The disability service sector in Australia has transformed to a marketplace where people with disability now have the independence to choose the support services they require to pursue their goals and aspirations.
The market-based approach of the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) means that there will be significant changes in the way that supports and services are demanded by and provided to Participants. It is designed to maximise the choice and control of Participants while providing incentives to service providers to efficiently and effectively deliver the supports and services that Participants want and need.
In this section you will learn about the NDIS which is facilitating this transformation of the disability services marketplace.
The market for disability support is big. Just under one in five Australians (4.4 million people) reported living with a disability in 2018 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. For eligible people with permanent and significant disability, their families and carers the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is a new way of providing individualised support. The aim of this national scheme is to provide greater access, choice and control for Participants, quality and consistency across the sector and sustainability for future generations.
The change is requiring service providers to transition to a new model of service delivery that looks to improve efficiency and viability, while providing choice and quality services.
The NDIS recognises that any of us, or our family members, could be affected by disability at any time in our lives, and that, as a community, we are all responsible for ensuring that all people living with disability receive the support they need to make the most of their lives.
The NDIS is a major, complex national reform; the largest social reform since the introduction of Medicare. It:
The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary supports and services that help Participants to reach their goals, objectives and aspirations, and to undertake activities to enable the Participant’s social and economic participation.
Every Australian Counts
“The NDIS is a truly pioneering piece of economic and social reform which will finally provide fairness, security and opportunity to over 400,000 Australians and their families who for too long have missed out on the Australian fair go.” – Bruce Bonyhady, Chairman, National Disability Insurance Agency
The National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 set out a ten-year national plan for improving life for Australians with disability, their families and carers. This national approach to supporting people with disabilities had six key policy areas:
The physical environment including public transport; parks, buildings and housing; digital information and communications technologies; civic life including social, sporting, recreational and cultural life.
Statutory protections such as anti-discrimination measures, complaints mechanisms, advocacy, the electoral and justice systems.
Jobs, business opportunities, financial independence, adequate income support for those not able to work, and housing.
Inclusion and participation in the community, person-centred care and support provided by specialist disability services and mainstream services; informal care and support.
Early childhood education and care, schools, further education, vocational education; transitions from education to employment; life-long learning.
Health services, health promotion and the interaction between health and disability systems; wellbeing and enjoyment of life.
The heart of the NDIS is maximising the choice and control by Participants selecting the supports and services to help them achieve the goals and aspirations identified in their plan.
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (the NDIS Commission) is an independent government body that has been established to oversee the service providers offering supports and to underpin the quality of delivery to Participants. It works to improve the quality and safety of NDIS services and supports, investigates and resolves problems, and strengthens the skills and knowledge of providers and participants.
There are several aspects the Commission oversees to enhance the quality of service provision:
For more about the NDIS Commission and its role see information hub Your G8Way to Quality and Safeguards or go to:
The heart of the NDIS is providing an environment where participants have the opportunity to select the service providers of their choice.
Service Providers may be registered or unregistered. The NDIS Commission registers providers. Registered providers must meet and be audited against the relevant NDIS Practice Standards. Registered providers can be individuals operating as sole providers or small, medium or large organisations.
Participants fall into three categories of how the budget within their plan is managed. These are:
Participants who self-manage or have a plan manager can choose to have the supports and services identified in their plan provided by registered or unregistered providers in all areas except the following two when the provider must be registered:
Participants with plans managed by the NDIA must, at all times, have supports and services provided by registered service providers.
Individually funded packages mean that the person with a disability has become a Participant in the NDIS and is your customer. The customer focus encourages you to work with respect, recognising that everyone has life goals and views of how to achieve them. This focus will help you work effectively together on achieving the outcomes of the plan. The services you deliver will be outlined in the service agreement. The service agreement is the contract between the Participant and the service provider the Participant has chosen to deliver the supports identified in their NDIS plan.
Information for NDIS Providers