The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has allowed businesses to help and support people with disabilities across Australia. Many of these businesses extend their support services to their families and carers. 

If you want to become a part of the NDIS, you have a few options. You can either provide NDIS services as:

  • An NDIS Service Provider
  • An NDIS Plan Manager
  • An NDIS Contractor

In this article, we’ll be focusing on NDIS Service Providers and the key legal documents they’ll need to hit the ground running. If you’re interested in setting up as an NDIS Plan Manager, read our guide here

What Is An NDIS Service Provider?

In its simplest form, an NDIS Service Provider is a person or organisation who provides services to NDIS participants. NDIS participants are those that are living with a disability or who are eligible for NDIS funding through an approved plan. 

However, if you want to be a service provider with the NDIS, you’ll need to comply with certain requirements set out by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. For instance, you’ll be under an obligation to have in-house systems in place to deal with complaints, resolutions and incidents (we’ll discuss these required policies shortly). 

The extent to which you’re obliged to comply with these requirements will depend on the independent nature of your business. So, we highly recommend speaking to an expert NDIS lawyer to guide you through your options. 

Do You Need To Be A Registered NDIS Provider?

You can either be a registered provider or an unregistered provider. As a registered provider, you can access the full range of support available under the NDIS. If you’re unregistered, on the other hand, this support will be limited for your business. 

It’s highly advised that you register as a service provider with the NDIS by following the correct process to ensure your business is protected at all stages. In addition, being a registered provider means that participants will be more confident in working with you and engaging with your business. 

To formally register as an NDIS Service Provider, you’ll need to visit the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission so you can:

  • Complete an audit of your organisation
  • Meet certain quality standards and safeguards
  • Complete a suitability assessment
  • Comply with the NDIS Code of Conduct

Learn more about the formal process here

What NDIS Documents Do I Need?

Like we mentioned above, the legal documents you need will depend on the nature of your business’ NDIS services. 

If you’re an NDIS Service Provider, you’ll need to have an NDIS Service Agreement. This is generally the contract you have with your customers that sets out the agreed details of your services, from the scope of work to payment terms. 

However, NDIS requirements mean that your Service Agreement will need to be drafted by an NDIS lawyer. For example, if you want to charge participants for certain services, your contracts need to set this out explicitly. 

NDIS Service Agreements are a collaboration between the participant (or their nominated representative) and you as the provider. This is because the essence of the NDIS is to support the independence and workforce participation of people with disability. It is also designed to enable people with a disability to exercise control and choice in their lives. 

This is something that our lawyers keep in mind when drafting your documents, so don’t stress – we’ll ensure that the terms work out fairly for both parties so you can maintain a healthy working relationship with your participants and clients. 

In addition to this, the NDIS has particular requirements around what you can and cannot change in your Service Agreement. 

You’ll also need to have an NDIS Privacy Policy. This is particularly important because as an NDIS provider, you’re classified as a private sector health service provider in Australia. So, under the Australian Privacy Principles, you are legally required to have a Privacy Policy in place.  

You’ll also need to have the following documents:

  • NDIS Consent Form
  • NDIS Incident Management Policy
  • NDIS Complaints Management & Resolution Policy

We know this can be a lot to consider, but don’t stress! At Sprintlaw, we offer an NDIS Service Provider Package which includes phone consultations with an NDIS lawyer and the essential documents you’ll need as an NDIS Service Provider. 

Get in touch with our team to learn more. 

Does The NDIS Fund Mental Health Businesses?

If you’re a mental health business, the good news is that you could be eligible to register with the NDIS. 

However, the NDIA helps participants living with a psychosocial disability. This is defined as a disability that may arise from a mental health issue. 

It’s useful to have this eligibility criteria clearly set out as part of your business’ policies and key legal documents. Chat to our NDIS lawyers if you need help!

Registered Vs Unregistered Providers

You can either be a registered provider or an unregistered provider. As a registered provider, you can access the full range of support available under the NDIS. If you’re unregistered, on the other hand, this support will be limited for your business. 

It’s highly advised that you register as a service provider with the NDIS by following the correct process to ensure your business is protected at all stages. In addition, being a registered provider means that participants will be more confident in working with you and engaging with your business. 

To formally register as an NDIS Service Provider, you’ll need to visit the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission so you can:

  • Complete an audit of your organisation
  • Meet certain quality standards and safeguards
  • Complete a suitability assessment
  • Comply with the NDIS Code of Conduct

Learn more about the formal process here

Key Takeaways

Joining the NDIS is both profitable and rewarding. However, as a highly regulated area, it’s important that you get expert legal help in preparing the correct documents and policies, in compliance with the NDIA’s requirements. 

To summarise what we’ve discussed:

  • NDIS Service Providers provide support services to participants living with a disability
  • Often, this support is provided through an approved plan
  • NDIS Service Providers need to have key legal documents in line with the NDIA’s requirements, such as an NDIS Privacy Policy and NDIS Incident Management Policy
  • You can a registered or unregistered NDIS Service Provider, but it’s safer to be registered so you get full access to the NDIA’s resources and guidance

If you want to get your NDIS Service Provider business up and running, it’s best to chat to our NDIS lawyers for guidance. 

If you would like a consultation on your options going forward, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or team@sprintlaw.com.au for a free, no-obligations chat.

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