’s important when choosing a provider to be part of your support team, that you choose a provider who suits your needs and can help you to work towards your goals.
Participants who are agency or NDIA managed can only access providers who are registered with the NDIS, whereas participants who are self or plan managed can access both NDIS registered and unregistered providers.
Registered vs Unregistered
The main difference between registered and unregistered providers is simple – a registered provider has gone through the NDIS registration process and have been verified by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.
Registered providers must also adhere to the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and follow a strict set of rules and regulations when providing support services to a participant.
Unregistered providers can set their own prices, although they are still heavily regulated and must also adhere to the NDIS Code of Conduct.
Why some providers choose not to be registered
Although the NDIA encourages service providers to register, this process can take a lot of time, money, and effort for a service provider. For this reason, there are many service providers who choose not to register with the NDIA. Often small businesses and sole traders opt not to register, and sometimes even larger businesses choose not to either. This effectively labels them as ‘unregistered service providers.’
It’s important to note that just because a service provider chooses to remain unregistered with the NDIS doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t engage their services. Many unregistered service providers offer participants essential and highly skilled services, that can assist in them reaching their goals. Their services are still covered by the NDIS however funding for these services must fit within the price guide otherwise you will be required to fund any gap.
Roles & Responsibilities
Whether a provider is registered or unregistered, they need to follow the NDIS Code of Conduct. Some responsibilities under the Code of Conduct include:
Providing goods and services funded under the NDIS guidelines of Reasonable and Necessary
Provide ATO compliant tax invoices for goods and services provided to a NDIS participant
Maintain records and evidence that the goods and services have been provided
Maintain current Working with Children checks if supporting children
Keep plan managers up to date with any administrative changes
Although it is not mandatory for unregistered providers to create a service agreement as it is with registered providers, it is highly recommended to ensure that the services being provided are clearly outlined along with other key information.
Creating and implementing a service agreement is between you and your service provider. The service agreement can be tailored to your personal needs, and there are no rules as to what you can include. However, to prevent any miscommunication, there are some key details you should consider when creating a service agreement.
What to include in your service agreement:
Your name and contact details
Your provider’s name and contact details
The start and end date of your service needs, within your current NDIS Plan
What supports and services the provider agrees to provide
How, when and where you would like your supports and services to be provided
The cost of the supports and services
How you and your provider will handle any problems or issues that may arise
The provider’s cancellation policy
How you or your provider may change or end the service agreement
When your service agreement will be reviewed
It’s possible that your provider may have their own standard service agreement already in place. If this is the case, take the time to read it carefully and if there are any of the above check list items missing or further adjustments you feel are important, you can discuss this with your prospective service provider. When you have drafted, and reviewed your service agreement, both you and your service provider can sign the document to make it binding.
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