Plan management: Choosing your own providers.
There are many benefits to plan management. One of the biggest advantages is having the flexibility to choose any service provider, whether they are registered with the NDIS or not.
For a quick refresher on the difference between registered and unregistered providers, click here.
So, what’s the best way to go about choosing your own providers?
Have a clear understanding of the support you need from each provider.
Before you start looking for a provider, consider what supports you need and how they connect to your NDIS goals.
- What are your must-haves for this support?
- What would be nice to have?
- How often do you need the support and for how long each time?
- How much can you afford in your funding for this support? Check the NDIS price guides if you’re not sure of the price range.
Once you’ve developed a clear understanding of exactly what you’re looking for, searching for the right provider will be much easier.
Make sure that the support meets the ‘reasonable and necessary’ test. It should be related to your disability, help you achieve your goals and represent value for money.
Spend time researching each provider.
Now that you know what you need from the provider, do some research to find out if they meet your requirements. If not, what is missing?
Does the provider deliver all the supports you need?
If not, what is missing and is this important?
Is the provider suitably qualified and do they have the right experience to help you?
Is the provider regularly available for the days and times that you would need them, and are they flexible if these days or times need to change?
If you want some help finding providers, check out the Leap in! Provider Network Directory here, or call us and speak to a member of our crew on 1300 05 78 78.
Talk to other customers.
In the same way as an employer does reference checks, make sure you ask people that are familiar with the provider for their opinion.
You can learn a lot from online testimonials, forums, social media, or people in your community. Find out what they like and dislike about the provider and if there’s anything they’d want to change about the service they’re receiving.
Meet the provider.
If possible, go and meet with your potential provider before making a decision. Take a list of questions and don’t be afraid to ask about all the things you need to know before reaching a decision.
Trust your gut feelings – if you feel uneasy, ask yourself why. If you’re still unsure, keep looking until you find a provider that ticks all the boxes and that you feel comfortable with.
When you’ve chosen a suitable provider, ask for quotes that you can take to your NDIS Plan meeting to ensure the support will be approved.
Negotiate a service agreement.
So you’ve done your research, chosen a provider and your funding is approved – great! It’s a good idea to negotiate a service agreement with each provider so everything is in writing.
A service agreement should cover:
The support/service provided
How to end or change an agreement
What to do if you have a problem
How payment will be made for the services.
We’ve written an article on the importance of service agreements in more detail here.
If you have any questions about choosing your own providers, call a member of the Leap in! Crew on 1300 05 78 78 – we’re here to help.
The Leap in! Crew